5 Things I Learned at the Alibaba Cloud UK Launch

Cloudreach Cloud Systems Developer, Matt Hadley, tells us what he learned from Alibaba Cloud's UK launch event.

Last week I was fortunate enough to attend the launch event of Alibaba Cloud in the UK. The cloud-computing arm of the Alibaba Group has continued to increase its global footprint, with the UK now one of the platform’s 19 regions around the world.

The launch event was a great opportunity to learn more about Alibaba Cloud, its strategy and ambition and the benefits the platform offers.

Here are five insights I gained from the event:

1. Alibaba Cloud is BIG

Alibaba is already known for its huge scale in China. During a single day last year, $25billion USD of transactions were processed over 24 hours (that’s 325,000 orders every single second!). The average Alibaba Group user spends 27 minutes a day using its services ( over 7 separate visits a day). What’s more, YouKu (Alibaba’s video streaming platform) was able to support 180 million people within China watching the FIFA World Cup this year.

It makes sense that Alibaba is really starting to expand overseas.

2. Alibaba Cloud has a unique vertical offering

As well as being the engine of a retail giant (and operating with all the complexities that brings), Alibaba Cloud is being applied in more and more interesting ways. The platform is at the core of Hangzhou’s transformation into a 'digital city'. Traffic incident reports are being automated (500+ daily) with 92% accuracy from video analysis running on Alibaba Cloud. 95% convenience stores in Hangzhou are now cashless, the majority using AliPay. Even a florist will give you an AliPay QR code for payment!

3. The UK is at the forefront of cloud & AI innovation

Alibaba Cloud explained why the UK was chosen, above other regions, for its latest launch.

There’s currently a significant amount of bilateral trading relations between UK/China. This is only set to grow in the future, even in the next couple of weeks, the UK will be a key partner at the Shanghai Import Expo.

The UK also has a strong education and startup ecosystem and Alibaba Cloud is already working with Oxford & Cambridge Universities to drive innovation.

It was also recognised that, outside of the US, the UK is a significant global early adopter of cloud technologies and a pioneer in AI technology. As Lord Clement-Jones (spokesman for the Digital Economy in the UK House of Lords) reiterated at the event: "The UK is at the forefront of thinking about AI, and is leading the development of international codes of conduct for AI."

4. Alibaba Cloud is constantly innovating

Alibaba Cloud is continuing to improve its global network learning from the Alibaba Group’s retail businesses. Some of the new products launched at the event included:

  • AntiDDOS Premium - Alibaba Group has around 2000 DDOS attacks a day. Alibaba Cloud has learned from this to develop the AntiDDOS Premium service, with record-breaking performance.
  • OSS-Select - You can now use standard SQL to only access data from OSS that matches SELECT queries, allowing you to turn Object Storage into a Data Lake.
  • Blockchain as a Service - Strategically important to Alibaba itself, which has more patents than anybody else on blockchain. It is the first platform of its kind to be protected by Intel SGX security.
5. Alibaba Cloud wants to partner, not just "supply"

Alibaba has a wealth of experience across multiple sectors in China and can deliver that expertise through partnerships, rather than just selling cloud products.The platform has a variety of programmes in place including training and support, to help grow and develop these partnerships and unlock new markets for our customers.

Get in Touch

Of course, if you’re interested in using Alibaba Cloud’s services, I’d encourage you to get in touch! Cloudreach continues to partner with Alibaba Cloud and our architects are Alibaba Cloud certified!

Post submitted by Matt Hadley, Cloud Systems Developer at Cloudreach.

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