Alibaba taps into Covid crisis to get more small businesses for its cloud services; gives free ‘coupons’


APRIL 23, 2020

Chinese e-commerce giant has launched a Global SME Enablement Program under Alibaba Cloud. (Image: Reuters)

Technology for MSMEs: Cloud computing arm of Alibaba Group — Alibaba Cloud, which competes with Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud etc., is tapping into the Covid-19 crisis to reach out to as many small businesses globally as possible for its services. The company is offering its cloud solutions worth over $30 million to small and medium enterprises (SME) to help them sustain Covid-19 crisis. The Chinese e-commerce giant has launched a Global SME Enablement Program under Alibaba Cloud to provide new and existing SME customers globally with a package of cloud products such as Elastic Compute Service (ECS), which powers cloud applications with low latency, Object Storage Service (OSS), an encrypted service for data storage and backup in the cloud, and Alibaba Cloud Academy that offers online courses in new technologies. The initiative is likely to ramp up its customer base from the existing over 1 million paying users.

New SMEs can apply for a $300 “coupon” from Thursday onwards till June 22 to avail the package for 12 services to adopt or expand their cloud applications, according to the details available on its website. For existing paying SMEs, the package is worth $500 for eight ?advanced? products around database, networking and security such as cloud enterprise network, web application firewall etc. “India has a vision to increase the contribution from its MSME?s to its national GDP to 50 per cent and a large part of that growth will be possible in this day and age through empowering companies with technology,” said Alex Li, General Manager, Alibaba Cloud South Asia.

For India?s vast MSME sector, which comprises of around 7 crore MSMEs, to go digital also opens up an opportunity for enterprises to tap into. From around $30 billion in 2019, the market opportunity to serve MSMEs with digital tools will scale at around 25 per cent CAGR to around $85 billion in 2024, a Zinnov report last year said. Currently, only 53 per cent or around $16 billion of the market has been tapped so far to provide small businesses with connectivity and communication tools, discoverability of their products, enhancing productivity and technology sophistication.

The government is also looking to enhance technology adoption among MSMEs. From around 18 technology centres called Tool Rooms to help MSMEs learn and adopt the technology, the government is targeting it to increase to 153 such rooms that would provide training to around 8 lakh youth in different skills, once fully operational, MSME Secretary Arun Kumar Panda had informed at an MSME workshop in September last year.

Courtesy/Source: The Financial Express


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