As organisations in Thailand increasingly embrace cloud, driven by a desire to enhance innovation levels, NTT and SAP are making a combined play for enterprise control.
Unveiled officially to the local market in November - with plans in place to further ramp up deployments in 2020 - the cloud service rolled out by NTT is designed to increase “agility and flexibility” when securely managing cloud data.
Operating as a “hybrid-multi cloud platform”, the premium offering is certified by SAP to support enterprise requirements across “infrastructure, platform and comprehensive applications’” including SAP HANA. This is backed up by support for critical enterprise applications spanning contact centre, analytics, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things.
“We see demand for cloud services in Thailand growing especially on SAP platforms with SAP on cloud now accounting for 24 per cent of the total SAP usage globally and the demand is expected to grow in Southeast Asia and Thailand,” said Sutas Kongdumrongkiat, CEO of Thailand at NTT.
According to Kongdumrongkiat - appointed to the role in October 2019 - contact centre also represents an application showing “higher demand” in moving to the cloud in Thailand.
Specifically, the industry executive estimated that the total market size will reach US$27.1 million by 2023 in Thailand, representing a compound annual growth rate of 7.4 per cent - up from $16.4 million in 2016.
“We forecast that more than 50 per cent [of enterprise organisations] will move to the cloud in Thailand over the next few years,” Kongdumrongkiat added.
In assessing the local market, Kongdumrongkiat said enterprise customers are deploying a wide-range of applications, each housing a “large amount of data” stored in various platforms.
To capitalise on such market metrics, NTT is positioning its cloud service to target “high growth sectors”, helping customers manage SAP, contact centre and other critical applications.
Other key sectors of interest for the global system integrator (GSI) include enterprise organisations in banking, finance, government and industrial sectors, as well as businesses with many branches and high-level security requirements.
“Security is a key concern for enterprise clients in adopting cloud,” Kongdumrongkiat added. “To help solve such a problem, NTT has developed their cloud service, a fully managed cloud platform designed to enhance enterprise cloud requirements with private working process and high-level security management.”
Under NTT’s cloud service, Kongdumrongkiat said security begins with the design process, followed by end-to-end management through interconnection to other clouds.
Delving deeper, the service - including consulting, migration and managed - comes with "fully automated management to reduce the complexity of operation", aligned to a cloud security control (CSA-STAR) standard.
In addition, Kongdumrongkiat said the service can be integrated with the provider's Thailand Bangkok 2 Data Centre under NTT’s service and security standard.
Power of SAP
In response to increased enterprise demand for SAP expertise, NTT Data - a publicly traded technology provider majority owned by NTT - acquired the leading SAP specialist of Thailand in July 2019.
As revealed by Channel Asia, global SAP specialist itelligence AG snapped up ISS Consulting, as the subsidiary of NTT Data Group builds out software capabilities in Thailand.
Based in Bangkok, ISS Consulting is one of leading SAP consulting firms across the country, focusing on manufacturing, automotive, retail, and food and beverage industry sectors.
Employing around 250 people, the business specialises in S/4 HANA, C/4 HANA, SAP SuccessFactors and SAP Ariba, in addition to SAP HANA Cloud, SAP Business By Design and help desk support.
Meanwhile itelligence AG is part of the global NTT Data group and employs over 8,000 people across 25 countries, operating as a global platinum partner of SAP.
Two months later, the trend continued with NTT Data acquiring Locus Telecommunication to enhance digital transformation offerings amid market expansion in Thailand.
Headquartered in Bangkok, Locus operates as a system integrator with expertise in delivering digital enablement solutions for customer relationship management (CRM) and customer experience (CX) offerings, in addition to business intelligence, data analytics and enterprise mobility.
Housing more than 150 employees - spanning IT consultants, business analysts and system developers - the business has served more than 100 customers across banking, insurance, telecommunication, retail, healthcare, manufacturing and utilities.
From a technology perspective, Locus - founded in 1999 - works with vendors such as Oracle and SAS, in addition to Avaya and Interactive Intelligence.
Furthermore, a deepened alliance with SAP was recently cited as a leading factor in increased Google Cloud adoption across Southeast Asia, with GSIs leading the charge.
That was the view of Tim Synan - regional director of Southeast Asia at Google Cloud - when assessing the technology giant’s regional market credentials in October 2019.
“We’re excited about the work we’re doing with SAP in Southeast Asia,” said Synan, when speaking to Channel Asia ahead of Google Cloud Summit in Singapore. “Particularly, we’re seeing large GSIs such as Accenture and Deloitte report significant, multi-year wins through SAP and Google Cloud. These wins include manufacturers in Thailand and Indonesia, organisations in Malaysia and a recent win in Singapore.”
Whether shifting SAP applications to the cloud, integrating machine learning into business processes or enhancing enterprise data capabilities, SAP applications and SAP HANA are certified to run on Google Cloud.
Key SAP products included Hana, S/4 Hana, BW/4 Hana and Business Suite, in addition to Hybris, Business Warehouse, BusinessObjects BI and Business One among others.
According to Synan, the expanded partnership with the software vendor has kick-started a wave of Google Cloud deployments in Southeast Asia, driven by specialised partners such as Accenture and Deloitte.
Meanwhile, SAP is increasing focus on the channel in 2020 in response to heightened demand for cloud and digital transformation solutions across Asia Pacific.
Central to such efforts will be a partner ecosystem capable of delivering improved customer experience offerings, backed by support of emerging technologies and business models.
“Over the past decade, the rise of the software-as-a-service [SaaS] market has levelled the playing field for technology providers,” observed Ben Corser, senior vice president and head of channels and partners across Asia Pacific and Japan at SAP, when speaking exclusively to Channel Asia in December 2019.
“This has given smaller firms an equal shot in providing specialised solutions and services in a field that’s long dominated by established IT powerhouses. By combing enterprise-level solutions, SaaS and their own innovations, partners now play a major role in Asia's digital transformation journey as a whole.”