CAT Telecom has unveiled plans to capitalise on increased appetite for cloud adoption in Thailand, leveraging Amazon Web Services (AWS) Outposts to target enterprise and public sector customers.
Fresh from being appointed as an expert provider, the Bangkok-based business is positioning the newly launched managed service offering at organisations seeking to keep data in-country, across key sectors such as healthcare, financial services and manufacturing.
“Outposts will benefit customers that are running workloads on-premises and looking for options to migrate to a cloud provider without compromising data sovereignty,” said Dr Wongkot Vijacksungsithi, senior executive and vice president of Digital Business at CAT Telecom. “By processing and storing data within country, Outposts will remove a major roadblock for our customers in adopting cloud technology.
“Moreover, with the breadth and dept of AWS services, our customers can benefit from advanced features like containers and big data that are formerly only available in public cloud. This will help our customers to innovate faster and scale easier.”
As revealed by Channel Asia, AWS launched Outposts in Thailand and Malaysia in late June, building on Southeast Asia momentum to provide a fully managed service through specialist channel partners.
Supported by expert providers such as CAT, Outposts is designed to deliver “managed and configurable” compute and storage racks built with AWS-designed hardware. The move allows customers to run AWS compute, storage and database services on-premises, while connecting to AWS offerings in the cloud.
General availability in Thailand and Malaysia follows launches in Singapore and Indonesia earlier this year, targeting customers housing workloads that require low latency access to on-premises systems, local data processing or local data storage.
“We believe that a hybrid cloud solution between Outposts and AWS public cloud represents a good proposition for Thai customers,” Dr Vijacksungsithi added. “Not only can they run sensitive and critical workloads on Outposts where data sovereignty is assured and latency is minimised, they can also seamlessly utilise various native AWS services to easily develop and manage applications."
Dr Vijacksungsithi - when speaking exclusively to Channel Asia - was quick to acknowledge however that preferred type of clouds differed among customer segments, from start-ups to enterprise corporations.
“Organisations like start-ups who are concerned about time to market, flexibility and cost are likely to go for public cloud,” he said. “Government agencies and state enterprises whose major concern is about data sovereignty may prefer private cloud but have started to shift to hybrid cloud to leverage the scale and advanced services of public cloud.”
As one of the first specialist providers of Outposts in Thailand, Dr Vijacksungsithi said CAT is “uniquely positioned” to provide high-quality hybrid cloud solutions across public and private sectors, backed by a certified data centre and “extensive” international connectivity.
“We aim to be a one-stop service provider to customers,” he stated. “We believe that by offering a full range of services from consulting, implementing and managed service, we can succeed in the cloud market. To achieve that, we focus on both infrastructure and people.”
From a technology perspective, CAT has invested in domestic and international high-speed optical fibre networks to connect customers to data centres and public clouds. This is in addition to investing and operating data centres with globally recognised standards such as ISO 27001, ISO 20000-1 and CSA-STAR.
“Besides this infrastructure, the most important factor is people,” Dr Vijacksungsithi outlined. “As cloud services continue to evolve in a fast pace, new features and advanced services are continually coming out. We have to make sure that, through training and other HR development activities, our team have the relevant knowledge and information necessary to provide best services to our customers."
Digitally-driven Thailand embraces cloud
According to IDC, by 2022, over 61 per cent of Thailand’s GDP will be digitalised, with nationwide growth driven by digitally enhanced offerings, operations and relationships, resulting in $72 billion of IT-related spending during the next three years.
Such a digitalised economy - fuelled by a rise in cloud adoption - is expected to result in more "intense competition" as customers fight for market differentiation and local share.
“Cloud adoption in Thailand has gained momentum in recent years,” Dr Vijacksungsithi observed. “A large number of organisations both in public and private sectors have already adopted cloud to different extents.
“Medium and large enterprises are moving toward hybrid cloud solutions in which most are in the process of migrating workloads to their own private clouds or to cloud providers. New systems or services are now mostly developed and deployed on cloud."
In assessing current market conditions, Dr Vijacksungsithi cited Covid-19 as an accelerant of cloud adoption across the country, supported by heightened user demand for collaboration tools, mobile banking, food delivery and e-commerce.
“These demands are better served by cloud,” he said. “There are various types of workloads that we have helped our customers migrate to cloud, ranging from internal IT systems to database, websites and applications.
“Workloads like websites and applications that serve a lot of users and require capacity scaling to accommodate the surge in demand from time-to-time seem to be the customers’ primary priorities.”
In contrast however, Dr Vijacksungsithi accepted that security and data privacy remain as primary roadblocks preventing further adoption of cloud in Thailand.
"Customers are concerned about security and the ability to control their data in a shared cloud infrastructure neither owned nor operated by themselves,” he added. “There are also other concerns about the lack of cloud skills and the ability to control cost as the pricing scheme of cloud providers can sometimes be quite complex."
Despite such challenges, CAT is moving forward in cloud at pace, evident through collaboration with the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society in relation to the Government Data Centre and Cloud Service (GDCC) strategy, centred around the delivery of private cloud solutions to government agencies and state enterprises.
“With GDCC, customers can use our cloud resources to provide their services without having to invest in hardware, facilities or a data centre,” Dr Vijacksungsithi explained. “They don’t need large IT teams and can leverage the expertise of our cloud experts. Service levels also improve, downtime is reduced and security is assured.
“Also, scaling and deploying new services to market demand can be done quickly and easily. This helps reduce the total cost of services while improving efficiency and effectiveness of customer operations."
Channel Asia Advance is a centralised editorial resource designed to help partners access forward-looking content as the ASEAN and Indian markets attempt to reposition for growth.