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ASEAN Businesses Thriving Forward With AWS
September 7, 2020 News


Businesses around the world are now accelerating their digital journey following the COVID-19 pandemic. While some countries have been recording a positive recovery, many are still struggling to contain the virus. In Southeast Asia, the pandemic seems to be manageable in some countries following government-imposed lockdowns.

However, lockdowns have had a huge impact on businesses. Companies that did not have business continuity plans ended up suffering huge losses. Which is why businesses now understand the need to digitise their workloads and processes as well as the importance of cloud services for business continuity.

As one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, businesses in the ASEAN region want to able to remain productive and competitive with efficiency at the forefront of their organisation. Leveraging on cloud services and technologies like AI is one way of ensuring that.

In a virtual interview with DTA, Conor McNamara, Managing Director of ASEAN at Amazon Web Services explained how AWS continues to make sure they remain a good partner and add value to their customers during these times. He said AWS has seen an increased uptake for their services in the last couple of months as well as more industries reaching out to them.

According to Conor, it didn’t matter which industry customers came from as AWS is focused purely on ensuring customers are able to remain productive. For example, in Singapore, Conor pointed out how an insurance company leveraged on AWS to move their customer contact centre to the cloud for their agents via Amazon Connect within 24 hours with zero downtime.

In fact, he said Amazon Connect has seen an increased uptake in the region with more clients moving their call centres to the cloud as remote working becomes the new normal for them. At the same time, food delivery companies like Grab and others have also been leveraging on AWS Cloud to ensure their systems are able to support the increasing demand they are receiving. In the Philippines, companies are using Amazon Connect and Amazon Chime for counselling services for frontline workers.

These are just some of the examples mentioned by Conor. However, it’s not just about moving to the cloud and improving their services. Conor pointed out that businesses are also now understanding the need to increase their skilled workers. CEOs and Board members are impatient to upskill their teams to be cloud-ready.

AWS is answering the call by enabling training programs in large enterprises in Southeast Asia for training and upskilling of employees. AWS already offers over 500 hours of free training online and have seen a huge jump in the take up of certification programs offered as well.

“During the first 30 days of the pandemic, businesses had paralysis on what is happening. But after that, everyone is now understanding the importance of the cloud and are committed more than ever to get their business on the cloud”.

Interestingly, even the most disrupted industries like airlines and tourism realise that lockdown and travel bans are not forever. For them, this is now the opportunity to get committed to the future. Travel companies, for example, are looking into how they can use AWS to help them manage their employees and such.

While industries are now more careful with how they use their funds, Conor added that AWS has a team that is focused solely on helping customers manage their costs when using AWS Service. With a pay as you use model, AWS Marketplace has now become a cost explorer with customers checking more cost and services there.

“90% of what we do is based on customer demand. It’s a multi-trillion dollar industry. We are still in the early stage of cloud adoption. While the market value is multi-trillion, it’s not a question about who vs who. It’s about making sure the customer relationship remains important. It’s even more important at this point in time. We listen to them and believe we can be successful in helping them moving towards the future. We respect other players and we make sure our teams listen to customers and deliver to them”.