Business

Alibaba plans to launch cloud services in Colombia

The division offers services in Mexico and Brazil through local partnerships

Cloud division revenues already represent 8% of the group's total. Photo: Shutterstock
  • Alibaba Cloud’s revenues grew 62% last year and reached $1.5 billion;
  • Alibaba Cloud has 19 data centers, most of them in Asia, two in the United States and none in Latin America.

Alibaba Group is planning to launch its cloud services in Colombia, potentially expanding an operation that is still modest in Latin America. Globally, though, the cloud division grew 62% in the past year alone and its revenues already represent 8% of the group’s total, reaching $1.5 billion. 

The cloud division will be the spearhead of the conglomerate in the Colombian market, where it will compete directly with services such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, IBM Cloud and Oracle Cloud.

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Alibaba Cloud has adopted a step-by-step approach to Latin America. It already operates in Mexico, in partnership with the Carso Group and Claro, and in Brazil it offers its services through local company Inova

“Every market has its own characteristics. We hope to establish partnerships here in Colombia, to bring you the best options the market has. We may not use the same business strategy that we have used in other countries”, said the director of solutions at Alibaba Cloud, Kam He, during a presentation in the Claro Tech Summit 2020, in Cartagena.

Data-driven

He stressed the advantages that can be gained when running a business with a work based on data. According to him, they include improving sales, delivery logistics, customer experiences and, most importantly, reducing costs.

“Behind the scenes we have a business that is made up of databases that help to know customers and their needs. Also, this system can support many more technologies that allow to increase sales. Without a doubt, they are supported by the great technological structure in our cloud services”, he explained.

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Presence

Alibaba Cloud has 19 data centers, most of them in Asia, two in the United States and none in Latin America. The first data center outside of China was opened in 2015.

But even with the Chinese market alone, Alibaba already manages to be a world-wide big player. In 2016 Goldman Sachs analysts already reckoned that the company was the only rival capable of facing AWS.

Last year, Gartner included Alibaba as one of six players in its Magic Quadrant for Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). The leader is AWS, followed by Microsoft and Google, but Alibaba Cloud leads the second group, in front of Oracle and IBM.