Utilising new tech for fast digital solutions

08:00 | 11/03/2019
Disruptive technologies are now taking the world by storm, while companies in Vietnam are adopting emerging tech in order to transform their business. Shaun Ray, senior manager, Developer Relations at Amazon Web Services, talked to VIR’s Bich Thuy about the firm’s hybrid journey to the cloud and the options to bring better digital solutions to businesses.
utilising new tech for fast digital solutions
Shaun Ray, senior manager, Developer Relations at Amazon Web Services

How did Amazon Web Services (AWS) retain the position as the world’s technology leader in 2018, and what opportunities does AWS foresee in Vietnam amid growing demand among local businesses?

In the third quarter of 2018, AWS made $6.68 billion revenue, up 46 per cent on-year. Market ­segment share meanwhile, with reference to International Data Corporation (IDC), increased to 51.8 per cent. Now we have millions of active customers, with more than 10,000 using ­machine learning or Artificial Intelligence (AI) on AWS.

The AWS Cloud operates in 61 availability zones across 20 ­geographic regions, and one local region, around the world, with plans for 12 more availability zones and four more regions in Bahrain, Cape Town, Hong Kong, and Milan. A ­region in Sweden and a second AWS GovCloud region in the United States are newly online.

Vietnam is a high potential ­market for cloud computing services in ASEAN. We see the huge ­potential here because when we offer training in Vietnam, the ­number of professionals certified in Vietnam is higher, reaching around 200 in the first six months we launched the programme here.

What is more, with a history of doing contracts with international companies and having experience of using IT solutions from vendors or influential providers, I think that ­Vietnamese businesses find it easy to access modern applications such as machine learning, Big Data and AI on cloud computing platforms. I expect that the demands for these things will continue to surge in the future.

Vietnam has young population who have high demands, wanting things that they have never been given before. They also want it very fast. Businesses are trying and ­trying to change and to adapt.

Digital transformation is now an obvious trend, but businesses will find challenges to adopt. How can AWS help them leverage ­technology to transform in the ­digital economy to unlock their full potential?

We are not a consultant to tell Vietnamese ­enterprises what they should do. We provide necessary technologies to help them optimise their knowledge, and increase innovation inside these businesses.” – Shaun Ray Senior manager, Developer Relations at Amazon Web Services

Vietnam is an economy in which small-and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) make up the majority. It does not have many large and global-branded groups that other countries have. By talking to these Vietnamese enterprises, we can ­figure out what their challenges and demands are. We have people in the field in this country in which to do just that.

There are ways that we can help. One is to target the domestic population, leveraging something like the cloud platform to be able to carry out better data analysis, skip more risks, and be faster into the market.

In reality, innovations have to be carried out inside small ­businesses. SMEs in Vietnam have to adopt innovations to keep up with the changing world of ­technology, otherwise they will be defeated by others. So they should apply emerging technologies such as cloud computing and machine learning to optimise their capacity. As per an IDC report, it is proven that around 40 per cent of digital business transformation projects rely on machine learning and AI in 2019.

We know Vietnamese businesses already have knowledge, so what they need is the correct platform to help them to go faster. We are not a consultant to tell Vietnamese ­enterprises what they should do. We provide necessary technologies to help them optimise their knowledge, and increase innovation inside these businesses.

So far, we have worked with Vietnamese customers and helped them succeed with AWS services. Vietjet Air, FPT Software, light and electrical brand Dien Quang, and mobile payment startup Momo are typical examples.

For Vietjet, the problem with air travel is you always have to ­compete against both domestic and global players. A few years ago, the airline applied the AWS cloud for its booking service and has since gained competitiveness.

FPT Software was the first ASEAN-headquartered AWS ­Consulting Partner to achieve the AWS Premier Consulting Partner tier in 2018. The areas of expertise that FPT has achieved are critical to help customers in Vietnam and across ASEAN benefit from the ­utilisation of AWS services.

FPT has acquired 497 AWS ­certificates to-date. Leveraging on the AWS platform, its dedicated taskforce consisting of professionals has been helping its customers to migrate to AWS services. It has ­developed industrial parks including migration tools and solutions, and trained the local workforce on the latest ­technologies to help them achieve business success.

Amid growing demand, a number of tech firms have been introducing new solutions. What make AWS different to others, and what are Amazon’s new cloud services ­capabilities to bring better digital solutions to businesses?

We have the most experience in the global market of offering cloud computing services. We have a lot more functionality, and a larger community of customers and partners. Moreover, in the global marketplace of cloud computing, AWS has the higher par on operational security, and a really good platform of ­reliable security services.

Trying to help AWS’s machine learning become more accessible to businesses, Amazon SageMaker was launched over two years ago. This enables SMEs to access ­machine learning at an affordable price, and so far thousands of ­customers have been using it. Over 95 per cent of services we build come from getting information from customers, including the likes of Netflix and Goldman Sachs, about what they want.

AWS has so far developed new cloud services and database ­capabilities. For example, we ­offer significant new Amazon Aurora and Amazon DynamoDB capabilities along with two new purpose-built databases. For data management and government security, Amazon Quantum Ledger Database and Amazon Managed Blockchain will help companies manage business transactions that require full ­auditing requirements.

Also, AWS’s 13 newly-launched machine learning capabilities impact all layers, from infrastructure, on SageMaker, and on apps where no experience is required. This enables developers to build, train, and deploy machine learning models easily. These include new infrastructure, a custom chip, and framework improvements for faster training and low-cost inference.

In regards to the developer tool known as ROBOTICS, the new AWS service makes it easy for developers to develop, test, and deploy robotics applications, as well as build intelligent robotics functions using cloud services. It extends the most widely used open-source robotics software framework, Robot Operating ­System, with connectivity to AWS services including machine learning, monitoring, and analytics services to enable a robot to stream data, navigate, communicate, ­comprehend, and learn.

AWS RoboMaker provides an AWS Cloud9-based robotics ­integrated development environment for application development, robotics simulation to accelerate ­application testing, and fleet ­management for remote application deployment, update, and ­management.

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