The growing cloud opportunity: optimisation, transformation and monetisation across APAC

03 January 2024

Warren Aw, managing director APAC, Epsilon

Warren Aw, managing director APAC, Epsilon Telecommunications

The global cloud services market has drastically changed how businesses operate around the world, and how users consume services. The opportunity stretches beyond enterprises however, with telcos and service providers in a prime position to benefit from this explosive cloud growth.

As the cloud becomes more integral to day-to-day business, various regions have started to invest more in cloud technologies and infrastructure, including the Asia-Pacific region in particular. However, cloud adoption is moving too fast across APAC to rely on traditional networking models. Businesses must build agility into their operations by rethinking how they connect their cloud services, applications and data. Telcos and service providers are in a great position to meet these demands by pivoting their offerings to resell cloud solutions.

This cloud growth and investment across APAC is demonstrated by IDC’s forecast, predicting the cloud services market to grow to $153.6 billion by 2026. China and South Korea are expected to grow from $54 billion to $137 billion, and $8 billion to $15 billion respectively according to Statista, between now and 2028. Digitally emerging markets across APAC are also experiencing rapid growth across this time period, with Statista predicting the Philippines to grow from $1 billion to $2.2 billion and Indonesia to grow from $1.7 billion to $3.7 billion.

Major cloud players are actively investing in APAC and scaling their operations in new markets, with Google recently expanding its Google Cloud regions to Malaysia and Thailand. Other cloud providers such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Alibaba, Tencent and more have also been investing in up-and-coming markets across the region.

Legacy networking no longer matches the needs of the cloud across APAC and across the globe. For many telcos and service providers, entering the cloud market can come with a lot of costs and challenges without the right tools and experience, which can make it difficult to keep up in today’s fast-growing market.

This has resulted in more telcos and service providers exploring the opportunities in partnering with global connectivity providers, enabling them to capitalise on the growing cloud opportunities across APAC.

Transforming connectivity portfolios

Legacy network infrastructure was not built for the cloud, which can make it inefficient in today’s cloud-first world. This legacy infrastructure is often also very rigid and expensive for telcos and service providers to scale, making it inefficient for those that are trying to grow their cloud portfolios. Legacy MPLS connections for example, can take weeks, or even months, to set up, and comes with a hefty price tag.

Businesses today need a network that is capable of connecting to multiple cloud-based applications and services, while being easy to pivot according to business and customer demands.

Service providers need to explore new methods of providing seamless and secure cloud solutions to their enterprise customers, with an expert partner by their side.

Cloud-centric partnerships

One of the most efficient and effective ways for service providers to level up their cloud capabilities and expand their portfolios is by working with an expert partner. This is especially important when trying to expand in a particular region like the Asia-Pacific, since local partners can provide specific market insights and expert knowledge.

Whether a service provider needs to meet enterprise demands by offering simple and direct connectivity to a single cloud provider, or multiple providers, the right partner will have the network and experience to provide the most suited solution for the business.

Some key benefits of working with a trusted partner include:

• Global network – Experienced providers in the cloud space already have large global network ecosystems of cloud service providers, data centres and other partners. By selecting a partner in this space, telcos and service providers can immediately expand their global reach without the cost or complexity of managing multiple vendor relationships themselves.

• On-demand, scalable connectivity – With an expert partner, telcos and service providers can often gain access to multiple network services, including cloud connectivity, via an easy-to-use platform. Software-defined networking (SDN) platforms are popular options for on-demand, self-service and scalable connectivity, and can often be white-labelled and resold seamlessly.

• Network security – The right partner and solution will provide secure and private connections to the cloud to keep mission-critical data and applications safe. Service providers should look out for solutions that utilise secure Layer 2 MEF-certified Ethernet connectivity. This can provide added peace of mind when compared to unsecure public internet connections.

• Speed & performance – An expert partner will deliver data and traffic via the fastest, most direct and efficient route to the cloud service provider. This helps to improve availability, performance and user experiences, no matter the location.

Monetising cloud opportunities

User experiences have never been so important in today’s always-on world. Enterprises are increasingly demanding fast, secure and on-demand connectivity, and telcos and service providers must be prepared to meet these demands.

With cloud services growing at such a rapid pace, there is an opportunity for telcos and service providers to pivot their cloud offerings with simplicity, agility and security, and create new revenue streams in the process.

The time is now for service providers to enhance their portfolios with an expert cloud partner to keep up in today’s rapidly evolving business landscape, without the cost, risk or complexities of going solo.