By this time, getting your company in the cloud is no longer a trend or a luxury but a necessity.
The technology has enabled small businesses across the world to access vast opportunities from tapping international markets to upgrading their systems at par with big enterprises. Same goes for the big guys, the cloud has enabled large players to innovate and cope with the rising disruptors in various industries.
Fortunately for the Philippines, it has a vast number of options, with Amazon Web Services (AWS) set to be more aggressive as it announced on Thursday, May 5 its opening of a Manila office.
“We’re not really targeting any new companies per se, we just see the demand of companies we’re catering to here, and we believe there are much that we can still offer to them if we have our feet on the ground,” Amazon.com Vice President and Chief Technology Officer Werner Vogels told Entrepreneur.com.ph.
In the Philippines, the technology has propelled young startups to scale their IT infrastructure, including Coins.ph, a digital fund transfer program using mobile wallet; and Peekawoo, a local dating app.
The cloud service also caters to some of the biggest enterprises in the country, from Globe Telecom to Jollibee. The former has developed and improved applications with the service, including its mobile money transfer, GCash. Meanwhile, Jollibee has been aggressive in developing a more digitally-integrated service, developing its back-end deliveries from the online site to its rewards system.
“We see our customers as our partners. It is much more important that we make sure that they become successful, because once they get bigger, we benefit from it too. If your customers are happy, word of mouth will take care of itself to share it with other potential customers,” Vogels said.
That business model has been working, in fact, the cloud service’s revenues for the first quarter of the 2016 jumped to 64% year-on-year to $2.6 billion, with the company set to become a $50 billion service by 2020.
With its comprehensive services equivalent to 14 individual cloud platforms, AWS knows how to innovate and set the tone for the industry.
“This is not a winner take all industry, but you just have to make sure you build products your customers will love and need. That has been our practice, always customer-centered,” Vogels added.
AWS has 70 major services, categorized to 14, ranging from compute, storage, to gaming and deployment services.
In the Philippines, two of the services most in demand to businesses are analytics and mobile, as most young startups are focused on building a minimum viable product, a strategy to test if customers would want the service, early in the business. Meaning, they are set to be sustainable.
“Startups here are different from those in the West, companies here don’t build products looking for a company to acquire them. They’re set to become sustainable on their own, and that would take a lot of effort,” Vogels said.
Still, with the comprehensive functions of AWS, Vogels believe the platform can still develop more technologies for local companies, as one of the challenges they face is educating customers on the service’s other characteristics.
In 2011, the platform introduced 160 new features, followed by 280 in 2013, and 560 in 2014. As of April 2016, Amazon launched 722 new services, or nearly 40% annual rate for innovations.
“This is actually a good kind of problem because it makes things fun for both the customers and AWS to develop new things we can do together,” Vogels said.
Micro, small and medium enterprises have the chance to try the service, as the company gives a one year, free trial for any company, with any service of its choice. It would not be as lucrative too once they decide to avail, as it is one a “pay as you use” setup. As Vogels put it, “Filipinos love everything by the slice.”
Elyssa Christine Lopez is entrepreneur.com.ph's editorial assistant/writer. Follow her on Twitter @elyssalopz.