Alibaba Cloud is set to magic up a host of UK partners as it moves to cement its presence in Europe.
Speaking at the launch of its two London-based datacentres, Yeming Wang, general manager of Alibaba Cloud for EMEA, told press that the UK enchanted the Asian web behemoth with its attitude to the public cloud.
"The UK is the biggest cloud market in Europe and it's an early adopter of cloud," he said.
"The region is really good regarding the market share; the adoption and its mind set are quite open, especially in the services and research areas."
The UK expansion - which was exclusively revealed by CRN last month - adds to the EMEA hubs that Alibaba has already established in Frankfurt and Dubai, and Wang said that the London datacentres were already up and running.
The European boss confirmed that the company has developed local partners, but is on the hunt for more.
"The business scenario will be localised," he said. "In the UK, we want to join our Chinese experience and technology with the know-how of local partners and then we jointly go to market.
"We are working on defining a lot of localised partner programmes to help them find their position with Alibaba, which is different from their partnerships with other cloud service providers. It's very promising and that is why the company is happy to put the datacentre here."
IDC recently ranked Alibaba Cloud as the largest provider of public cloud services in its native China, and in Q1 it overtook IBM as the world's fourth-largest public cloud provider, according to Synergy Research.
The London datacentres' offerings include elastic computing, storage, database, network, application services and big data analytics.
"We are talking more about how to use our technical and operational experience in big data management to deliver this practice to companies that want to get value out of their big data technology," he said.
"It is not only about as-a-service, platform-as-a-service (PaaS) or software-as-a-service (SaaS) anymore.
"We think along the lines of vertical business-as-a-service because Alibaba is specialised in retail and fintech, so we believe that we should position ourselves as a vertical expert - where we combine the likes of SaaS and PaaS with the business aspect."
The Silk Road Drive
Jack Ma, chairman of the larger Alibaba Group, last month announced that the company could no longer follow through with its promise of creating one million jobs in the US, due to the ongoing trade war between the two countries.
Instead, he said that the company would focus its efforts on the "Silk Road" trade route, which includes the EMEA region, reported Reuters.
Alibaba will use its UK hub to focus on winning business in the retail and financial sectors, according to Wang, who added that Europe is regarded as the "most strategic" market for the Chinese internet behemoth.
"I think other cloud service providers have attack lines, for example Google Cloud is machine learning and artificial intelligence, Microsoft Azure is Microsoft Office-based and Amazon Web Service is easy-to-use," he said.
"However, we want to position ourselves as a vertical cloud expert - it's more business driven and something that we have the confidence to do."
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