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Alibaba Cloud wants to revitalise the retail sector in Asia Pacific

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By Shawn Lim | Reporter, Asia Pacific

August 16, 2018 | 5 min read

Alibaba Cloud has launched a series of products which aims to help the digital transformation efforts of the retail industry in Asia Pacific.

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Vivian Balakrishnan, the Singapore minister for foreign affairs, speaking at Alibaba Cloud Summit yesterday.

To encourage more retailers to adopt an omnichannel approach, which is under the Alibaba’s New Retail concept, products like Data Lake Analytics, Machine Learning Platform for AI (PAI), IoT Platform, Anti-Bot Service, Hybrid Backup Recovery, Dedicated Host, Smart Access Gateway, Apsara Stack and Elasticsearch were launched at its Singapore summit on August 15.

The cloud computing arm of Alibaba Group hopes these products will meet the needs of the retail market in APAC as e-commerce is witnessing considerable growth and is keen to offer a mature ecosystem to support the regional retail sector.

It claims that using these products will help merchants deploy their resources more effectively and gain deeper consumer insights. For consumers, it wants to provide better protection against fraud and an improved shopping experience.

“Asia Pacific is a unique market, and as a global cloud services provider with an Asian origin, we are committed to leverage our knowledge and experience to build a sustainable regional ecosystem and enrich our offerings to meet the needs of our customers in this digital age,” said Derek Wang, chief solution architect at Alibaba Cloud International.

“This new suite of offering includes products that are highly efficient, cost effective, and some of them are the first of their kind in the industry.”

Alibaba Cloud's nine new products:

- Apsara Stack

Apsara Stack enables retail clients to develop an integrated data and business middle platform that integrates multiple data sources such as CRM and supply chain systems. It also supports the streamlined cross-functional business processes such as transactions, logistics and marketing.

- Smart Access Gateway

Smart Access Gateway helps retailers to connect their data from different shops to one cloud platform, which enable them to manage it more effectively especially during data surge scenarios such as in store promotions.

- Elasticsearch

Elasticsearch system will be able to remind retailers to restock popular products timely, and provide information such as the quantity of stock and the nearest location to find them.

- Hybrid Backup Recovery and Dedicated Host

Retailer data are protected in a secured environment of the Dedicated Host while Hybrid Backup Recovery will prevent data loss from accidents or attacks.

- Anti-Bot Service

Anti-Bot Service protects against crawlers that take up available commercial resources online, such as airline tickets and hotel rooms that need to be reserved via vendors’ website.

- Data Lake Analytics

Retailers can leverage Data Lake Analytics to analyse historical inventory and sales data, and turn the data into consumable insights.

- Machine Learning Platform for AI (PAI)

With PAI, retailer will be able to recommend the most suitable products and services to customers based on their pre-set preference.

- IoT Platform

The IoT platform links all the software and hardware in the shop to create a smooth and enjoyable shopping experience for the consumers.

At the same event, the company also announced a partnership with the National University of Singapore (NUS) to support Singapore’s Smart Nation initiative and technology research under the innovation incubator programme.

The project aims to equip young science and technology talents with knowledge from Alibaba Cloud Academy, and to give startups opportunities to present their ideas to venture capitalists around the world.

It also launched the ASEAN Partner Alliance Programme, which wants to develop a sustainable ecosystem to empower more technology vendors, service providers, system integrators, ISVs and start-ups to accelerate their digital transformation initiatives.

The program aims to recruit 150 solution partners and to train 600 sales and technology personnel in the next 12 months to fuel the growth of the ecosystem.

Technology Ecommerce Retail

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Alibaba

Alibaba Group Holding Limited is a Chinese multinational e-commerce, retail, Internet, AI and technology conglomerate founded in 1999.

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