Cloud services soar in ASEAN as pandemic pushes work, learning online: Amazon Web Services

Art Fuentes, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 28 2020 04:23 PM | Updated as of Sep 01 2020 08:37 AM

MANILA - Cloud computing services saw a “spike” in demand in recent months as the COVID-19 pandemic pushed companies, educational institutions and other organizations to move their activities online, an official of Amazon Web Services (AWS) said on Thursday. 

Cloud computing allows organizations to outsource their data storage, management, and processing needs to a remote network of servers, instead of maintaining their own local servers and MIS departments. 

As the pandemic and the resulting quarantines severely restricted peoples’ movements, many organizations had no choice but to move their activities online and allow employees to work from home, said Conor McNamara, AWS managing director for ASEAN. 

Cloud services soar in ASEAN as pandemic pushes work, learning online: Amazon Web Services 1
Conor McNamara, Amazon Web Services managing director of ASEAN

Businesses, schools and other organizations that previously did not have their systems online also had to quickly go digital, and cloud computing was the fastest and easiest option, McNamara added.

“We have definitely seen a spike in usage of our remote working offerings,” McNamara said. 

AWS is one of the three biggest cloud computing services providers in the world, along with Microsoft and Google. Cloud computing vendors say the service provides significant cost-savings to organizations as well as enhanced security for their data. 

In the Philippines, McNamara said they helped TaskUs, a BPO based in the country, set up a work-from-home system when the lockdowns were imposed. 

“Obviously, when the pandemic kicked in they had to move to remote working really really quickly,” McNamara said. 

AWS enabled thousands of TaskUs agents to work from home and helped 1,000 of the BPO’s agents in Manila and 3,500 agents in the US with short-term app deployment, McNamara said. He said they helped TaskUs do this within just 48 hours. 

Many rural banks in the Philippines also needed to quickly go digital when the lockdowns were imposed, McNamara said.

He said that many rural banks operate on outdated on-premises core banking systems and lack ATMs, debit cards and mobile banking services. They also face connectivity issues which lead to slow processing times.

PearlPay, a fintech firm that uses the AWS platform, has been helping rural banks go digital, McNamara said. Amid the pandemic, PearlPay saw a huge demand for its services.

“PearlPay is looking to migrate over 200 core banking systems to its platform and since the onslaught of COVID-19 has almost doubled its workforce,” McNamara said. 

AWS is also partnering with Globe Telecom to bring its cloud computing services to Philippine enterprises, McNamara said. 
Elsewhere in Southeast Asia, AWS also helped edtech or educational technology firms that are assisting schools that look to go digital. AWS said it also saw higher demand for cloud computing from telemedicine firms.