Alibaba spends $30M to help keep its SME customers afloat

Alibaba Cloud Intelligence late last week launched a Global SME Enablement Program aimed at supplying and equipping small and medium enterprises (SMEs) with over US$30 million worth of technological relief in the form of cloud-first solutions. 

The aim of the sum is to help smaller companies maintain business continuity as the effects of the coronavirus pandemic continue to be felt around the world.

Under the Global SME Enablement Program, from now until June 22, new and existing Alibaba Cloud can apply to start using a portfolio of proven Alibaba Cloud solutions. 

The portfolio comprises 12 core solutions, including Elastic Compute Service that enhances cloud apps with low latency, and Object Storage Service (OSS) which extends encryption for cloud-based data storage and backups.

“COVID-19 has created unprecedented challenges and vulnerabilities to the global economy and especially to SMEs, who are often faced with financial constraints and limited access to technological support,” said Selina Yuan, President of International Business for Alibaba Cloud Intelligence.

Alibaba announced the SME enablement program at its Digital Cloud Day, where Alibaba’s applied use of cloud computing, data analytics, and artificial intelligence (AI) were all on display. 

Additionally, Yuan further revealed that Alibaba Cloud intends to help SMEs combat the effects of the pandemic by reaching out to members of SME associations, and helping meet their technological needs.

“Since its inception, Alibaba Cloud has always been committed to helping businesses of all sizes and making it easy to do business anywhere,” said Yuan. 

“The Alibaba Cloud Global SME Enablement Program aims to provide much needed and timely relief to SMEs so they can rapidly respond to the current crisis while speeding up their digital transformation and emerging from the current pandemic stronger and more resilient.”

A $28 billion pledge to cloud computing

The cloud services and data intelligence arm of Chinese conglomerate Alibaba Group last week pledged to invest US$28 billion into its cloud infrastructure over the next three years.

“The pandemic has posed additional stress on the overall economy across sectors, but it also steers us to put more focus on the digital economy,” Alibaba Cloud Intelligence president, Jeff Zhang, said last week.

The cloud investment will be utilized to build the “next generation of data centers” and doubled down on its previously-stated commitments of providing advanced cloud solutions to its international stable of clients, as well as aiming to accelerate their digital transformation following the fallout from the COVID-19.

“By increasing our investment on cloud infrastructure and fundamental technologies, we hope to continue providing world-class, trusted computing resources to help businesses speed up the recovery process, and offer cloud-based intelligent solutions to support their digital transformation in the post-pandemic world,” Zhang continued.

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