Airtel Set To Ink Strategic Alliance With Amazon Web Services To Tap SMB Opportunity

CIOReviewIndia Team | Wednesday, 05 August 2020, 05:49 IST

Cloud wing of retail merchant headers Amazon’s Amazon Web Services and Bharti Airtel ready to sign a strategic alliance for entering into the small and medium businesses (SMBs), utilizing public cloud services of India.

The duo will compete for a share of rising public cloud market of India that expects to reach $8 billion by 2023 with Reliance Jio Infocomm-Microsoft partnership.

An anonymous source said, “As for Bharti Airtel and AWS, it’s the preliminary stage, we expect the collaboration to rise in the future. Airtel will prove to be a beneficial channel for AWS in venturing to startups and SMBs.” The declaration of the tie-up is probably be done today.

Regarding the partnership, Bharti Airtel is ready to sell AWS products and jab them with a public cloud offering. Scope is residing for products that are linked to artificial intelligence and Edge in SMBs.

Pitching its custom via Microsoft partnership, which is tied with JioFiber service, the duo signed a treaty last year in August for entering into the public cloud services, noticeably from SMBs.

Being the largest cloud market in the Asia Pacific region, India is only behind Australia and Japan as per reports of Boston Consulting Group (BCG). It is expected that the public cloud market in India will reach $8 billion mark by 2023 from the existing mark of $2.6 billion in 2018. The domination from Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud Platform is experienced by India’s public cloud market.

The Amazon deal will let Bharti Airtel utilize public, private, and hybrid clouds. The deal will include collaborations of Internet of Things domain, which is a Bharti Airtel field and it will be driving enterprise business.

Bharti Airtel stated that being the leader of India’s enterprise connectivity division, it serves 2,500+ large scale businesses and more than one million SMBs.

According to analysts, India is seeing an increase in secure data centres and cloud services demand with businesses holding onto digital transformation and consumer demand for digital services is rising.

CEO and Chief Analyst of Greyhound Research, Sanchit Vir Gogia said, “AWS and Airtel’s partnership will prove to be a commitment for the enterprise business in India, especially SMBs, which are prime customers Airtel. While similar partnerships were attempted previously, which were not fully successful because of the not tight coupling among the partners.”

He further stated, “For making this successful, AWS and Bharti Airtel need to be proficient in sales, support, training and invoicing for making customers belief and stay assured of sales process and after-sales support.”

Startups and SMBs are leveraging the public cloud opportunity for giving a boost to IT operations and are perceived as early-stage adopters and the largest drivers of public cloud computing solutions. SMBs have typical nature of operating without making IT department, and generally take public cloud services for enabling testing of new applications or processes, not making hosting expenses for an in-office IT infrastructure.

In recent days, Bharti Airtel signed a deal for selling a quarter of its stake in data centre unit Nxtra Data for an amount of $235 million to Carlyle. This amount in Indian currency is around Rs. 1,800 crore. Bharti Airtel said that it will utilize the proceeds for strengthening its data centre and cloud infrastructure due to the increasing demand for locally and safely storing information.

Providing data centre, Nxtra Data, helping cloud and managed services in top Indian and global enterprises, startups, SMEs, and governments, it is operating 10 large data centres alongside 120+ Edge data centres that are placed strategically in India.

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