Microsoft, NTT team up to offer hybrid cloud solution in Hong Kong

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 23 August, 2016, 8:25pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 23 August, 2016, 10:55pm

Microsoft Hong Kong and Japanese telecommunication company NTT are partnering to offer a hybrid cloud solution to companies in Hong Kong, as the pace for cloud adoption among multinational corporations (MNCs) in the city picks up.

The partnership will leverage Microsoft’s Azure public cloud, NTT’s information and communications technology infrastructure and NTT’s private cloud, allowing Hong Kong businesses to adopt a hybrid solution combining both public and private clouds to customise the storage of data.

A public cloud is based on the standard cloud computing model, where a service provider such as Microsoft or Dropbox makes storage available to the general public over the internet either for free or on a pay per use basis. On the other hand, a private cloud usually has proprietary architecture and is dedicated to a single organisation.

“In Hong Kong, hybrid cloud is becoming the new normal,” said Hideaki Ozaki, president and chief executive of NTT’s East Asia headquarters NTT Com Asia. “Our ultimate goal is to widen the adoption of cloud solutions as much as possible.”

Although Hong Kong was not among the earliest adopters of cloud services, multinational companies in the city are quickly shifting towards the cloud and driving demand for hybrid cloud services, according to Taylor Man, chief technology officer for NTT Com Asia.

“If you look at the business environment in Hong Kong compared to the countries around it, Hong Kong has a bigger percentage of MNCs ... a lot of the demand for cloud is not driven by local companies, but by the MNCs which have companies in the region and globally,” Man said.

“Hong Kong might have started a little bit later [compared to the rest of the world in cloud adoption], but all the statistics show thatit is growing pretty quickly,” Man added.

The result of the NTT-Microsoft partnership will be the “Hybrid Cloud Resilience Solution”, allowing companies to store sensitive data on a private cloud while running applications on the public cloud, thereby freeing up businesses from having to spend money on building their own back-up and storage solutions.

While certain sectors in Hong Kong, such as retail, manufacturing and the service sector have been receptive to cloud adoption, the financial and public sector still requires some time before cloud can be adopted seamlessly into their operations, according to Microsoft Hong Kong general manager Horace Chow.

“Hong Kong is being perceived as very regulated for the last 10 to 20 years, particularly in the finance and public sector, so cloud is basically a new venture for them,” Chow said. “We have to work with the government to educate... and do classification of the cloud as well as define the data categories [for storage on the cloud].”

“Some industries like finance and the public sector will take a bit of time, but retail, manufacturing and services can move faster because there is less impact for them in cloud adoption,” Chow said.