As Back End News turns 4 this month, we are featuring the first company that put its trust in us just a few months after our launch. We will remain grateful to Alibaba Cloud and Ardent Communications for believing in a website whose primary goal is to provide the most important technology information that would help decision-makers in their journey to digital transformation and acceleration.
Back End News trains its leadership spotlight on Mr. Allen Guo, country head of the Philippines, Alibaba Cloud. The company opened its first data center in the country amid the COVID-19 pandemic and it continues to expand its cloud solutions and services to organizations across all industries.
With a deep understanding of the information and communications technology (ICT) landscape spanning over 10 years, Allen Guo, country head of the Philippines, Alibaba Cloud, effectively guides companies in their digital transformation and acceleration amid a global health crisis.
A digital native through and through, Guo, a graduate of the China University of Petroleum, began his career at Alibaba Cloud in 2016. He started in various roles in the cloud solutions company before being named as country head in the Philippines. In 2010, prior to joining Alibaba Cloud and right after he graduated from college, Guo worked in the telecommunication industry working in Southeast Asia and eventually got to learn about the market in China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines.
“I was interested in technology since my childhood,” Guo said. “I believe that through the provision of our technologies, solutions, and domain expertise via the cloud, we can facilitate the digital transformation of many different industries across the world.”
Mobility restrictions throughout the pandemic, accelerated the digital adoption of organizations across all industries and of all sizes. This gave Guo a general view of the needs of companies to ensure business continuity.
“Businesses have realized the urgency for an accelerated digital transformation in order to keep the operations going and continuity during the pandemic,” Guo said. “Cloud technology and fintech innovative products are key to ensuring that the supply of services can continue to meet the industry’s growing demand.”
Guo also emphasized the importance of being agile in addressing the needs of the time to thrive in the ever-changing and fast-paced world of IT.
“For Alibaba Cloud, we saw how the country pivoted toward digital and cloud infrastructures and in 2021, we launched our first data center on the ground — which enables us to offer a comprehensive suite of cloud products and services, ranging from elastic computing, database service, networking, storage, security, and middleware, to solutions that address vertical industry challenges,” he said.
When he finds time, Guo is into reading and swimming. His readings covers a wide range of topics: history, economy, digitalization and biography. But at present, Guo buries his nose into learning more about the digital industry as “it is developing rapidly, and regular reading enables me to keep pace with the latest developments and trends in the industry.”
- How do you describe yourself as a leader?
A trusted partner at work and a trusted friend in life.
- What best practices have you initiated to create a culture of excellence in your current venture and what are the results?
We have a strong local team speaking to our clients daily to understand their actual needs and together come up with customized solutions. What we value most in our team is responsibility, strong execution, self-motivation, being trustworthy to team members, and always helping each other when needed.
We have witnessed fast business growth thanks to the team’s efforts.
- What projects have you initiated that allowed the company to reach its business objectives?
As a trusted cloud service provider and partner in the Philippines, Alibaba Cloud is committed to enabling local enterprises to adapt and thrive in the ever-growing digital landscape. Among the projects we initiated in alignment with this include setting the aim to help 5,000 businesses in the Philippines on their digitalization by end-2023.
Additionally, we also pioneered a project that aims to train 50,000 and certify at least 10,000 IT professionals by 2023 to nurture the local Information and communications techno (ICT) labor forces with our technological expertise and experience as a leading company in cloud-based technology, artificial intelligence and data analytics.
Also, to encourage more enterprises to realize the benefits from the latest cloud and analytics intelligence technologies, we have extensively trained our local workforce in the Philippines to support specific needs of clients and provide tailored solutions to address customer pain points or any challenges during digital migrations.
Initiatives such as these allow us at Alibaba Cloud to continue to grow and strengthen our digital ecosystem in the Philippines by way of empowering local partners with proven technology and innovation.
- How do you feel about being part of the industry that proved to be the most resilient during the pandemic?
We are proud to be a company that has been able to support Filipino businesses, enterprises, and professionals navigate through the trying time of the pandemic. Coming out of the challenges brought about by this global phenomenon, we remain committed to help Filipino enterprises’ digitalization with Alibaba Cloud’s leading technologies and services.
- Describe actions that you, as a leader, have taken to ensure business continuity at the onset of the pandemic? What are the results?
We are grateful to say that our business remained resilient amid the challenges imposed by the pandemic since more companies turned to cloud solutions to accelerate their digital transformation journey. As more and more companies saw cloud solutions and services as a platform for them to deliver new products and services seamlessly, the strategy we implemented is to be present for this demand and deliver quality services to Filipino businesses in need of it.
Alibaba Cloud continuously implemented projects that aim to empower Filipino enterprises with our leading cloud service infrastructure, advanced analytics tools, cutting-edge cloud solutions and thriving ecosystem — significantly lowering cloud adoption barriers and ensuring inclusive access.
As a result, we saw cloud adoption shoot up at astounding rates. In fact, we believe we are just at the beginning of the cloud and digital intelligence era. By providing our technologies, solutions and domain expertise via cloud to enable the digital transformation of different industries, we believe more and more businesses will embrace and adopt cloud for their core businesses in the next five years.
- How do you intend to steer your ventures in the new business landscape? Do you have a personal mission for the company and for the country, as well?
Alibaba Cloud aims to be a trusted cloud service provider in the Philippines, enabling local enterprises to adapt and thrive in the new normal by helping them to capture and capitalize on growth opportunities presented by digital transformation.
We are committed to helping the digitalization of Filipino enterprises from various industries with Alibaba Cloud’s leading services and technologies. We will also continue to grow and strengthen our digital ecosystem in the Philippines to empower local partners with proven technology and innovation.
With our data center established in the Philippines, Filipino businesses can now advance their cloud migrations and enjoy lower latency at a lower cost. Financial services institutions and public sector organizations will also have access to Alibaba Cloud’s high-performance cloud services while keeping their data within the country. As the only global cloud service provider with a data center on the ground, we believe we are well equipped to serve the strong customer demands for digital transformation in the Philippines.
- In your role, what are your goals and how do you plan to achieve them?
The rapid adoption of digital technologies is key to the recovery of the local business sector and the Philippine economy as a whole during the pandemic. More businesses in the country are realizing how cloud technologies can provide transformative solutions and help them save money, while ensuring greater efficiency and flexibility to meet the ever-changing demands of customers.
Alibaba Cloud aims to be a trusted cloud service provider and partner in the Philippines, enabling local enterprises to adapt and thrive in the new normal by helping them to capture and capitalize on growth opportunities presented by digital transformation. In line with this, we aim to help 5,000 businesses in the Philippines on their digitalization by end-2023.
We are also set to train 50,000 and certify at least 10,000 IT professionals by 2023 to nurture the local Information and communications techno (ICT) labor forces with our technological expertise and experience as a leading company in cloud-based technology, artificial intelligence and data analytics.
We will continue to grow and strengthen our digital ecosystem in the Philippines to empower local partners with proven technology and innovation.
To encourage more enterprises to realize the benefits from the latest cloud and analytics intelligence technologies, we have been working on several key initiatives;
- Increase our infrastructure investment by setting up the first data center
- Introduce more advanced products and solutions such as security, database and fintech solutions
- Working with more partners in our ecosystem so we can offer more tailored services to address customers pain points
- Extensively train our local workforce in the Philippines to support specific needs of clients and provide tailored solutions to address customer pain points or any challenges during digital migrations.
- What do you do for continuing self-improvement as a person and as a leader?
In the Philippines I have lots of opportunities to talk with young people, business owners, partners and customers, from which I learned a lot on how to embrace and be ready for the digitalization wave in the Philippines and I would like continue to do so.
I think the Philippine digital economy growth potential is enormous and local SMEs and enterprises are well-positioned to take advantage of these growth opportunities. We are committed to empower Philippines enterprises and SMEs to thrive through cloud and digital intelligence technologies.
Established in 2009, Alibaba Cloud is the digital technology and intelligence backbone of Alibaba Group. It offers a complete suite of cloud services to customers worldwide, including elastic computing, database, storage, network virtualization services, large-scale computing, security, management and application services, big data analytics, a machine learning platform and IoT services. Alibaba Cloud is China’s leading provider of public cloud services by revenue in 2019, including PaaS and IaaS services, according to IDC.