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Huawei Cloud SA targets at least 10% market share by year-end

Jay Zhou, MD of Huawei Cloud South Africa.
Jay Zhou, MD of Huawei Cloud South Africa.

Huawei Cloud South Africa wants to secure at least 10% share of the country’s cloud market by year-end.

Managing Director Jay Zhou said South Africa is its most important market in Africa and it will use its local operations (including the company’s first datacentre launched at the beginning of 2019) to meet requirements of the Southern Africa market.

The intention is to reduce latency and establish one network in the region.

“We want to reduce the latency between different continents and different countries. So we want people in Nigeria or in Zambia or in Kenya to enjoy the service supplied by South Africa,” said Zhou. “That is why we have built many different pop sites. The target is under 100 milliseconds, but in South Africa it is much less than that.”

Zhou said the company will also leverage ‘Everything-as-a-Service’, a two-pronged strategy based on Technical-as-a-Service (the latest technologies including AI and big data) and through ongoing R&D, make these available to the commercial market.

The second prong is Experience-as-a- Service (the company’s technology used within key markets like Cloud, Fintech, CCTV, AI-based call centre environments).

According to Zhou a core component of the company’s strategy is to rely upon its own technical capability and market experience. “We want to use our experience (and make it) available on cloud … for example our database. Currently we use Oracle’s database, but in the future we will change it to Huawei’s own database, developed by ourselves.”

Another aspect of the strategy is to tap into solution partners’ experience in vertical markets and have them integrate their solutions into Huawei’s portfolio.

Currently the company does business through one hundred resellers locally, but Zhou intends to double that number. He added that Huawei Cloud will continue to tap into- and work with its other business units, including Carrier, Consumer and Enterprise.

Market competition

Zhou said the South African market is very competitive, with AWS and Azure having set up operations, and could see the likes of Google and Alibaba Cloud establish datacentres. This will impact Huawei’s business.

“I think so,” said Zhou, “If there are more competitors because the market is basically there, you cannot expect the market space to double from today until next year … so if there are more players, it means the cake is shared between more people.”

But Zhou also pointed out that competition has not suddenly emerged, it has been around for a long time. Huawei’s game-plan is to continue to do what it does, well.

AWS and Azure have already established themselves in the market and whether or not other competitors set up shop, Zhou is confident that Huawei will secure market share and increase it from its current level of less than 10%.

“My target is maybe (by) the end of this year we can make it more than 10%. The difficult thing is when you want to increase market share from maybe 3%, to 5% then to 10% … after you are above 10%, actually you can survive in this market. This year is very important to us, the window of opportunity is not so long. If we waste these two key years, maybe later if we want to catch up, it will be more difficult. Competitors are locking the door and (want to) lock-in the different vertical industries. This is why we should catch up now and have more vertical partners work with us.”

Zhou added that the ecosystem is key to growth and requires attention to both solution partners and reseller partners.

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