Software Park Thailand Newsletter (Eng) Vol3/2012


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Software Park Thailand Newsletter (Eng) Vol3/2012

  1. 1. Software Park Thailand’s Flagship on Cloud and Mobile Vol.3/2012 Software Park Thailand’s Flagship on Cloud and Mobile Vol.3/2012
  2. 2. Software Park Thailand Newsletter is produced by Software Park Thailand under the National Scienceand Technology Development Agency, Address: 99/31 Software Park Building, ChaengwattanaRd., Pakkred, Nonthaburi 11120, Thailand. Tel. +662 583 9992 Fax: +662 583 2884; Sharing the Cloud Computing Bonanza Software Park aims to make Thailand a Cloud Outsourcing Center Second story: Thailand Cloud Alliance - Anise Asia Thailand joins world cloud - Cloud Creation aims to lead the field Rapid Growth in Cloud Computing expected in the next few years - TOT pushed cloud computing “High potential” seen in serving SME market Department ramps up cloud assistance for SMEs Preparedness for AEC added to ECIT Program Forth story: MT2: A fresh mobile-development initiative Industry joins hands to push newcomers towards ‘huge’ opportunities ‘Cloud is the present and the future’ Local firms urged to focus immediately on cloud computing Editorial The game is about to change Embracing the cloud Keeping abreast of the helter-skelter change that has lifted us into the digital era has made the last decade a traumatic time for many business people, particularly for small-and medium-sized, vulnerable enterprises. The new era of cloud computing has arrived and, in a sense, the development of business computing and information technology has reached a kind of a plateau where it will sit for some time into the future, allowing us to get to know it better and to feel more comfortable about it at a lower, more controllable cost. Cloud computing is fairly easy to understand if you think of it as transforming all those software application products - everything from accounting programs to customer relationship management and business intelligence - into software application services. Licence fees and all those big up-front investment costs for IT infrastructure are being - at very least - heavily reduced. If, in the future, your business needs any kind of software service, then you call someone up and get it “piped in” - a bit like telephones or electricity. Pay for what you use, when you want to use it. The end result will be much lower investments in IT - as much as 30 per cent lower. Cloud computing has also brought a new paradigm to the software-development business. No longer should our software developers be concentrating on turning out products that run on in-house hardware; for which they charge a licence fee. By developing software for the cloud, they will be aiming to create software-as-a-service - a service you can arrange to access via the Internet and pay for as and when you use it. And this will not be for the domestic market alone, but for the world. Businesses get lower costs, and costs they can control, while our many talented software developers get a world of opportunities. To support the cloud computing in the country, Software Park Thailand's direction this year create four pillars to support ICT industry including promote Cloud Data Centre Group, promote and enable local software as a service, promote cloud usage or promote the use of Cloud Service in SMEs and governments, and develop cloud outsourcing centre in Thailand. Software Park Thailand plans to focus on promoting and supporting the adoption of cloud computing, particularly by those many small- and medium-sized enterprises that can find real benefits from using it. Moreover, we have such faith in Thai talent that we believe we can develop our software industry into a Cloud Outsourcing Center over the next five years, designing and providing software services on world markets. The newsletter provides information that will help business people to understand and begin to use software-as-a-service, so they can forget their worries about an IT infrastructure and concentrate on their business. You will find information about cloud-promoting collaboration from the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation organisation APEC; about software houses that are developing software on cloud; cloud service providers; SMEs that have already adopted cloud computing; and an interview concerning the Department of Industrial Promotion’s cloud initiative. The new era of cloud computing is here, and it’s a whole lot simpler than it might sound. Table of Contents 3 4 8 10 12
  3. 3. Sharing the Cloud Computing Bonanza Software Park aims to make Thailand a Cloud Outsourcing Center Cloud computing has created a new paradigm for Thailand’s software industry, enabling software developers to set aside the old model of creating, packaging and delivering products and move towards providing their software as a service. The new technology is spreading like wildfire around the world, and the new business model of providing software as a service via cloud computing opens up world markets and huge opportunities for local software developers. Consequently, Software Park Thailand will direct its efforts towards supporting the growth of cloud computing in 2012, and over the next five years, will concentrate on making Thailand into a Cloud Outsourcing Center, supporting demand from global markets. Software Park Thailand director Thanachart Noomnonda said cloud computing required that software companies adopt a new business model in which they delivered their software to customers as a service, rather like the delivery of a utility such as electricity, for which the user paid a fee based on their usage. In order to promote and support the use of cloud computing by small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), Software Park Thailand aims to make the country a Cloud Outsourcing Center, he said. It will focus this year on two vital areas: pushing the adoption of cloud computing by both software developers and end users, and encouraging mobility in the use of information technology. The park will urge software developers to create software that can be offered as a service via cloud computing, for which customers can pay per use. This will make these software applications more affordable for businesses, particularly SMEs, which will be able to access software via cloud services and data centers, and will no longer face the need to purchase software packages and pay licence fees. As well as promoting the use of cloud computing and striving to make Thailand a cloud outsourcing center, Software Park Thailand is also planning to set up a “Cloud Thailand” Data Center, to promote local software-as-a-service, Thanachart said. Assco.Prof. Thanachart Nummonda Director, Software Park Thailand 3
  4. 4. Anise Asia Thailand joins world cloud Thailand Cloud Alliance In setting up the Cloud Thailand Data Center, the park will work with business software companies and other software firms, along with software-service and telecom-service providers to form a local group including TOT, Netbay, Cloud Creation, True IDC, Anise Asia and Datapro Computer System. It is hoped the group will create awareness of local software-as-a-service via cloud computing and help to educate businesses, particularly SMEs, who want to use cloud-based information technology to support their operations. The cooperative group will also create matches between businesses and cloud providers to bring the greatest benefit to users. Software Park Thailand will also work with the Association of Thai Professionals in North America and Canada (ATPAC) to promote the use of cloud services among SMEs, thereby helping them to reduce both the cost of investing in information technology and the cost of operational applications such as those applying to mobile devices, tourism and e-commerce. “There are now software companies that develop ‘on premises’ or licensed applications, such as enter- prise resource planning (ERP) or customization to support customers’ individual requirements, as well as pay-per-use software-as-a-service,” Thanachart said. He said the park would also cooperate with the Office of Small and Medium Enterprises Promotion (OSMEP), under the APEC SMEs project, to promote cloud computing for SMEs. "I think that we will see newcomers and new innovations entering the market, and the importance of cloud computing will drive software developers to migrate their skills to developing software based on cloud computing, instead of sticking with the traditional model for the software business," Thanachart said. He pointed out that one of Software Park Thailand’s hopes was to make the country a centre for training human resources and training the trainers, so its reputation would attract outsourcing from global markets and lead to the country becoming a Cloud Computing Outsourcing Center. This process will create an ecosystem which in the future will help to support the free movement of skilled human resources within the Asean Economic Community and generate even greater opportunities for Thai software developers to provide software services via the cloud to the Asean market, he said. “With cloud-service outsourcing, the Thai software industry can become more profitable by positioning itself closer to an upstream global-service supply chain. This can significantly impact Thailand’s economy,” Thanachart said. In a bid to become the leading provider of cloud computing and cloud solutions in Thailand and Southeast Asia under the brand name StarAnise, SSC Solutions has forged an alliance with Joyent’s Global Computer Network (GCN) to set up Anise Asia (Thailand). The new firm plans to provide cloud solutions for small-and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and for large corporations in Southeast Asian markets. Anise Asia (Thailand)’s managing director Suphol Tantisiriwat said the global connections arising from StarAnise’s alliance with Joyent’s GCN had made it one of the world’s largest public cloud services. It offers robust Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Platform-as- a-Service (PaaS) and So ftware-as-a-Service (SaaS) products to support individual customers, supply chains and even entire industries. Customers will be able to choose the services that best fit their needs. SME’s, especially, will benefit from its affordable SaaS applications, which have already been tested and launched on both Joyent’s GCN and StarAnise Cloud. 4
  5. 5. Suphol Tantisiriwat Managing Director of Anise Asia (Thailand) Suphol said that besides selling and implementing Joyent’s SmartDataCenter (SDC) cloud software to customers for private, public and even hybrid clouds, the StarAnise public cloud offers the best performance SmartMachine, running native SmartOS for UNIX- based applications, Linux and Windows VM running Windows Server 2008, both standard and enterprise editions. All come in small, medium, large and extra-large packages. The company expects that medium- to large-sized enterprises may consider buying its SmartDataCenter (SDC) and implementing a comprehensive, high- performance, scalable, secured and cost-efficient private cloud, whereas SME’s may choose to leave their IT operations behind and run their businesses on the StarAnise public cloud. Suphol said that SDC cloud was “way beyond traditional web hosting and virtualization”. Compared to a traditional on-premises IT infrastructure, a private cloud significantly reduces the footprint of the hardware, which automatically leaves more room to grow without having to expand the data center. Its ease-of-use self- provisioning feature also reduces administrative effort, he said. “I think that SaaS totally changes the way some SME’s, or even large enterprises, do business, with a pay-per-use model instead of having to invest in ERP, HR, payroll, e-mail, workflow and many other enterprise applications. On the other hand, it also broadens the market for SaaS developers, by allowing them to offer their software globally through different channels, especially those that run on mobile devices,” Suphol said. He said Anise Asia (Thailand) had also achieved partnerships with hardware vendors, software providers and world-class data centers all over the world, to provide best-in-class services by concentrating solely on cloud software and focusing on expertise in professional services. “Similarly, we look forward to working with local cloud providers to form cloud alliances in Thailand. This would benefit the customers of every cloud provider, because together we could provide a certain degree of cost-effective high availability. Should a disaster strike - natural or man-made - causing damage and outages to their business, their business operations could be recovered on the DR site of one of our allies, and continue to run there until the primary cloud provider’s operations resumed. It would also create affordable prices for IaaS and PaaS to support small-and medium-sized businesses, enabling them to focus on their efficiency and productivity. “We are committed to participating in every possible program and activity, especially the ones that help to bring our ISV’s and SME’s forward using cloud as their underlying infrastructure to help develop their businesses. We also fully support Software Park Thailand’s attempts to form cloud alliances among local cloud providers like True IDC, Cloud Creation, Datapro Computer Systems, TOT and Anise Asia (Thailand), towards an ultimate goal of getting everyone prepared for disasters,” Suphol said. 5
  6. 6. Cloud Growth Visith Wattananukoon Business Consultant of Cloud Creation Cloud Creation aims to lead the field Rapid growth in cloud computing expected in new few years Local firm Cloud Creation, which began operations in mid-2011, is now offering public, private and hybrid cloud services to support all kinds of businesses. The company’s business consultant Visith Wattananukoon said Cloud Creation’s cloud-application software could serve a variety of industries in terms of Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), supporting Windows, AIX and Open Source environments. The firm, a subsidiary of e-business software provider NetBay, is offering “Smart Cloud Solutions” to support both government- and private-sector customers with a choice of total demand, on demand or pay-as-you-go services. It is aiming in particular at organizations in finance and banking and at instant-on enterprises and small-to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) wanting to adopt a pay-as-you-go model. “The cloud service will create benefits for our customers, allowing them to make use of software on demand and providing an affordable price for information-technology infrastructure. They will find it easy to use as well as supplying all the solutions they need in a one-stop service. Our next step will be to support Asean-wide connectivity,” Visith said. He said the company’s services would enable SME customers to use cloud solutions to employ plug-in applications such as e-logistics and e-fulfillment to support their businesses. Moreover, the firm is also cooperating with Software Park Thailand to create a cloud alliance and to help create awareness of cloud services and support their use by local businesses. It is also supporting local software developers by providing a standard software-development platform and a cloud-hosting base. Visith expects that cloud computing will grow rapidly in Thailand over the next few years because 50 per cent of local businesses have already begun to use cloud computing to support their operations and 76 per cent of local business see a move to cloud computing as a matter of priority. “We want to be the leader, with the ability to provide e-business solutions and gateway services to support business-to-business and business- to-government transactions, as well as providing an e-customs gateway. We are also planning to provide an e-business-solution portal hub to various organizations, such as finance, insurance and retail businesses,” Visith said. Thailand Cloud Alliance 6
  7. 7. Jantana Techasirinugool Vice President of Product Development, TOT Public Co., Ltd. TOT pushes cloud computing ‘High potential’ seen in serving SME market TOT Plc is accelerating its delivery of a range of software services via cloud computing, with a view to supporting small-and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). It claims its range of cloud services will help SMEs to save between 30 and 50 per cent of their investment in information-technology costs. TOT will also take part with Software Park Thailand in the creation of a Cloud Data Center Alliance, to promote the use of cloud computing by SMEs. The company’s executive vice president of product development Jantana Techasirinugool said TOT had begun offering cloud-computing services a couple of years ago. This year, the firm will focus on helping the operators of small- and medium-sized business to understand cloud computing and encourage them to adopt recent information-technology innovations in order to save investment costs and drive their businesses. TOT will invest about Bt300 million this year to lay down an information-technology infrastructure that will enable it to provide commercial Internet data-center and cloud-computing services. These will offer applications-as-a-service with a focus on SMEs and multinational companies, including accounting applications, security, inventory, enterprise-resource planning and human-resource applications, she said. "I think we will be able to provide the Internet data- centre service in the third quarter and cloud-computing services by the end of this year. Cloud-computing customers will pay service fees for on-demand services, or a license-fee charge. Moreover, we will develop, and are looking for, new applications to support the government sector," Jantana said. Meanwhile, TOT is planning to launch a Cloud App Store, which will provide software services from more than 10 business partners as well as its internal software developments, such as a back-office software solution, via the Internet. It has already launched three new TOT cloud applications – human-resource management, accounting and enterprise-resource planning – for SMEs and larger businesses. The cloud services are offered in S, M, L and XL packages. Service fees start from Bt3,000 per user per month. TOT also provides accounting software designed to support SMEs such as OTOP businesses with a monthly cost starting at Bt125 per user. “I think the SME market has high potential for growth,” Jantana said. “TOT wants to promote cloud computing to help them leverage their business and enhance their business processes, as well as helping them to reduce investment and operational costs by as much as 30 to 50 per cent. This will enable them to focus solely on their business.” The firm’s cloud-computing venture will cover the three main categories of managing private clouds, public clouds and hybrid clouds, as well as offering cloud applications such as e-mail. Jantana said TOT would join Software Park Thailand in the creation of a Cloud Data Center Alliance, which would be concerned with the provision of software packages and solutions to support SMEs in Thailand, enabling them to increase their productivity and efficiency by using affordable software solutions via cloud computing. Thailand Cloud Alliance 7
  8. 8. Dr.Pasu Loharjun Director General, Department of Industrial Promotion Small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are one of the most important elements of Thailand’s economic development, and the Ministry of Industry’s Department of Industrial Promotion is a major government organization providing assistance and support to SMEs to help them increase their business efficiency, productivity and competitiveness. The department’s director-general Pasu Loharjun said that his department had been providing technology- assistance programs continuously, to encourage SMEs to enhance their productivity. One of its programs with a distinguished reputation is called Enhancing Competitiveness with Information Technology (ECIT). It is one of many programs created by the department to assist SMEs in many aspects of doing business. However, it is the first in which the department offers help for SMEs to enhance their productivity and competitiveness by using cloud computing technology. Pasu said information technology was an important focal area, and the department had provided a wide range of assistance to Thai enterprises in this field. ECIT was introduced four years ago and was aimed specifically at SMEs. “At that time, cloud computing was a new technology for Thailand – especially for a government organization [with a duty] to provide help for industry. We were a pioneer in this area, offering a program to help with this technology,” Pasu said. The initial program will end this year. In the four years since it was launched, about 360 SMEs have taken part in the program. “In total, there are about 2.9 million SMEs in Thailand. About 500,000 of them are in the manufacturing field, and these are our target group. Annually, about 2,000 SMEs join the department’s 30 assistance programs covering a wide range of business areas, such as financial, manufacturing and management. IT is one of those,” Pasu said. Under the ECIT program, the department collaborates with many other organizations, included TOT, which provides the cloud computing infrastructure and facilities, and Software Park Thailand, which considers the provision of software for the project from local software companies. The department considers and chooses SMEs to join the project. Department ramps up cloud assistance for SMEs Preparedness for AEC added to ECIT program 8
  9. 9. “To take part, SMEs have to meet our criteria. First of all, they have to understand what cloud computing is and what they want from this technology. They also have to be ready to deploy this technology in their existing business process. They come with problems in doing business, and we help them to unlock those problems with our program. They are trained and join workshops. They meet software solution providers, then they have to deploy the solutions with the assistance of the software providers. Finally, they have to maintain the system on their own,” Pasu said. He said the first years of the ECIT project were the hardest because participants had to be educated, to make them aware of how cloud computing technology could enhance their business processes. They were aware only of the old model of purchasing software, rather than the pay-per-use model of software-as-a- service. The ECIT program’s cloud computing platform not only provides software solutions, such as enterprise resource planning (ERP), accounting and inventory solutions, but it also offers a software marketplace and training services. Pasu said the department planned to continue with the project by launching a second-phase ECIT program, lasting four years, from 2013 to 2016. In this phase, the program will aim not only to help SMEs enhance their competitiveness, but also to help them prepare for implementation of the Asean Economic Community in 2015. The department expects to use the existing ECIT program to assist a further 150 SMEs before the end of this year. In its next phase, ECIT’s cloud computing platform is expected to help around 1,800 SMEs before the end of 2016. “In the next phase, we will expand the software solutions to include business intelligence and supply- chain management over the cloud computing platform. Therefore, we will also have to increase the number of local software companies who are taking part in the program. At present, there are 14 local software companies involved with ECIT. We will also increase the number of cloud computing platforms, and will welcome any private data center and cloud computing service providers to join us,” Pasu said. He said the beauty of the project was that it helped both local SMEs and local software companies. The business effectiveness of SMEs is enhanced by provision of software tools, and software companies are offered the local market. “This year, and for the next phase of ECIT, we will also expand the project’s scope into provincial centers throughout the country, with the aim of encouraging both SMEs and local software companies in the provinces to join the project,” Pasu said. 9
  10. 10. Dr.Supot Tiarawut Chairman, Mobile Technology for Thailand (MT2) Thailand’s mobile-software development industry is preparing to take advantage of the huge opportunities arising from the boom in mobile computing and rapid growth of mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets. Related organizations from both the private and government sectors have set up a new group called Mobile Technology for Thailand, or MT Squared (MT 2 ). The aim is to create a regional focal-point or hub for mobile-software development in Thailand. The objective of MT 2 is not a simple one: it aims for nothing less than making Thailand the region’s pre-eminent centre for mobile-software development. Its strategy is collaboration. Private companies and government agencies are getting together to push the local development of mobile software and applications and promotion of local mobile-service businesses. It will begin with the training of human resources for the intensely technical industry. Reading like a Who’s Who of Thailand’s information and communications technology industry, MT 2 ’s founding members include Software Park Thailand, the National Electronic and Computer Technology Centre (Nectec), Kasetsart University, King Mongkut's Institute of Technology Lat Krabang, Microsoft (Thailand), Intel Microelectronics (Thailand), Samart Corporation and Spring Telecom. The group’s members will combine their strengths and technologies to build the elements of a mobile- software development center. It will boost available manpower in software development, point to success stories involving commercial mobile-software products and services, and generally build up the local mobile software business. Software Park Thailand’s director Thanachart Numnonda said the mobile-application software market was "very huge", and represented a big opportunity for Thai developers as it went beyond the domestic market. MT2 represents a center for all stakeholders in Thailand's mobile-application development ecosystem, pooling the resources and contributions of all founding organizations. It will provide technological know-how, development facilities, training and assistance to commercial software developers. It will also develop a database of Thai mobile- application developers and provide them with facilities such as technology tools, training and workshops, a mobile application-testing center, business matching and marketing assistance both at home and overseas. The leader of MT 2 , Dr. Supot Tiarawut, who was formerly a director of the Telecommunications Research and Industrial Development Institute (Tridi), said there were many factors supporting local developers and their companies, the most obvious of which was that mobile devices like smart phones and tablets were “increasing like crazy”. MT2: A fresh mobile development initiative Industry joins hands to push newcomers towards ‘huge’ opportunities 10
  11. 11. Putchong Uthayopas The Head of Kasetsart’s Department of Computer Engineering The group hopes to produce 50,000 mobile- software developers in Thailand over the next three years to help the country reach the forefront of the global mobile-software market. It has three main tasks: building the availability of human resources in mobile-software development, building the number of mobile-software entrepreneurs and successfully introducing both developers and entrepreneurs to markets. MT 2 will execute these tasks through its local and global partners. For example, to produce human resources, the group has been working with universities such as Kasetsart, Sripatum and King Mongkut's Institute of Technology Lat Krabang. To build the number of local entrepreneurs, MT 2 is offering business-incubation services to develop newly established software companies. This includes working space from Software Park Thailand, tools and technology from IT vendors who are partners of MT 2 , and business ideas and know-how from MT 2 and its partners. The group is also collaborating with partners to encourage local mobile-software developers to achieve commercial success through contests such as the Samart Innovation Awards (SIA) and the National Electronics and Computer Technology Center’s New Entrepreneur Development program, and international roadshows. Dr. Supot said opportunities for mobile-application development included outsourced projects and Thai brand building, and targeted markets were not limited to Thailand, but covered the rest of the world, so the opportunities were huge. In order to “catch up” with these opportunities, MT2 felt a need to build massive numbers of mobile developers, mobile software and applications. He said the three main potential market areas for Thai mobile-software developers - and therefore the priority - were tourism, healthcare and education or e-learning. Kasetsart launches Mobile Development Center As a founding member of MT 2 , Kasetsart University has opened a Mobile Development Center. The head of Kasetsart’s Department of Computer Engineering, Putchong Uthayopas, said the center provided facilities such as high-speed Internet connection, computers and mobile devices, including both smart phones and tablets across the Android, iOS and Windows Phone platforms. The center also provides training courses in technology and business matters. It is not open solely to Kasetsart’s students who are skilled in mobile- application development, but also welcomes programmers and people who are interested in mobile development, who can use the center as a “factory” to develop mobile apps and then commercialize them. “We expect to be a starter and role model for other universities to set up facilities for their students to develop mobile applications and software,” Putchong said. “We will work with the industry to bring knowledge of technology and business know-how to our students as well,” He said the move was part of MT 2 ’s activities to promote and encourage local mobile-software development and developers. Mobile Monday Thailand connects the dots The chairman of Mobile Monday Thailand, Ville Kulmala, said that as a part of global Mobile Monday, his organization’s role was to encourage and support mobile business and technology development in Thailand by helping the facilitating and coordinating stakeholders in the ecosystem to know one another and to keep in touch. “The things we do are called connecting the dots. We set up events that enable people in the mobile industry, including mobile operators, advertising agencies, developers, designers and so on, to meet in a causal atmosphere to share and exchange their business and technology experiences. We believe that ‘more is more’. The more people you know, the more opportunities and more knowledge and know-how you might gain,” Kulmala said. Opportunities are out there for mobile-related businesses, especially software developers, with web apps and HTML5 opening room for them, he said. Mobile Monday is working with Software Park Thailand and MT2 to promote local mobile-related businesses both within Thailand and abroad. “It is great to see the government paying attention to support and encouragement for mobile development. The things they are doing are similar to ours: connecting the dots,” Kulmala said. 11
  12. 12. Adirak Patitus President , Association of Thai ICT Industry (ATCI) ‘Cloud is the present and the future’ Local firms urged to focus immediately on cloud computing After a few years of phenomenal growth, cloud computing is now playing a vital role in IT business around the world, and global figures show that the growth spiral is not going to slow down any time soon. In Thailand, IT-industry leaders are pointing to events overseas in an effort to impress upon local IT companies that cloud computing is their present and their future. Independent global technology and market-research firm Forrester Research says the global cloud computing market will grow from a value of US$40.7 billion in 2011 to $241 billion in 2020. The US Federal Government’s IT infrastructure is changing at such a rate that its own cloud computing market has entered double-digit growth, and is expected to record a compound annual growth rate of 16 per cent over the five years from 2013 to 2018, to reach an annual value of $10 billion by 2018. As if that’s not big enough, there’s a helter-skelter scramble by private firms to match the changes, or risk missing out on federal contracts. Covering the nearer future, the world cloud- computing market is currently expanding at a rate of 26.2 per cent, with the expectation that it will reach a value of $121.1 billion in 2015. Software-as-a-service (SaaS) is the largest segment of the cloud-computing services market, accounting for 73 per cent of the market’s revenue in 2010. The “wake up” call to Thailand’s IT companies, especially software firms, has taken on a sense of urgency, with industry leaders urging an immediate focus on cloud computing. Association of Thai ICT Industry (ATCI) president Adirak Patitus, who contends that cloud computing is actually a transformation of Internet services, says cloud computing offers windows of opportunity for all kinds of IT enterprises, including hardware vendors and software firms. It should be of particular benefit to software companies with their own software or applications that can be offered via cloud platforms. “Cloud is confirmed as the key technology for IT business, now and for years into the future,” Adirak said. “Local IT and software companies need to be aware of its importance, and ask themselves: how can we add value to our assets or strengths by applying them to the cloud-computing trend?” As well as its own extraordinary growth, cloud computing also assists the growth of related businesses, especially Internet, data center and data recovery center services, he said. “The advent of the cloud-computing era has provided plenty of room for enterprises. It depends on each IT and software business, whether they can find a place somewhere on the cloud computing platform and value chain. If they don’t, they may wither and die,” Adirak said. Thai Software Export Promotion Association (TSEP) president Pirasan Punyagupta said cloud-computing technology provided key tools to help the association’s members expand their business abroad at less cost, but with more efficiency. Normally, he said, expanding into an overseas market meant more investment in resources, including people, time, infrastructure and facilities. Cloud computing technology helps by removing these obstacles and offering the power of expansion with lower investment costs. Currently, four TSEP members are offering cloud versions of their software. They are Comanche, CT Asia, Synature Technology and Touch Technology. “Cloud computing allows us to provide software services to overseas customers seamlessly. We do not need to invest in setting up a local office and there is no need for a lot of travel. We can provide and maintain a high standard of services with lower costs because of cloud computing technology,” Pirasan said. In an effort to encourage more of its members to adopt cloud computing, TSEP is planning to arrange a seminar at which cloud service providers can meet software firms. It is part of an awareness campaign through which TSEP hopes more of its members will see the benefits of cloud and accept its offer of cloud technology resources. “Software firms have to invest more in data centers and Internet hosting, but it is a lower cost than setting up local offices abroad. They then have to create cloud versions of their software solutions. This is the beauty of cloud computing,” Pirasan said. He said his association aimed to encourage 10 more member companies to adopt cloud computing by the end of this year. 12