Dr. Ye Huang, Head of Solution Architects for Alibaba Cloud, DACH and CEE Region, at Alibaba, addressed CloudFest 2019 on how the Alibaba Group supersized through marketing, partnerships, and savvy multi-cloud deployment; becoming the largest cloud provider in China.
Video Dr. Ye Huang
Connecting To Digital China
About Dr. Ye Huang
The case study: Alibaba 11.11, which is the largest “sales festival” for Alibaba Group – and the largest sales event in the world. Devised to drive shoppers to Alibaba’s Tmall online shopping platform, 11.11 involved rebranding of an existing Hallmark holiday called Singles’ Day, observed on November 11, into something like the American shopping stampede Black Friday. It was so successful that it pushed Alibaba’s infrastructure into the red! 11.11 also pushed physical logistics to their limits as all those packages had to be delivered across a massive country.
Last year’s event, said Huang, made $32 billion in 24 hours. That’s just over $22.2 million per minute. One is reminded of the phrase “A license to print money.” However, this is money that flowed across the Tmall platform, he clarified, not money that went entirely into Alibaba’s coffers.
You Cannot Escape 11.11
11.11 became a must-do event for marketers, much like how no major brand ignores the Super Bowl. It was no longer about China’s singles; not by a long shot! Alibaba has effectively blurred the line between entertainment and shopping, developing new customer-engagement tools along the way to change the digital retail experience. Now the entire Alibaba ecosystem gets behind 11.11… and it has to, in order to prevent a service-delivery meltdown. Software, infrastructure, UX and CX insights: they all converge to meet the customers where they are—on mobile.
By definition, that means a comprehensive hyperscale cloud strategy. Alibaba is also a hyperscale Cloud provider, one of the six largest in the world, and number one in China. The goal, said Huang, is to build the global industrial Cloud platform. At the moment, though, he said, “Because China is our home market, we have better infrastructure available there.” Huang showed, in an understated way, how hyperscaling can generate its own momentum for success, though a lot of planning is required to manage some of those big wins.