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Community Blog Seeding Digital Transformation in Southeast Asia – Part 4: The Strategy

Seeding Digital Transformation in Southeast Asia – Part 4: The Strategy

Part 4 of this 8-part series continues exploring the digital transformation strategy of Buttercup Spices.

By Shantanu Kaushik

In Part 3, we introduced Buttercup Spices, a fictional spice company based in Southeast Asia. They started their digital transformation journey by inducing a cultural shift into their organization, training current staff, and hiring new IT staff.

The Journey Continues (Continued from Part 3)

1.  Alibaba Cloud advised the Buttercup Spices DX Team to implement the PolarDB solution and the highly elastic and scalable ECS service. The Buttercup Spices DX Team started with two data centers, one in India (Mumbai) and one in Mainland China (Beijing.)

The DX Team was concerned about redundancy with the Indian data center, as there is no alternate data center in India. Alibaba Cloud assured Buttercup Spices that their Mumbai data center has two availability zones that can implement effective disaster recovery scenarios. Alternatively, there are multiple redundancies with data centers in Mainland China.

After the advice from the experts at Alibaba Cloud, Buttercup Spices migrated the existing MySQL database and aligned it with a frontend centralized data and ERP system from the Alibaba Cloud marketplace. Afterward, Buttercup Spices considered customizing according to their practices.

2.  Alibaba Cloud advised the DX Team to start the migration procedure side-by-side and transfer data to the cloud using the Cloud Migration Service. It enabled seamless database migration from all across Buttercup Spices establishments to a centralized database on the cloud.

3.  The Buttercup Spices DX Team also kept some services in-house. They used their on-premise data center to set up a hybrid cloud. Their strategy enabled Buttercup Spices to continue the same operations they used in the satellite offices, which enabled them to yield profits from their core business practice influenced by their core business values.

4.  Alibaba Cloud presented Buttercup Spices with the Hybrid Cloud solution that uses VPC and Express Connect for flawless communication.

5.  The DX Team proposed another solution in their strategy that would enable a core team at the Buttercup Spices headquarters to closely monitor and observe the total cloud solution for better management and lower O&M costs.

6.  The DX Team also proposed setting up a direct sales unit online that would enable them to cash in on the B2B and B2C customer base at the same time. Alibaba Cloud advised them to use the Alibaba.com marketplace, as it is among the biggest online B2B marketplaces available today.

7.  Alibaba Cloud also provided Buttercup Spices with a platform to host their online services, including applications and websites.

8.  The DX Team also gave recommendations for online security and management of the private cloud. Alibaba Cloud offered security solutions to ward DDoS attacks and other intrusions. We will discuss this later in the series.

9.  Furthermore, the DX Team asked for the current data assessment using Big Data technology to strategize the future of Buttercup Spices.

10.  Buttercup Spices’ top-level administration directed the DX Team. They required automation to amplify the production and supply of their spices. The DX Team implemented IoT solutions to enable and achieve automation.

The DX Team created a strategy that encompasses the following:

  • Personnel Training to adopt newer technology stacks and knowledge transfer to maintain current business value
  • Using Alibaba Cloud as their cloud and digital transformation partner because of their highly integrated environment and host of services that support and secure hybrid cloud connectivity, including their on-premise data center
  • Starting with an online portal for Business to Business and Business to Consumer segment of sales
  • Using the Alibaba marketplace for more B2B operations
  • Application subsets hosted with PolarDB and Alibaba Cloud ECS to enable centralized ERP and data management, covering procurement, operations, management, sales, supply chain, and customer service
  • Using the Alibaba Cloud Cloud Migration Center to migrate current databases and applications
  • Setting up, leveraging, and securing IAM tools from Alibaba Cloud for secure execution of daily operations
  • Using IoT and RFID later in the transformation cycle to increase productivity and asset management
  • The DX Team also proposed risk management solutions and solutions to monitor and observe the cloud practice for better troubleshooting and situational awareness associated with their services.

The DX Team presented this strategy to the administration at Buttercup Spices. They were given the go-ahead to start implementing the said strategy in phases. The DX Team split the digital transformation practice into three phases.

Phase 1

This phase constituted hiring the IT staff, their knowledge transfer to appraise them of the core business values, and the goals of the organization. Phase 1 includes training the current staff to make them comfortable with newer tools and practices associated with the cloud and applications.

Phase 2

This phase included the procurement of Alibaba Cloud services and setting up SLAs to facilitate continued service and operations. The Alibaba Cloud Solutions Manager provided Buttercup Spices with a full-service catalog, applicable solutions customized for their scenario, the service details, and the cost-effective billing methodology of Alibaba Cloud.

These solutions included:

Phase 3

After setting up services online and enabling a connection with the on-premise data center using Alibaba Cloud VPC, they migrated data and applications to the cloud with a centralized ERP and management suite that works on a cloud-native architecture. This will enable them to phase out the monolithic applications and shift completely to the cloud-native solution.

The next phase, the upgradation phase, will require advanced tools and practices, such as IoT, RFID, and machine learning and AI, to accelerate their digital transformation cycle.

Upcoming Articles

  1. Seeding Digital Transformation in Southeast Asia – Part 5: Application Migration
  2. Seeding Digital Transformation in Southeast Asia – Part 6: Resource Planning and Networking
  3. Seeding Digital Transformation in Southeast Asia – Part 7: Building a Smarter Supply Chain
  4. Seeding Digital Transformation in Southeast Asia – Part 8: Introducing AI for Better Workflow
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