Trailing off the heels of the Philippine Tech Week, Apper, in partnership with AWS and QBO, held yet another successful webinar by bringing together prominent figures from the world of tech to share with the Philippine startup community the best innovation practices hailing across Asia.
Held last July 1, 2021, the highly anticipated online event featured the country’s tech startup leaders including Don Pansacola, CEO of NextPay (YC W21), Joshua Aragon, CEO of Zagana, Inc., and Serge Ramos, CEO of PCI Tech Center. It also featured Jerome Poudevigne, the Principal Startup Solutions Architect of Amazon Web Services (AWS) as he shared insights on how startup economies can harness the power of the clouds by sharing case studies from Asia’s top tech companies.
Supercharge Your Growth With Cloud, Jerome Poudevigne
Jerome Poudevigne, is a Principal Startup Solution Architect at Amazon Web Services (AWS) focuses on leading startups on AWS and ramping them up. As seasoned startup CTO before joining AWS, he has a proven ability to deliver results the agile way through strong leadership and creative problem-solving.
During the webinar, Jerome shared the enablement of lean startups with AWS cloud services. The advantages include faster launch as startups can have new IT resources available in just a few clicks which increases their agility. It also allows them to experiment on lower risk with zero upfront cost as with an infrastructure-on-demand, startups can pay for only for the resources they use instead of investing large upfront costs. But above all, the AWS cloud enables several startups to focus on the core of their business value. Jerome emphasized that the goal is to manage the services: make it our problem. By creating value, rising businesses are able to focus on what matters to them the most.
Jerome shared a case study on Ralali.com, a company that connects local sellers and buyers from industrial and MRO categories to automotive, medical and agriculture supplies. Since using AWS, they grew its BIG agent business from 400 to more than 100,000 agents in a year, with only a small fraction of infrastructure cost. They were able to innovate and start new projects in less than 3 days. Eventually, Ralali scaled quickly to provide highly available services for their end users.
In another case with Zalora-Singapore, the process of bringing new products to market rose up to three times faster with AWS. Zalora is now fully well-equipped to sustain growth that has seen it support up to 30 million unique users per month.
Jerome emphasized that AWS invests indirectly alongside venture funds and accelerators by providing AWS credits, investing time in mentorship, sharing industry-wide knowledge and experience and helping navigate AWS resources and support. This allows AWS to open doors internally for startups along with identifying and removing obstacles, leveraging global footprint and championing startups across all of Amazon with long-term view in mind.
Biggest challenges tech startups are facing in innovation
After Jerome shared some of the best practices in the Southeast Asian region, three prestigious startup founders explained the most pressing roadblocks they are currently undergoing in terms of innovation.
Don Pansacola of Nextpay used the music industry and the heydays of MTV as an analogy to answer this question. He expressed that technology has enabled the quicker setting up, scaling and launching of businesses – all of which wouldn’t have been possible years ago because of the technical barriers to reach the minimum level of necessities required to put up a fintech. The developments on the cloud have gifted these startups a more cost-effective alternative to launching. This is a feat that would have been impossible three years ago. But like the music scene, this can also come at a cost for startups – as it can be crowded. Don then poses the question, how does one establish differentiation?
Joshua briefly touched on the reality of Filipino resilience with the flooding, typhoon, and earthquake Filipinos were subdued under in a year. We’ve done a lot of things and coped with ways to bounce back. He aims to highlight key principles in innovation: putting in the solution and having a problem-solving mindset. Just like with natural causes, one needs to utilize a solution-seller mindset. How will you be able to solve a situation and not dwell on the problem itself? This is where bringing in the fundamentals come to play. What key infrastructures are you planning to implement? Joshua shares that a start up can focus on that first. After all, identifying the process involved and laying the footprint on the mechanisms on how business should be run is important. Second, the key people or stakeholders and third, the technology.
Serge painted us a picture of how the COVID education setup would be for the learners if they were only to rely on data for asynchronous learning. As their research suggests this will be detrimental for both teachers and students. Utilizing the cloud has enabled them and their clients to analyze the content passionately and to cater to more institutions. Serge strongly suggested that had they stuck with their previous understanding, they could have lost opportunities that could have come their way. He also shared the sentiments of Don and Joshua on the growing startup community – consulting with an expert earlier could have produced a different situation for most startups. It’s part of the learning. If he were to start his business again, he would have consulted as many experts as early as he can.
Growth and stability for Startups
Apper and AWS have put together the Startup On The Cloud program to help drive a startup’s growth and stability.
Designed for those struggling to keep up with their larger and better funded competitors along with a lack of time to fully focus on innovation, the program features discounted rates for Apper’s Engage & Manage services with bonus coaching (training) programs and sessions care-of Apper & AWS along with possible sponsoring of cloud billing credits for proof of concept and growth opportunities through dedicated case study and press release after the project’s success.
The program seeks to target businesses that are in the pre-seed to seed stage with 10-50 employees and are very much aware of the need to innovate and stay competitive. Startup on the Cloud 2.0 bridges limited in-house resources and lack of ROIs to justify new tech investments while demonstrating the value of IT.
The campaign seeks to attract tech startups in the earlier stages of their cloud journey who are still discovering and exploring cloud options.
By igniting the interest from tech startups who have not yet committed to cloud, and expanding the opportunity with those who currently have adopted cloud but only in a limited way the program will show how the cloud can enhance their ability to innovate and scale.
Are you ready to be a part of Startup on the Cloud? Fast-track your cloud journey worry-free, alongside Apper’s certified cloud team.
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DevOps implementation and provision of an AWS account/billing (up to $250 USD monthly)
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Bonus training and credits from AWS