Cloud Creative's CEO, Nashid Ali sits down with Media Content Consultant, Munsia Ahmed to discuss about the current state of Cloud in Bangladesh, his inspiration behind starting a Cloud based company and the challenges he faces.
1. What inspired you to start a cloud-based business?
When I left a multinational company in 2016 after working 17+ years in IT, I joined an IT company. There, my main responsibility was to open a Cloud business for Bangladesh as Head of Marketing and Sales. I worked closely with Amazon Web Services (AWS) and we added 10 customers within a year and half, starting with one of the largest e-commerce companies. Then I worked 8 months in a group of companies as Head of Business and established an IT company where the main focus was on Cloud services, software developments, SAP on Cloud. We did first SAP on Cloud (AWS) in Bangladesh, a Video on Demand (VOD) platform for a media company running on AWS. With my hands-on experience in 2.5 years with 20+ customers in Cloud, entrepreneurship journey focusing on Cloud.
Besides my 17+ years in multinational companies like Grameenphone, Banglalink, I realized the need for Cloud for easy backup and low cost servers since it was all on-premise. We were spending huge amounts of money purchasing servers and it was hard to maintain time-to-market for any kind of services. That’s my story which inspired me to start Cloud services/business in 2018 helping companies at large in Bangladesh and beyond.
2. What is the demand for cloud-based services in Bangladesh?
The demand for Cloud based services is increasing day by day in Bangladesh. When I started my Cloud journey in 2016, colleagues from Amazon Web Services (AWS) and I used to roam around for meetings and transfer knowledge for Cloud adoption. Now after 2 years, we see that the perception has changed. Now, people contact us for problem solving and we are providing the services. During Covid-19, the adaptation increased and we saw an increase in demand for Cloud based services in Bangladesh. For the last 1 year, we are also working with Microsoft Azure and Microsoft services in Bangladesh.
3. How is Cloud Creative helping businesses in Bangladesh?
We help organizations to transform their business in the area of Cloud services, ERP on Cloud, Cyber Security solution, internet of things (IoT), Analytics and provide software solutions built using Azure, AWS or any Cloud platform with a focus on server less computing and micro-services. We also provide customized training and consultancy services.
4. What has been your biggest challenge so far in your journey of establishing a cloud-based business?
The biggest challenge so far is the dissemination of Cloud knowledge and adaptation. But during Covid, we found good tractions/adaptations of Cloud based solutions since everything went online.
5. How do you approach solving problems for your customers?
We always work together with our customers to solve their problems by understanding the scope, provide detailed analysis in order to achieve time to market with the latest technologies. We work as a team to ensure that their tech journey is successful by us taking ownership to provide excellence in support.
6. What do you enjoy about working with your clients?
What I enjoy most is solving our clients’ problems and gaining their trust. We follow a referral marketing approach so I enjoy it and feel honored when as a result of our good service, our clients refer us to get more business. Each client gives us an unique experience through which we learn a lot of things too. So I enjoy these learning opportunities and use them to keep improving our company.
7. What is the most common misconception about the field you are working in?
Customers still think that Cloud is a buzz- word and only provides hosting services. But they forget the aspects of cost reduction, scalability and so on.
But I am happy to see that a few universities like Independent University, Bangladesh started Cloud Computing courses for their students. I teach ‘“Cloud Computing” for BSc and MSc students, helping them to change the misconceptions surrounding Cloud and preparing them to work in this field
8. What makes you stand-out from the rest of the cloud-service businesses in Bangladesh?
Personally, I have hands-on experience for the last 4 years working with different companies in Bangladesh and helping them on their Cloud journey in SAP, video on demand (VOD), software/ ERP developments along with securing their application in Cloud. As for Cloud Creative, we have experienced people who worked in multinational companies like Microsoft, IBM, GrameenPhone and Banglalink for several years which has made us a solid team exploring cloud based services for Bangladesh and beyond. Also adding Shohoz as our customer in July’2020, was one of the best experiences since we helped them in Cloud migration in Microsoft Azure, providing managed services and helping their operation by solutions in the area of DevOps, Kubernates, log repository. customized training and so on. So combining above, Cloud Creative, stand-out from the rest of the cloud-service providers in Bangladesh.
9. What do you do to keep yourself and Cloud Creative updated with new technologies?
We work extensively with our partner like Amazon Web services, Microsoft and other top tech companies around the world. By sharing latest technologies, arranging different webinars with industry experts and exchanging information on social media, we are staying relevant in this field. Personally, I participate in different tech events like “AWS Cloud Day”, “Microsoft Cloud events”, “Digital social Innovation Summit” etc as a guest/keynote speaker talking about new technologies and engaging in exchanging knowledge with other experts. Also working with different companies by solving their problems and providing latest technologies along with teaching “Cloud Computing” in the university has helped me to transfer my experience to students and make them future- ready.
10. How do Cloud services help in our day to day business?
The basic idea for Cloud for most of the customers is hosting. But Cloud based services can help in many ways like:
Reducing IT costs: as moving to cloud computing may reduce the cost of managing and maintaining your IT systems.
Business continuity: You can access anywhere, anytime over the internet and run business. During Covid, we are working from home and helping customers for migration, providing services and even delivering the ERP software in Cloud.
Flexibility and Scalability:
Using Cloud, customers need to pay per user and extend the services when and where needed. This which reduces time-to-market and. employees will no longer need to be tethered to their desks as they arend will be able to access files and data from wherever they are, 24 hours a day.
Increased Storage Capacity and Automation: The cloud offers virtually unlimited storage capacity when compared to typical hard drive and server limits, and is flexible. If the business needs more storage, you can upgrade at any time.
Digital Transformation: A lot of businesses today engage in digital transformation and simply go paperless by migrating to Cloud. By embracing the cloud, the business can modernize its IT infrastructure, create in-built security and focus on how it might serve customers digitally in new ways. Cloud will also help to adapt other services like big data, the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence (AI) very easily in the era of digital transformation
11. Where do you see cloud-based services in Bangladesh in the next 5 years?
The adaptation to Cloud based services is increasing a lot during the current pandemic. In the next 5 years, there will be huge demand for other services running on Cloud like modern data warehouse, IoT, AI, SaaS services etc. On the other hand, Cloud tech giants like AWS and Microsoft will increase their market share too. As a partner of AWS and Microsoft, we will continue to provide our services and help companies in digital transformation.