Riyadh: Saudi Cloud Computing Company (“SCCC”), a new joint venture formed by Alibaba Cloud, Saudi Telecom Company (stc) Group, eWTP Arabia Capital, the Saudi Company for Artificial Intelligence (SCAI), and the Saudi Information Technology Company (SITE), announced that it has launched its services in Saudi Arabia in culmination of choosing Riyadh as a regional hub for Alibaba Cloud operations.

This was announced at a ceremony held in Riyadh in the presence of a number of officials of the government and private sectors, in order to keep pace with the growing demand for cloud services in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

During the launch ceremony, the company unveiled the opening of two data centres in Riyadh as part of 16 centers throughout the administrative regions of Saudi Arabia.

This took part in the presence of a joint management team from stc Group, eWTP Arabia Capital and Alibaba Cloud. With the data stored within Saudi Arabia, the two data centres will offer customers in Saudi a local option to utilize global leading cloud capabilities with high availability, elasticity, security and sustainability.

The new data centres provide a wide range of proven and secure public cloud computing solutions ranging from elastic compute, storage, network to database to cater for the surging business demand from industries such as retail, fintech, internet and so on along their digitalization journey in the region.

Previously, Alibaba Cloud company has announced that it has allocated up to $500 million for its investments in Saudi Arabia over the next five years, citing that the investments will include the provision of high-level inclusive resources to help build sustainability and ensure localization.

Its Riyadh center was opened to provide better services for local and regional clients in Saudi Arabia, Middle East and North Africa which will serve as a regional hub for management and training.

Commenting on the launch, STC Group CEO, Olayan Mohammed Alwetaid, said: “Investment with Alibaba Cloud comes within the Kingdom's vision 2030, endorsed by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and launched by HRH Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. He drew the attention to the great role of the vision in pushing the digital transformation efforts forward in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia through concluding reliable partnerships with pioneer giant conglomerates of technology in the world.

He highlighted STC future vision to keep pace with the Kingdom vision 2030 to attract foreign and international investments to Saudi Arabia and create a safe environment for businesses and enhance information security through protecting their data iniside the country and striking partnership with one of the best service providers. Alwetaid clarified that the cloud computing and solutions group of the world will provide through the new company a wide-range service and solutions of cloud computing, a step designed to enable government agencies, local companies and enterprises to digitize their businesses and find access to the 4th industrial revolution technologies and upgrade the standards of work and enhance businesses.

Saudi Arabia is making great strides towards delivering a scalable and secure IT infrastructure to keep up with the demand for a robust and secure cloud service offering in the digital era, he said, adding that "we are extremely pleased to collaborate with Alibaba Cloud who will leverage their technology expertise and industry know-how for our customers in the Kingdom looking to embrace digital innovation.”

Faisal Al-Khamisi, Chairman of the Saudi Cloud Computing Company (“SCCC”), stressed that the launch of SCCC is a unique achievement and an important step in supporting the digital transformation process that the Kingdom is witnessing in line of its relentless and serious objective to become a data center that connects the continents of the world.

"Today, under the guidance and follow-up of His Royal Highness, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, leader of the Kingdom's Vision 2030, the launch of SCCC’s services, a few days after the company's establishment, has become clear evidence that we are working within the vision of a leader who works to facilitate all difficulties to ease legislation and laws in the Kingdom, support attracting investments, and enhance the Kingdom’s digital position in the world,” Al-Khamisi added. He also mentioned that the partners in this project are working to increase the scope of services to include every public sector and private entity.

For her part, Selina Yuan, Alibaba Group VP & Alibaba Cloud Intelligence International President said “Saudi Arabia is a very strategic and important market for Alibaba Cloud. This launch of the new joint venture is a significant milestone towards our commitment to forging collaborations with local partners to boost the digital transformation in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. By collaborating closely with stc Group and other local partners, we are pleased and confident that Alibaba Cloud will support more local enterprises benefiting from the leading cloud computing technologies”.

In remarks on the event, Founder and Managing Partner of eWTP Arabia Capital, Jerry Li said “As a key participant in the joint venture, we have invested in and supported over 16 Chinese digital technology companies among different sectors, to enter the MENA market. Most of them will be SCCC's first customers. eWTPA are committed to bring and encourage more advanced tech companies from China on boarding this cloud, host data locally and participate in the digital transformation process of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia towards Vision2030”.

In line with the efforts made by the Kingdom to enhance economic diversification and stimulate investment opportunities in the cloud computing sector, the new company will contribute to providing quality jobs, transferring knowledge and experiences to Saudi Arabia, and ensuring a safe work environment for entrepreneurs in the region, and the company will contribute to developing process of Saudi Arabia’s digital infrastructure and configure it to provide the latest digital storage services and solutions for data and ensure its protection and security, which will enhance Saudi Arabia’s ability to provide cloud computing services to global companies".