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January 21, 2016updated 31 Aug 2016 9:50am

Could AI machine learning be the key to Alibaba’s public cloud success?

News: Partnership with Nvidia will help to boost its capabilities.

By James Nunns

Alibaba is looking to expand its cloud and big data capabilities with the help of Nvidia and a lot of money.

The Chinese e-commerce operator is planning to work with Nvidia across cloud and artificial intelligence while its cloud arm of the company, AliCloud which is also known as Aliyun, is planning to invest $1bn into data analysis and machine learning.

The idea behind it is that the demand for both processing and storage will increase from companies and governments, all of which forms its goal to challenge the likes of AWS, Microsoft and Google in the cloud arena globally.

Alibaba, which holds the dominant market share in China’s e-commerce market, is making big strides to push into the public cloud market. Last year it announced its second US data centre, while it has also created a Marketplace Alliance Program.

MAP is a global partnership program that is designed to provide access to its suite of cloud services and international partners; it has already partnered with the likes of Intel and Equinix.

While it may have global ambitions, it faces numerous challenges, Tiny Haynes, research director, Gartner, told CBR: "Although Alibaba has significant market share in the Chinese domestic market, it is Gartner’s view that the transition to the international market will require more investment in the go to market capabilities such as sales engineering, account management and reseller recruitment, along with building the trust of the US corporate and medium sized businesses."

The addition of new capabilities, partnerships and the investment of large amounts of money should help to see it at least challenge the big players.

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A focus on becoming an expert in analytics could help it to corner an area of the market where it may be able to thrive.

Aliyun has already co-founded a quantum computing laboratory with the Chinese Academy of Sciences in a move that will help to secure its data centres and to develop machines capable of high level, rapid calculations.

The partnership with Nvidia will provide customer support in both deep learning and high performance computing.

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