CAT spreading cloud to SMEs with moderate prepaid options

CAT Telecom Office on Charoen Krung Road. The agency is extending its cloud-based data storage service to SMEs, and helping them adapt to newer methods. WISIT THAMNGERN

CAT Telecom is extending its cloud-based data storage service to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) by adding a new prepaid payment option, an affordable alternative the state telecom hopes will boost the service’s usage.

“We expect to attract 5,000 customers to our prepaid cloud storage service in 2017, or 5% of the country’s total of 100,000 registered startups and SMEs,” said CAT senior executive vice-president Chaiyut Santananukarn.

CAT’s prepaid service is especially designed to serve the needs of SMEs that want to adopt affordable cloud data storage.

CAT charges customers 50 satang per hour for one gigabyte of usage.

The rate is 5-10% lower than those of foreign cloud storage service providers in the market, as CAT’s cloud storage server is located in Thailand, circumventing the need for data transfer, which incurs outbound data transfer charges, said Mr Chaiyut.

He explained the additional data transfer charges are based on foreign exchange rates.

Mr Chaiyut said the prepaid option offering will enable small companies greater access to cloud storage services for cost control.

CAT started providing cloud storage services in 2012 under the Iris Cloud brand, an acronym of Intelligent Resilient Information System.

Mr Chaiyut said CAT is Thailand’s second largest cloud service provider in a market worth 3 billion in 2016. Internet Thailand (Inet) is the Thailand market leader.

CAT’s cloud-based business generated 400 million baht in revenue in 2016, representing a 2% of its total revenue. Up to 70% of cloud service revenue came from state enterprises and the remaining 30% from private organisations.

“We have targeted 40% growth for our cloud revenue, to 560 million baht in 2017,” said Mr Chaiyut.

Thailand’s cloud storage market saw double-digit growth for four straight years since 2013, driven by the rapid adoption of cloud services by businesses across industries.

Mr Chayut said CAT is confident it will keep the annual growth rate of its cloud service revenue at 40% per year, outpacing the overall domestic market rate of 30% in average.

CAT has data centres in seven major provinces nationwide, with a combined 1,100 racks of servers occupying a total 3,000 square metres of floor space.

The state enterprise’s data centre service includes service co-location, temporary office services, procurement of office equipment and high-speed internet, disaster recovery nationwide and managed security.

Last year, CAT was assigned state enterprise provision of telecom and digital-related products and services.

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