Chinese tech giants compete for new track: Not only about the company’s future, but also the global digital process


Editor’s note: This article comes from the Journal of Finance and Economics, authors Zhou Yuan, Liu Yiqin, editor Xie Lirong, 36 氪 published with permission.The digital construction of government and enterprises is rapidly shifting to cloud computing architecture, which has brought the previously opposing IT giants and Internet giants to the same track.The competition between the giants is not only about their own future, but also affects the global digitalization process.On October 25, the Pentagon announced that Microsoft had won a 10-year, $ 10 billion cloud computing project from the US Department of Defense.This cloud computing project, known as the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure, is the key to the US Department of Defense’s ability to transfer most of its computing power from on-premises servers to the cloud.To compete for this contract, Microsoft, Amazon AWS, IBM, Oracle, Google and other companies have been fiercely competing for a year.Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services are the final winners of the contract.Google pulled out of the competition last year, and Oracle and IBM were eliminated in April of this year.In this project, the wrestling of the old and new technology giants in the United States is vividly reflected.In China, this super big order has not yet appeared, but the trend is the same.According to comprehensive public information of the Caijing reporter, similar to the United States, the Chinese government has continuously issued large orders for digital construction in the past two years.Last year, Alibaba Cloud won the “Demonstration Project of Haikou City Brain 2018” with 455 million yuan; Tencent Cloud won the Changsha City Super Brain Project with 520 million yuan; On September 17, this year, Huawei won the 2.74 billion digital government project in Dongguan; Three days later, the Guangdong Government Service Data Administration’s $ 1 billion bill was won by Digital Guangdong Network Construction Co., Ltd. Digital Guangdong is a joint venture established by Tencent and Unicom, Telecom and Mobile in 2017.These large orders of hundreds of millions of dollars show an important change in the government’s digital construction-from the original purchase of IT software and hardware for local deployment, more and more to platform-based deployment based on cloud computing architecture.Not only the government, but also the digital construction of enterprises is increasingly based on the cloud.At first, it was cloud-based for small businesses that are cost-sensitive and not so demanding in security, and for companies in emerging industries based on the Internet. After more than ten years of development, the advantages of cloud computing in terms of technology and cost have become increasingly apparent, and security concerns have also increased.Relieving.At the same time, big data, artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, and 5G technologies are gradually maturing or entering applications. Together with cloud technologies, they have created huge digital transformation and upgrade requirements for enterprises and governments, and this demand is huge with various technology giants.The convergence of the strategic layout of the government and enterprise markets has led to a sharp rise in the new To B market based on cloud computing in leading digital economies such as the United States, China, Britain and Germany.Globally, the Internet upstarts are actively entering the large and medium-sized government and enterprise markets that used to be IT giants such as IBM and Oracle. The IT giants are also rapidly turning to tilt their technical architecture and resources to cloud services.Market research company IDC predicts that global public cloud services and infrastructure spending will reach US $ 210 billion in 2019, and public cloud services expenditure will reach US $ 370 billion in 2022, and the five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) will reach 22.5%.The U.S. will become the largest regional public cloud market, with spending expected to be US $ 124.6 billion in 2019, China is the second largest market with expenditure estimated at US $ 10.5 billion, followed by the United Kingdom (US $ 10 billion) and Germany (9.5 billionUSD).Traditionally, IT giants are good at the To B market, and Internet giants are good at the To C market, but the development of technology has overturned the existing market structure. The old and new giants that originally ran on different tracks, such as Microsoft, IBM, Oracle, and Google in the United States, Amazon, China’s Huawei, Alibaba, Tencent, and Baidu have gradually converged on the same track-the To B market.The so-called To B market is a collective name for the business (Business) and government (Government) markets in the industry.To C (Consumer) refers to the market for individual consumers.It is difficult to predict the winning or losing of the old and new giants. This is a marathon. The competition of the giants not only affects their own future, but also affects the global digitalization process.Compared with the previous enterprises that simply upgraded to the cloud, the current competition focus is on ecological service capabilities. This puts higher demands on the giants of track B, and also brings more imagination why BAT and Huawei originally hadGenes with completely different race tracks starting to merge into the same track?The story behind it goes back 40 years.After the birth of the computer, the To B business that helped companies carry out digital construction has become an inexhaustible super gold mine. However, in China, foreign high-tech companies first got gold.In 1979, the Hong Kong branch of Bank of China opened the IBM mainframe 3032, the first computer in the history of Bank of China.In the same year, the Shenyang Blower Factory also introduced the IBM 370/138 mainframe computer, which was the first computer IBM sold to mainland China.Over the next 30 years, all walks of life in China have started wave after wave of informatization construction. IBM, HP, Dell, Oracle, SAP, Intel, Cisco, Ericsson, Qualcomm and other global high-tech companies have flooded into China like a flood., While they bring advanced technology, equipment, talents and modern enterprise management mechanisms to Chinese enterprise users, they also harvest real money in this fast-growing new continent. For many foreign technology companies, China is outside the United States.Second largest market.The advent of cloud computing has revolutionized To B’s business.Different from the traditional sales method of selling software and hardware products, cloud computing has created a brand new business model, that is, serving IT users by selling IT services.Because this on-demand business model is more economical, it has been rewriting the traditional To B business pattern step by step since its birth.The disruptive changes of cloud computing are manifested in two aspects.One is that To B players are changing.As the pioneer of cloud computing services, Amazon has evolved from a To C e-commerce platform into a supplier that can provide information technology services to large government and enterprises.In 2013, Amazon AWS defeated IBM to obtain a US $ 600 million large order from the CIA, which is considered a watershed event, because in the past, such government agencies’ large IT orders would only fall in the hands of IBM, HP, Oracle and other technology companies.Second, the digital construction of enterprise users turned to cloud computing services.The same is true in China.Ali, Tencent and Huawei followed closely and transformed into public cloud service providers.According to market research firm IDC’s “Tracking of China’s Public Cloud Service Market (First Half of 2019)” report, the overall market size of China’s public cloud services reached US $ 5.42 billion in the first half of 2019. From the perspective of the IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) market, Ali, Tencent, China Telecom, AWS, and Huawei rank in the top five, occupying a total market share of 75.3%.Among them, Alibaba Cloud has occupied a market share of 43.2%, and China’s public cloud sector has emerged a “one super, many strong” market structure.The advantages of the giants are actually different.Alibaba Cloud’s ecological and operational capabilities are recognized as leading, and it currently has a deeper layout in the three major industries of retail, government, and finance; Tencent’s starting advantages are cloud games and cloud video. At present, the biggest features in the B-end market are WeChat and appletsStrengths of ecological transformation capabilities; Huawei Cloud has entered the fast track of development, and has performed outstandingly in terms of organizational expansion, market operation, and industry expansion. In just three years, it has entered the top five public cloud in China.Baidu has a deep accumulation of AI technology, and the cloud ranking is currently in the third camp, but the “cloud + AI” landing market, technology and business are not lacking.For Chinese cloud computing players, especially public cloud giants, cloud computing is not a simple business, but a huge track with great imagination.Under the traditional IT model, technology giants can sell products to the world, in the cloud era, because of data sovereignty (data is stored in the “cloud”, that is, the data center of the cloud service provider), plus cloud computing is considered as a hydropower foundationThe existence of facilities has caused local cloud service providers to have obvious home court advantages.In addition, cloud service providers rebuild from the lowest level and are platform-based businesses. On top of this, new cloud computing-based basic software and various application software will grow.At the technical level, Huawei, Ali, and Tencent all launched self-developed cloud databases. Baidu’s main AI is landing, and various local SaaS (software as a service) service providers continue to appear.At the market level, compared to three years ago when the company was solely on the cloud, the focus of the competition is now on ecological service capabilities. After going to the cloud, more of the company’s demands have shifted from improving the efficiency of the company’s business market to combining new technologies to develop moreBusiness opportunities, transforming business models.For an enterprise and industry, no matter what technology, policy and strategy is adopted, it is basically to promote business growth and increase economic value.Digitalization has become an important driving force for new growth of enterprises, and digital transformation and business needs complement each other.This puts higher demands on the giants of track B, and also brings more imagination.On the whole, in China, different from the informatization construction of the previous 30 years, if various local cloud service providers can grasp the new technology trends and time windows, they will be expected to play a leading role in the Chinese market and work together to build a larger and richer than in the past.Native technology ecology.Enclosure head user giants usually gather together, but because the B-end market is too large, the genetic characteristics of the giants are different. At present, the dramatic scene of short-handed battles in the market is still rare to grab head users and set a benchmarkType cases and horse racing enclosures regardless of cost are common features of technology giants today.There are no standard definitions for head users. It is generally believed that leading companies in major industries such as party and government agencies, finance, and power are considered head users.The head user not only means that there is a stable and considerable IT budget each year, and its complex business is also a touchstone for the technical capabilities of manufacturers. For example, financial companies have extremely high requirements for technology performance, stability, and security. Therefore, technology companiesIf the product technology or service is adopted by financial users, it will be enough to become the capital for external publicity.Another value for head users is joint innovation.Taking digital government as an example, Ali helped the Zhejiang government to build a “run at most once” project, and Digital Guangdong, which was jointly built by Tencent and Huawei, put China in the forefront of digital government innovation in the world.The success of Guangdong and Zhejiang has also triggered a new wave of digital government construction nationwide, with governments around the world scrambling to launch digital city or smart city projects.In the previous digital transformation of the Chinese government, the “Twelve Gold” project led by the central ministries and commissions has been a pioneer, which is characterized by large investment scale and high construction maturity. For example, the second phase of Jinguan ’s investment exceeded RMB 3 billion,The investment is over 8 billion yuan.Today, IDC believes that China ’s digital government construction has shown three new trends: intensive and large-single trends are clear; local government-led digital transformation projects and central government investment have begun to “equally equalize”; as technology complexity becomes higher, policiesThe leading direction is clear and the local subjective consciousness is gradually opening up. The digital government procurement model has changed from the general integrator contracting model in the past to more and more large platform manufacturers with comprehensive strength, such as Huawei, Ali, and Tencent.”reveal all the details”.IDC also predicts that starting in 2021, China’s government industry ICT investment will exceed 200 billion yuan annually.Recently, Tencent has received a large smart city in Changsha. In a recent media interview including a reporter from Caijing, Wang Jingtian, vice president of Tencent’s government affairs cloud and president of Digital Guangdong, said, “(Changsha project) is only a smart city.One of the benchmarks, similar benchmarks need to be built at least 10 to 20. The stage of benchmarking does not depend on profit, how much investment is required. “Alibaba Cloud has deeply cultivated digital government earlier, and its digital government services have covered 442 cities across the country, includingMore than 1,000 service contents, serving a total of 900 million people.Alibaba Cloud Research Institute President Liu Song told the Caijing reporter that the ultimate effect of Ali’s digital city is that “citizens can apply for government services online like shopping on Taobao.”In conjunction with this goal, in July, Alibaba announced an upgrade service digital government strategy, integrating Alibaba Cloud, Alipay, Dingding, Gaode and other government-oriented technologies, products, services and resources to fully serve the digital government strategy.In order to penetrate the B-end market, Alibaba Cloud is still exploring new models.Alibaba Cloud’s most well-known digital government projects are from Zhejiang. This province is also one of the two benchmarking provinces of China’s digital government. The other is Guangdong Province led by Tencent and Huawei.Jin Zhipeng, the director of Zhejiang Big Data Bureau, told Caijing that the Zhejiang Big Data Bureau and Ali Cloud are working together to deepen the experience of Zhejiang in the construction of a unified government data open platform into a common process, technology and platform.The new “Zhejiang Experience” was extended to other provinces and cities nationwide.Not only in Zhejiang, industrial and commercial registration information shows that in November of this year, Alibaba established Digital Hainan Co., Ltd. with Hainan Provincial Big Data Administration, Taiji shares, and Tianyi Capital, with a registered capital of 200 million yuan.Among them, Alibaba subscribed for 98 million yuan to hold 49% of the shares, Hainan Provincial Big Data Administration subscribed for 60 million yuan to hold 30% of the shares, and Taiji and Tianyi Capital respectively contributed 21 million yuan to each hold 10.5% of the shares..The company’s business scope includes big data infrastructure services and cloud platform services.A year ago, Alibaba Cloud’s 455 million yuan won the “Haikou City Brain 2018 Demonstration Project”.A former middle-level executive from Ali told the Caijing reporter that cloud services cannot be separated from the word “service”. The establishment of a joint venture with local governments not only guarantees more timely and stable operation services, but also means that it can contribute tax revenue to local governments,Solving employment.Huawei Enterprise Business Group has implemented government cloud projects in various places since 2013, with deep accumulation of government resources. It also has strong sales and service teams throughout the country. In the new round of digital government construction, these have been transformed into Huawei Cloud’s rapid expansion.Driving force.The government is only a part of the B-end market. In addition to government agencies, key companies in the financial, power, and energy industries are also the battleground for platform giants, especially finance.Alibaba is leveraging fintech and financial services capabilities within the group.A senior employee of Ant Financial told a reporter from Caijing that both Ali and Tencent were competing for this market in a combined boxing mode.A general situation is that in many industries other than government and finance, Huawei is higher in industry depth than Internet giants, and BAT is even deeper than the other two in BAT.Deepening the industry requires not only long-term customer relationship accumulation, but also more importantly “industry knowhow”. This is why Alibaba Cloud allows “engineers to leave the factory” to communicate face-to-face with front-line employees.The giants usually gather together, but because the market is too big, the genetics of the giants are different. Except for some special areas, the current play is mainly to split the attack, and their respective choices and genetic endowment adaptation areas are working hard.Dramatic scenes where the soldiers meet in the market are rare, and there are even cooperation in many scenes. For example, the Digital Guangdong project was jointly created by Huawei and Tencent.Both Huawei and Tencent are benchmark technology giants in Guangdong Province. Their capabilities are also complementary, and their cooperation has its logic.One fact that needs to be clarified is that the number of players entering the B-end market as a public cloud service provider is limited, but this market is actually full of players.Technology giants such as IBM, Dell, Inspur, and Xinhua III have cultivated the enterprise market for many years and accumulated a lot. Xinhua Sanhe and Inspur have won a number of digital government and smart city related projects.This also means that the To B market is a long-term melee that blooms everywhere. Although market demand has increased year by year, no one can quickly swallow this market.Behind the general structure adjustment of the large-scale march is the process of giants adjusting their posture and re-allocating resources in track B. After adjusting, run for a while, then adjust again, and then run on November 26, 2018.For the Alibaba Cloud Intelligent Business Group, Zhang Jianfeng, the chief technology officer of Alibaba, also served as the president of Alibaba Cloud. The former president Hu Xiaoming was transferred to Ant Financial.Inside Ali, Hu Xiaoming is considered to be better than the market, and Zhang Jianfeng is a master of technical coordination.Zhang Jianfeng explained the difference from “Alibaba Cloud” to “Alibaba Cloud Intelligence” in a media interview including “Finance” a year later, that is, Alibaba Cloud must transform from a single IaaS layer infrastructure to a full range of digitalEconomic infrastructure, Alibaba Cloud Intelligence will integrate financial, retail, digital government, Internet of Things and other business solutions to become a unified technology output platform for the Alibaba economy.Several former Alibaba Cloud employees further analyzed this series of personnel and organizational changes to Caijing reporters.First, by the end of 2018, Alibaba Cloud under the leadership of Hu Xiaoming has basically stabilized China’s number one and third place in the world. Next, the development thinking needs to be changed from “more weight” to “more quality.”That said, it fits into a company’s growth path.In the early stage of Zhang Jianfeng’s takeover, he was more in order to adapt to changes in market demand, enrich the platform capabilities of deep Alibaba Cloud, and make technical preparations for running a wider track.Second, Alibaba intends to draw through various internal technologies and solutions to form a unified output of technical capabilities.All the IT facilities and data in the entire Ali economy will be migrated to Alibaba Cloud.Externally, the technology and business capabilities have risen from Alibaba Cloud to the entire Ali Group; internally, the entire Ali Group will become the most convincing sample of Ali’s digitalization.Zhang Jianfeng served as the president of Alibaba’s China-Taiwan business group in 2015, setting the pace for Internet companies’ China-Taiwan strategy.He is the most suitable to do this.The challenge with this strategy is that if you stop and adjust your posture, you are likely to be caught up by others.A senior person from Ali Group revealed to a reporter from Caijing that Zhang Jianfeng’s task was to not only enrich the chassis but also not slow down his running speed.Judging from the data published in the market up to the first half of this year, the speed of Alibaba Cloud has not slowed down significantly for the time being.Two other things worth studying are the group structure adjustments completed by Tencent and Baidu for the B-end market.On September 30, 2018, Tencent completed its third major strategic upgrade and structural adjustment 20 years after its establishment.The core of the adjustment is the integration and establishment of two new business groups: Cloud and Smart Industry Group (CSIG), Platform and Content Group (PCG).Do not call it “September 30”.Ma Huateng said that the reason for the “September 30 Revolution” was to see new trends.The main battlefield of mobile Internet is developing from the consumer Internet in the first half to the industrial Internet in the lower half.The core of the newly established cloud and smart industry business group is to transform a product-centric organization into a customer-centric organization.It internally integrates Tencent’s various businesses in cloud computing, Internet +, smart retail, education, medical, security, and LBS to form a unified solution; externally it is a B-end market service export.Former Tencent SNG head Tang Daosheng was appointed president of CSIG.About nine months after Tencent’s “September 30 Revolution”, that is, in May 2019, Tencent further established the CSIG Marketing Committee to explore an industrial Internet marketing model with Tencent characteristics. Cheng Wu, Vice President of Tencent Group, was in charge.As an Internet company, Tencent used to “sit at home” to connect and serve users through its products, but to serve large government and enterprise users, it was necessary to come up with an overall solution and go to customers to “personalize” services.Before the “September 30th Revolution”, Tencent Cloud’s market share had reached 11%, but Tencent Cloud internally believes that the service system and capabilities of the B-end market cannot be considered a regular military deployment.”In 2018, Tencent Cloud has been established for six years, but there are still many obvious irregularities in the delivery contract.” A district director of Tencent Cloud told a Caijing reporter.In October this year, Tang Daosheng said in an interview with a reporter from Caijing that the main work this year was to promote the operation management system to improve efficiency; the second is to open up the process and enrich the B-side market service operation and maintenance capabilities.Structural reform is the most basic work for all Internet giants to enter the To B market.Yin Shiming, the president of Baidu Cloud, told the reporter from Caijing that his first step when he came to Baidu Cloud was to establish a process for serving B-side customers, starting with operations, implementing process transformation, and opening up the “neural network” step by step.In April of this year, Baidu Cloud was renamed Baidu Intelligent Cloud, which opened the next three-year development plan and further established the development idea of ​​scaling up and expanding the AI ​​intelligent industry. This goal has both undertaken ABC (AI, Big Data, Cloud) Strategy, and added the goal of scale in the previous play.Another adjustment was that Yin Shiming reported directly to the group’s chief technology officer, Wang Haifeng, that Baidu Cloud and Baidu’s CTO system were opened.According to the plan, Baidu concentrated more resources to support the development of intelligent cloud business, further integrated AI technology, cloud computing, and basic technology systems, fully tapped the advantages accumulated in the field of artificial intelligence for many years, strengthened internal close coordination, and strengthened internal systemic linkage to enableMore leading technologies can be exported to more industries through the cloud.The internet giant is clearly struggling to understand and learn the rules of the To B market.Recently, Li Xiaohong, Assistant General Manager of Tencent Consulting, said at an industry partner training conference that the To B business requires long-chain collaboration. To achieve 1 to N growth, it is necessary to build an end-to-end process organization around customers to ensure service.Quality and value delivery.In her opinion, Huawei has been building an end-to-end process organization in the first 20 years from the integration of R & D process IPD and supply chain process ISC in 1999 to the overseas service delivery process in 2005 and the integrated financial system in 2007.The scattered sand was gathered into a platform; for the next 10 years, a small business unit was set at the front end, so that people who could hear the sound of guns called for fire.Huawei does establish an organization and culture to serve To B customers, but Huawei mainly appears as a hardware product provider. Today, Huawei Cloud BU enters the To B market as a cloud platform service provider. It also needs to build new processes, culture, and cooperation.Partnership system.Huawei’s unique challenge is that the company’s ICT business is diverse. In terms of IT alone, it has two lines: public cloud business and traditional IT business.In theory, the emergence of cloud computing is to revolutionize the life of traditional IT, and Huawei’s traditional IT business has developed for ten years. It is already the largest IT equipment provider in China (the Chinese market revenue in 2018 exceeded 50 billion yuan).To a certain extent, Huawei faces a “fight between the left and right hands.””I am the most painful, I do n’t understand R & D, and I do n’t understand marketing. I think R & D thinks that ’s the case. Why ca n’t I push it? The market thinks this is my place. How can you get me away? So I ’m here.At all the intersections, we have to come from both sides. “Zheng Yelai, president of Huawei’s cloud business, told the reporter.It is understood that Huawei currently has multiple sales teams fighting in the corporate customer interface. Sometimes, several account managers come to visit the same customer.In this regard, Zheng Yelai frankly said that the company’s senior management also saw this problem, including the founder Ren Zhengfei.”Financial” reporter was informed that Huawei is now planning a major organizational adjustment, the adjustment results may be released around the Spring Festival, Zheng Yelai believes that it must be customer-centric to sort out.”Whether the organization of the future can really be customer-centric, not sales-focused, this is what Huawei has to deal with.” Zheng Ye said.To make up for the shortcomings, and to be a longboard public cloud player, the biggest fear is not the individual championship, but the all-round player with 75 points in each event. Because the individual championship can only fight local wars, it is difficult to fight global wars.All are Alibaba Cloud technical exams.For Alibaba Cloud technical personnel preparing for “Double Eleven” this year, the key word is “stable”, because this year Ali migrated 100% of the core system to Alibaba Cloud, becoming the first company in the world to run the core system 100% in publicLarge Internet companies on the cloud, Amazon, Microsoft, and Google, which are also cloud computing giants, have not yet taken this step.Alibaba Cloud has stabilized as expected, resisting the “Double Eleven” traffic peak. This year, Tmall’s “Double Eleven” order innovation peaked at 544,000 transactions per second, and the single-day data processing volume reached 970PB, again setting a new world record.Zhang Jianfeng is very satisfied. “Not any cloud can support this traffic. China has two clouds, one is Alibaba Cloud and the other is called another cloud.” Among the domestic cloud platform vendors, Alibaba Cloud’s technology leadership is indeed recognized.A former middle-level person from Ali commented to a Caijing reporter that if Alibaba Cloud scores 10 points, then Tencent is about 6 points, and Huawei is close to 5 points. However, in terms of B-end business capabilities, Ali 10 points and Huawei 50 points. Tencent only has2 minutes.Xu Guilin, general manager of the eastern region of the startup company FIT2CLOUD Feizhiyun once held research and development positions at Alibaba Cloud.Feizhiyun’s core product is a multi-cloud management platform, so it has business cooperation with three cloud giants.He agreed with the comments made by the former middle-class people in Ali.However, he instead emphasized that Huawei’s technology landing efficiency is very high, and because it is familiar with the B-end market requirements, the integrity of the product is very good.”Everything should be there, and what should not be, there will be none. Ali Tencent has obviously taken a lot of detours.” Xu Guilin told a Caijing reporter.Unless they withdraw, the giants’ technological race and research and development wrestling will always be ongoing.In recent years, a very obvious phenomenon is that the technology layout of cloud platform service providers such as Ali, Tencent, Huawei, and Baidu has become more and more converged. R & D is not limited to the basic cloud technology itself, but has also been invested in chips, AI, the Internet of Things, and the edge.Computing, database core software, and key application software such as collaborative office.Taking basic hardware chips as an example, in order to obtain better cost performance and stronger technical performance, self-developed chips by public cloud service providers have become common practice. AWS, Google, Microsoft, Huawei, Ali, and Baidu have all embarked on this path.Among the domestic cloud giants, Huawei established the chip design company Hisilicon in 2003. Hisense is now the top ten chip design companies in the world. This has given Huawei a clear first-mover advantage in chip development and a deeper accumulation. HuaweiAt present, the 7-nm computing chip Kunpeng processor and a variety of AI chips rising processor.Ali began planning in 2017.In April 2018, it announced that it will wholly acquire the chip company Zhongtian Micro, which claims to be the only company in mainland China that has its own embedded CPU IP Core.In October of that year, Ali integrated the acquired Zhongtian Micro and the chip research team of Ali Dharma Academy, and established Pingtou Semiconductor Co., Ltd. to build cloud-integrated chip capabilities.At Yunqi Conference this year, Pingto introduced the first AI chip “Hanguang 800”.Baidu’s chip advantages continue AI advantages, currently have cloud AI chips and terminal AI chips.In terms of AI, Internet giants have performed well overall.Taking AI research capabilities as an example, according to incomplete statistics, in 2018 Tencent published 131 AI papers in top conferences / journals, and Baidu and Ali had about 80 papers.On the other hand, because of the numerous and complex business scenarios of Internet companies themselves, there are many places that need to use AI capabilities, such as ultra-large-scale data processing, Internet recognition, voice navigation, etc. Internet giants are also continuously commercializing AI technology.At the same time, it is exported to the industry through “cloud + AI”.In addition, Ali, Tencent and Baidu are all investing in the deployment of AI. Almost all Internet giants are behind the domestic AI software and hardware startups.For example, Ali invests in Cambrian, Queshi Technology, Shenzhen Jianjian Technology, Spitzer, etc .; Tencent invests in Best Choice, Minglue Data, Xinghuan Technology, etc .; Baidu invests in Xingxin Technology, Huanyu Intelligence, etc.According to publicly disclosed data, Ali currently has the highest total investment in AI, Baidu has the least, and Tencent is in the middle.It is worth noting that Huawei, which had rarely encountered investment in the past, also established Hubble Technology Investment Co., Ltd. in April 2019 with a registered capital of 700 million yuan. So far, it has invested in Shandong Tianyue, Jiehuate, ShenzhenThink, Suzhou Yutai Chetong and other companies, among them, Shandong Tianyue studies the third-generation semiconductor material silicon carbide, Jiehuate is engaged in power management chips, deep thinking is an artificial intelligence company, Suzhou Yutai Chetong is a car chip startup.In terms of the Internet of Things, because “cloud + Internet of Things” has attractive applications in many scenarios such as smart cities, industrial manufacturing, autonomous driving, and smart home, technology giants have laid out the Internet of Things, such as Ali Tencent and Huawei.Self-developed IoT operating system and platform solutions.In particular, Huawei, benefiting from its accumulation in the communications industry, Huawei has a complete layout on IoT connection standards, technologies, chips, and equipment, but industry sources told the Caijing reporter that “cloud + IoT” is only partial.In the case of landing, the entire industry has not yet formed a mature business model and industrial chain. Both Huawei and other companies are in the stage of polishing and integrating products, and gradually building relevant ecology through benchmarking cases.Core basic software such as databases, Ali, Tencent, and Huawei have all launched cloud databases.A number of industry sources commented to the reporter of Caijing that the strongest database research and development capability of local companies is Ali.The fundamental reason for the convergence of R & D strategies is that platform service providers in the future must provide “cloud + AI + IoT + 5G” overall solution capabilities.This also shows that the major cloud giants export the same cloud services to the outside world, but behind the group is the group’s R & D capabilities.Each company will publicize what they are best at, but Xu Guilin told the Caijing reporter that public cloud players are not afraid of single event champions, but are all-round players with 75 points in each event, because single champions can only fight local wars.It is difficult to fight a global war.Zheng Yelai has repeatedly stated publicly that the “short board theory” applies to cloud service providers, and the most important job of cloud service providers is to make up for the short board.”If you sell hardware, you can sell your best product, but cloud services are not the same. They provide overall service capabilities to the outside world, so your short board cannot be too short, otherwise it limits your ultimate strength.” Zheng YelaiExplained to Caijing reporter.Many industry professionals also emphasized that, in addition to increasing the basic research and development, cloud giants must also form a strong solution capability and have the industry “knowhow” in order to serve government and enterprise users. This is also a long-term test.The development of technology is inseparable from talents. The number of high-tech talents is limited and it is difficult to crash. It is normal work to go to academia to find big cattle, go to Europe and the United States to dig people, and dig into each other.After the establishment of the Ali Dharma Academy, heroic posts have been widely circulated in the academic world. In just two years, there have been more than ten IEEE fellows.IEEE is the world’s most famous and largest non-profit transnational academic organization in the field of electronics, electrical, computer, communications, and automation engineering technology. All of the members elected to the IEEE are outstanding scientists who have made important achievements in the fields of science and engineering technology.Huawei invests at least 10% of its revenue in research and development every year. The research and development talent team is complete and huge. This year, Huawei also launched a “genius boy” program to spend the most money to absorb the youngest and smartest brains.Specific to the cloud business, Zheng Yelai revealed to the reporter of Caijing that half of the senior experts of Huawei Cloud 19 or above are from outside.Throughout the R & D layout of the giants, it has fully proved that this will be a protracted battle between the “grands.”The motivation for alliances to make partners earn money sounds understandable to elementary school students, but it is not easy, because “to resist inner greed” cloud computing includes IaaS (infrastructure as a service), PaaS (platform as a service), SaaS (Software as a Service) three layers.Both BAT and Huawei do the lowest level of business, namely IaaS and general-purpose PaaS. Huawei calls the cloud platform a “black land”.Just as individual users will not choose a mobile operating system with few App types, business users will not choose a barren “black land” of crops (SaaS). Therefore, Ali, Tencent and Huawei are all actively recruiting partners in order to get earlyEnriching cloud ecology.Alibaba Cloud called out the “integrated” strategy, saying that it will focus on “exercise internal skills to do integration, not SaaS”; Tencent released the SaaS ecosystem “Qianfan Plan”, and Huawei Cloud released the SaaS “Cloud” plan.The purpose of these ecological cooperation plans is the same-while conveying an open and win-win attitude to partners, it also shows the true gold and silver to support the ecology as a sign of sincerity, but in the interview, the reporter of Caijing found that various IT service providers,The choice of software service providers for cloud giants reflects the different values ​​of the giants.Alibaba is a cloud platform company with a far-reaching market share and often staged a “strong alliance.” For example, the world’s largest SaaS company Salesforce, electrical equipment giant Siemens, and ERP software giant SAP all fell on Alibaba Cloud.However, the difference between the B market and the C market is that when the company chooses a partner, it will combine multiple factors. For example, some people do not want to put all their eggs in one basket and work with only one giant. Some people consider direct and indirect competition.Factors; some consider whether genetic endowments are compatible; others value cooperation resources and support, such as being a member of a giant ecosystem.Vision Energy is the top three wind turbine suppliers in China and also provides software services for the wind turbine industry. Yu Haifeng, CTO of Vision Energy, told the Caijing reporter that potential partners of the cooperation are Ali and Tencent. In the end, Tencent Cloud was selected, mainly to worry aboutAli develops into the industry and competes directly with them.The CEO of a SaaS startup commented that Ali did indeed “do away with partners and do it by himself.” This is why Alibaba Cloud puts forward the “integrated” strategy, which emphasizes business boundaries and reassures partners.He Dengpan, Senior Solution Architect of Alibaba Cloud Global Ecology, revealed in an interview with the media that the role of the “integrated” strategy is obvious.More than 100 days after the proposal, Alibaba Cloud supports more than 300,000 customers served by more than 8,000 partners, and the total number of customers served by partners has increased by 35%.SaaS CRM startup company Sales Easy chose Tencent Ecology for a simple reason: Sales Easy chose to accept Tencent’s investment in 2017, and this year it received another $ 120 million in round E investment from Tencent.Shi Yanze, founder and CEO of Sales Easy, told Caijing that some investors had suggested that they take a neutral line, but Shi Yanze thought he had considered it very clearly.He believes that, unlike the CRM in the PC era, the CRM in the mobile internet era should also reach every individual. Tencent has a strong CTo B connection capability, which can help its CRM to create a closed loop of business value.”Finance” reporter also learned that the last round of Tencent’s investment in Sales Easy was a pure financial investment. In this round of investment, the two companies began deep cooperation at the business level, and Tencent opened a lot of resources to Sales Easy.The value of Huawei Cloud is different.Topway Information is the largest education information service provider in China.In 2017, Topway Information became Huawei Cloud’s “One-size-fits-all” partner, responsible for Huawei Cloud resale business. At that time, Huawei Cloud was just established, and the industry had widespread doubts about Huawei Cloud’s capabilities and determination.In the view of Li Xinyu, Chairman of Tuowei Information, although Huawei Cloud started late, its strong R & D capabilities and deep accumulation in the government and enterprise markets will be backed up.”The future is an ecological competition, not a single enterprise competition. I want to find my place in the ecology of Huawei Cloud. The sooner the cooperation, the more opportunities I have.” Li Xinyu told a Caijing reporter.Li Xinyu also revealed his calculations that the cloud resale business is only the basis of cooperation between the two parties. The company’s core strategy is to transform into SaaS services for the education industry. Therefore, he hopes to integrate Topway Information SaaS and Huawei Cloud to make benchmarking cases, and then useHuawei’s channel resources will be copied across the country as soon as possible.”Huawei has rooted in the B-end market for many years and has the best customer resources in its hands.” Xu Guilin said.It is a common practice for Internet companies in the consumer market to use M & A to enhance their strength or eliminate rivals. In the B-end market, Internet-based cloud platform service providers are also using this method to compete for head ecological partners.For example, Ali and Tencent are investing in start-up companies that do business services. Baidu prefers senior companies.Baidu this year bought a 5.26% stake in Hande Info for RMB 550 million and strategically invested in Neusoft Holdings for RMB 1.443 billion.The M & A method does help Internet giants reach government and enterprise customers quickly. For example, HAND has accumulated a lot in the field of ERP implementation and Neusoft in the medical field, but the disadvantages seem to be more obvious.Xu Guilin believes that the enterprise-level market is very fragmented, and IT service providers and application software vendors from all walks of life are so numerous that investment is often difficult to cover, and may even have adverse effects. Adding an ally also sets up a bunch of enemies.Zheng Ye said that some partners had always been vague in their attitudes, but one day they suddenly rushed to the door to ask for cooperation, and asked if their competitors had been invested by Ali or Tencent.According to Xu Guilin’s observation, Ali has gradually realized the disadvantages of this model and is retreating from the forward position to the midfield control panel, but Tencent has not yet seen any signs of turning.Min Wanli, the founder and CEO of Beifeng Capital, was once the chief machine intelligence scientist of Alibaba Cloud. He told the Caijing reporter that in terms of ecological construction, partners and end users must first see that the cloud can indeed make the application more valuable., Then the partner will take the initiative to come to the door; secondly, the value distribution in the cloud ecology should be more conducive to the partner. In short, only when the partner makes money can there be an incentive to make a big cake together.”Now both are not doing well, especially the value distribution system still needs to be rebuilt.” Min Wanli said.Zheng Yelai held the same view.He believes that the nature of ecology is two things. The first is the economic issue. The product or service must have the best value for money before a customer chooses you. The second is the issue of value distribution. Commercial design should be altruistic and let partners know that they can make money.what money.Allowing partners to make money is the principle that elementary school students can understand, but Zheng Yelai told a reporter from Caijing that it was not easy, because “it is necessary to resist inner greed.”To C’s protracted battle, like air combat, can be airdropped and strike a large area; To B is a ground battle or even a street battle, and each fort needs to be deployed.Both the platform and the street fighting, it is not that the giants can’t do it. At present, no public cloud is profitable, and no one thinks about profitability. In the era of horse racing, it requires long-term huge investment.Li Shuo, deputy general manager of Baidu Intelligent Cloud, said that this is a game that can only be played by “big players.”Even if the giants want to attack the To B market, they still face many challenges.Some challenges are unique to the Chinese market.For example, due to security considerations or following relevant regulatory policies, large and medium-sized government and enterprise users prefer private and hybrid clouds (public services for edge services, private clouds for core services, or private clouds). In contrast, foreign usersCloud acceptance is relatively high.Cloud vendors that operate public clouds were originally like waterworks. As long as several centers are deployed across the country, water (IT resources) can be delivered to various homes (enterprise users). This is also an ideal business model for cloud computing.But when customers choose a private or hybrid cloud, it means they still have to go to their homes to customize water plants for their customers. For public cloud vendors, they have to send teams of implementation teams to provide cloud computing for various enterprise users.Delivery and long-term operational services have led to a sharp rise in human expenditure.Of course, there are many delivery tasks that can be slowly transferred to local partners, but a number of industry sources told the Caijing reporter that the B-side market has always played the game. Important customers are tightly held in their own hands and still need to build strongThe ground service troops provide them with 7 × 24 hours of personal service.”To C is like air combat. It can airdrop and strike a large area. To B is a ground battle or even a street battle. It requires a fortress for each fort.” A Huawei enterprise business executive concluded.Previously, Internet companies did not need to set up branches across the country. This became a compulsory course after entering the B-end market. It will bring huge cost pressure in the short term, especially they are listed companies that issue financial statements every three months and accept Wall Street.”Torture” needs to withstand this pressure.In contrast, Huawei, Inspur, IBM, Dell, Lenovo and other technology companies have long established branch offices in various provinces and cities because they have been serving corporate customers. Especially local technology companies are more densely distributed and have penetrated into third- and fourth-tier cities.Internet giants are stepping up to take required courses.According to the data provided by Alibaba Cloud to Caijing, the number of partners exceeds 8,000, covering 98% of cities in China, and serving more than 300,000 customers.Among them, more than 50% of the partners are located in cities below the third tier, and these cities have more than 50,000 customers.Qiu Yuepeng, president of Tencent Cloud, revealed in an interview with media including Caijing that the company has deployed sales teams in each province to enhance contact with customers.Another challenge is the fragmentation of the market and the growing number of people.The public cloud has high thresholds, high initial investment, and few players. However, if only private cloud or industry cloud digital solutions are provided, many companies in the market have this ability. Traditional IT equipment providers such as Lenovo, Inspur, Shuguang, Xinhua III, etc.And various cloud computing startups such as EasyStack, Huayun, including the big integrator China Digital, etc. In fact, among traditional Chinese IT vendors, only Huawei has entered the public cloud vendor camp.This means that there are not fewer companies competing for the B-end market, but more.In addition, these traditional technology companies have cultivated in the B-end market for many years, have deep customer relationship accumulation, have a relatively thorough understanding of corporate user needs, and have the ability to customize solutions for users. Therefore, they have also continuously obtained various digitalproject.But Ali and Tencent can tell new stories and try their best to bring new value to B-side users with their unique capabilities.For example, government agencies are deeply interested in the connection capabilities of Ali and Tencent’s C To B, and Ali’s “run once” project in Zhejiang is also the best endorsement.”So you see that the Internet cloud giants are able to get very large government projects more than before, but they will be subcontracted after they get the projects. One is that their solution capabilities for B-end users are temporarily weak, and they want to eat.They may not be able to eat, on the other hand, they also know that they must be distributed to partners to form an ecology. “A senior cloud computing industry personage told the Caijing reporter.Regardless of the current situation, the overall trend in the digital world is to integrate cloud computing, the Internet of Things, AI, big data, 5G and other technologies to achieve digital transformation for customers, which will be a huge challenge for all players in the B-end market.What is the future pattern? A thousand people have a thousand predictions.However, the reporter from Caijing found in the interview that those who have more point of view also have a high consensus: the B-end market will not grow explosively like the C-end market, and we must have enough patience to polish products and services to truly bring value to customersSo that we can laugh to the end.(Cover image from Pexels).