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Alibaba launches ‘A100’ to boost company’s digital transformation

Alibaba Group announced the launch of “A100” at the inaugural “Alibaba ONE Business Conference” in Hangzhou today. A strategic partnership program, A100 will provide companies with a one-stop holistic solution to accelerate their digital transformations, 

Members of A100 will develop a deep and long-standing working relationship with Alibaba businesses across multiple functions and platforms. Companies can choose from a comprehensive menu of services to enhance their business operations. Alibaba will establish a cross-platform integrated account-serving team to supervise the implementation of A100 and will begin with partners that are already part of the company’s ecosystem.

The name, “A100,” symbolises Alibaba’s goal of providing digitised solutions to a large number of companies. The program is built on the “Alibaba Operating System,” which was showcased at the conference. The creation of the Alibaba Operating System is part of the company’s natural progression from an e-commerce provider to an integrated global technology company.

As Alibaba has expanded its business from solely e-commerce into digital entertainment and local services, the power of its infrastructure has grown to cover sales, logistics, supply chain optimization, payments, marketing, and a wide range of supporting services all powered by cloud-based technologies. With these strong cloud-computing capabilities, the infrastructure is able to process a massive flow of data, offering insights and analytics instrumental to better meeting customer needs and growing their business. New Retail is a key interface through which businesses can tap into the Alibaba Operating System.

According to the company press release, the A100 program will gradually expand to other brands, looking to optimise their digital operations.

Daniel Zhang, CEO of Alibaba Group stated,“With over 600 million monthly active users and nearly 30 business units specializing in enterprise services including tech-driven retail, mobile payment, digital marketing, media entertainment, IT infrastructure and more, Alibaba is the leading partner for businesses within China and around the world to capitalize on the growing consumption by China’s middle class.”

He added, “The A100 initiative, powered by the Alibaba Operating System, will be a one-stop shop for businesses to access a comprehensive range of enterprise services in the digital era.”

One of the early successes of the Alibaba cross-platform partnership has been Nestlé. While strengthening its core B2C business through its Tmall flagship store, Tmall Supermarket and Rural Taobao, Nestlé has recently expanded into new Alibaba channels, such as Lingshoutong, FRESHIPPO (formerly known as Hema) supermarket and RT-Mart. In addition, Nestlé has established a strong digitisation-focused collaboration with Alibaba on a number of projects based on market and category insight and consumer understanding generated from various platforms available in the ecosystem.

In 2018, Nestlé signed a strategic partnership with Cainiao, the logistics arm of Alibaba Group, which enabled Nestlé to consolidate four distributors serving the Alibaba-related business into one and introducing the “One Set” inventory system to fulfill online orders. As a result, Nestlé is able to fully leverage Cainiao’s intelligence to sort products and manage inventories according to consumers’ preferences in different regions, reducing the proportion of cross-region parcels and speeding up deliveries.

In August 2018, Alibaba and Starbucks formed a strategic New Retail partnership that enabled a seamless Starbucks experience. Starbucks’ delivery program is available across 2,000 stores in 30 cities in China, in partnership with Ele.me. Starbucks has also partnered with FRESHIPPO supermarket to create “Star Kitchens”, specifically designed for Starbucks delivery order fulfillment, further expanding its delivery capabilities. Starbucks also launched its first virtual store in China, providing a one-stop digital experience across the Starbucks app and mobile apps within the Alibaba ecosystem.

“Many partners have gained enhanced operational efficiency and business growth through a deep partnership with Alibaba. Synergies generated by our ecosystem are creating new avenues for sales and distribution, and catalysing product innovation to capture opportunities in lifestyle upgrades across China. We look forward to adding many more global and Chinese domestic companies to the A100 strategic partnership program in the near future,” added Zhang.

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