Zoom launches first SEA data centre in SG with help from EDB

Video-conferencing platform Zoom is launching a new data centre in Singapore. The data centre is said to be the Zoom's first in Southeast Asia and comes as it sees growth from 10 million daily meeting participants in December 2019 to 300 million in April 2020. In Singapore specifically, free user sign-ups increased a whopping 65-fold in April 2020 compared to January 2020, the company said in a statement.

Zoom has seen a multitude of use cases in Singapore amidst implementation of the local circuit breaker, working closely with government bodies such as the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and Ministry of Education (MOE). Nonetheless the ride has not been the smoothest for the platform as in April, the platform was hit with a slew of privacy issues globally in its video conferences. In Singapore, the MOE suspended the use of Zoom by teachers for home-based learning after privacy breaches which saw obscene images appearing on a student's screen. The suspension was lifted just days after, and teachers were allowed the use the platform again after increased security measures.

However, the brand has been actively winning over consumers, slowly becoming one of the highest used platforms amongst the youth. In an earlier conversation with Marketing, Derek Pando, Zoom's head of international and partner marketing, said: "Prior to COVID-19, most of our customers were businesses and large enterprises that relied on us for internal and external communication around the world. Use of Zoom exploded overnight as the pandemic hit, and we saw completely new use cases to help users live from their homes, from education, parties, quiz nights, violin lessons, yoga, and religious and political meetings. We were taken by surprise as no one anticipated these use cases when we were developing the product."

Meanwhile, Kiren  Kumar,  assistant  chief  executive  at  IMDA  and  chief  digital  industry  officer, Digital Industry Singapore said video conferencing tools such as Zoom have kept people and companies connected during this pandemic -enabling remote working and distance learning, and even changing the way businesses are run.

"Zoom’s decision  to  expand  in  Singapore  points  to  our  strong fundamentals:  a  connected  technology  hub  for companies  to  serve  regional  markets,  access  talent,  and  in  the  process,  create  meaningful  jobs  for Singaporeans," Kumar added. 

According to The Business Times, Abe Smith, head of international at Zoom, said it is also looking to hire more Singapore employees in engineering and sales. Marketing has reached out to Zoom for additional information.

Zoom joins brands such as SAP and South Korean Internet firm Naver that have launched data centres in Singapore. SAP rolled out its data centre locally last year to help businesses in APAC adopt digital commerce strategies to deliver superior customer experiences. Meanwhile, Naver moved its overseas data backup centres from Hong Kong to Singapore in July amidst privacy concerns in the Chinese territory. 

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