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For centuries, China has excelled at designing and building large-scale infrastructure. Now, in its eagerness to become a cloud-computing powerhouse, the country is building data centers with an eye on the future.
Yet, much of China's data center infrastructure is underutilized due to a lack of killer cloud applications, and local software development expertise is not easy to find. And this classic technology chicken-and-egg scenario is preventing the Chinese cloud-computing market from taking off.
Technology Integration Group, San Diego, Calif., has a plan for stimulating cloud application development. If it works, it just might jump-start China's long awaited cloud revolution.
Last month, TIG launched a cloud joint venture with local partner Longsky Software, an application development firm based in Jiangyin, a city in the Chinese province of Jiangsu located about an hour's drive from Shanghai.
Called TIG Cloud, the joint venture is Jiangyin's first citywide cloud-computing initiative. By combining TIG's private cloud hardware expertise with Longsky Software's development skills, TIG Cloud intends to develop and market a range of industry-specific cloud applications, according to Jack Xu, general manager of TIG China and CEO of the TIG Cloud joint venture.
"The Chinese market is flooded with cloud marketing messages, but there is no firm content for people to really grasp," Xu told CRN in a recent interview. "We have to use our industry expertise and turn that into meaningful, valuable cloud applications, so that customers can get a feel for it."
The TIG Cloud opening ceremony, held in Jiangyin in late April, was a diverse gathering of around 170 government officials, local business and education leaders, and enterprise software and hardware vendor representatives. After the obligatory official speeches, TIG Cloud executives surprised the audience by launching the joint venture using a cloud application running on an iPad.
"When you talk about cloud, you are talking about being able to access applications anywhere, on any device. That is the message we wanted to deliver to the officials and to the public," Xu said.
For TIG, the launch was the culmination of an effort that began three years ago when the San Diego-based integrator began doing business in China.
Building cloud infrastructure requires local partners, access to the local market and, most important, a deep and wide relationship with the government, Ying McGuire, TIG's San Diego-based vice president of international business, told CRN.