AirAsia taps Google Cloud to boost its super app

Malaysia’s AirAsia is setting up a Cloud Center of Excellence with Google Cloud to advance its super-apps platform in Southeast Asia.

The Airasia Super App, which was launched in 2020, competes with other super apps in the region, such as Grab and Gojek. It provides services such as flight and hotel booking, e-commerce, food and package delivery, ride sharing, and financial services, among others.

Through the cloud center of excellence, AirAsia hopes to accelerate product development for the super app, which operates in Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines, and nurture talent in areas such as engineering site reliability and machine learning operations.

As an extension of Google Cloud’s product development team, the center will pilot the use of microservices, serverless technologies, and networking to improve the Airasia super app so it remains robust, reliable, and reliable. lightweight as new features and services are added.

Comprised of technologists from both companies, the center and its data scientists will also leverage Google Cloud’s analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence capabilities to glean real-time insights into the 51 million users of the super app, as well as emerging trends.

This includes understanding the travel industry’s recovery trajectory and consumption patterns around food delivery, carpooling and more. The information will allow the super app to offer personalized recommendations to users on behalf of small and medium-sized businesses that offer services on the platform.

Finally, the center will develop software development kits that partners and external developers can use to create new features and services for the super-application, such as reusable software components for biometric identification, chatbots, electronic wallets and online travel reservations.

Tony Fernandes, CEO of Capital A, formerly known as AirAsia Group, noted that the company is “now on its way to disrupting the digital platform arena in the same vein as we did for airlines. aerial”.

“We may be behind the game, but with the Super App at the center of our e-commerce, logistics and fintech ecosystem, we are determined to provide the 700 million people of ASEAN with inclusiveness. , accessibility and value,” he added.

Thomas Kurian, CEO of Google Cloud, noted that super apps help small businesses thrive and drive economies, noting that 70% of new economic value generated over the next decade will be driven by business models of digital platform, based on World Economic Forum estimates. .

“Airasia Super App is an inspiring example of a company innovating using cloud technologies to better reach and serve its customers,” he said. “We are proud to work with Tony and his team to further develop talent and an open innovation ecosystem to meet the diverse digital lifestyle needs in Southeast Asia.”

AirAsia isn’t the first super app player to forge deeper partnerships with public cloud providers. In 2018, Grab announced a five-year deal with Microsoft where it would use the Azure cloud platform to improve its services. This includes using facial recognition to authenticate drivers and passengers, and analyzing data to detect fraud.

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