Reflecting on my first year as Head of Cloudflare Asia

Reflecting on my first year as Head of Cloudflare AsiaOne year into my role as Head of Asia for Cloudflare, I wanted to reflect on what we’ve achieved, as well as where we are going next.

When I started, I spoke about growing our brand recognition in Asia and optimizing our reach to clients by building up teams and channel partners. I also mentioned a key reason behind my joining was Cloudflare’s mission to help build a better Internet and focus on democratizing Internet tools that were once only available to large companies. I’m delighted to share that we’ve made great progress and are in a strong position to continue our rapid growth. It’s been a wonderful year, and I’m thrilled that I joined the company.

There has been a lot going on in our business, as well as in the region. Let’s start with Cloudflare Asia.

Cloudflare Asia

Our Singapore team has swelled from 40 people from 11 countries to almost 100 people from 19 nations. Our team is as diverse as our client base and keeps the office lively and innovative.

Reflecting on my first year as Head of Cloudflare Asia
The Cloudflare Singapore Team

Our Customers

The number of Asian businesses choosing to work with us has more than doubled. You can check out what we’ve been doing with companies like Carousell, Vicroads, and 9GAG. Our relationships span all across the region, from India to Japan, from small business to large organizations, from startups to governments, and a wide variety of verticals from e-commerce to financial services.

Our Partners

To further expand our reach, we signed eight new partners representing seven markets and are in discussion with select others. We even held our first partner enablement bootcamp recently which was a big success.

Reflecting on my first year as Head of Cloudflare Asia
Our First Partner Bootcamp in Asia

Our Offices

We moved into a larger and wonderful office in Singapore. Customers can come to Frasers Tower to see our Network Operations Center and stunning view of the city. We celebrated this new office and Asian Headquarters opening with two events where our co-founder and COO, Michelle Zatlyn presided. Dignitaries from the Singapore Economic Development Board, Singapore Cyber Security Association and the American Embassy cut the ribbon, and hundreds of customers, partners and friends joined us to kick off the Lunar New Year.

Reflecting on my first year as Head of Cloudflare Asia
Celebrating our new office opening in Feb 2019

We have a wonderful community space that we are sharing for meet-ups. Developers, interest groups, and others from the community are welcome to use it. The first group to take advantage of this was IndoTech, a community of Indonesian professionals living in Singapore, who work in tech.

Reflecting on my first year as Head of Cloudflare Asia
IndoTech meetup at the Cloudflare events space 

Going Down Under

Asia is a large region and we are thrilled to expand to Australia. We have many local customers like AfterpayTouch, Fitness and Lifestyle Group, and the NIB group. We have run Worker focused meetups in Sydney and Melbourne as part of our Real World Serverless roadshow and shared what we learned about Noise on the Internet with 1.1.1.1 at AusNOG and NZNog. Today, we are announcing our expanded Australia presence. Incorporating into a new country is a big step and we’ve taken it. This is a good time to mention that we are hiring. If you want to join Cloudflare in Sydney, please get in touch.

Our Network

Cloudflare has 165 data centers around the world. Since I’ve joined a year ago, we’ve added 46 cities globally, including 15 in APAC. We now have data centers in Pakistan and Vietnam. Around 20% of Cloudflare’s globally distributed network is in Asia.

Our Products

We’ve added a number of great products, which can be found on our blog. Some additions that are especially pertinent to the region include adding UDP capability to Spectrum. Gaming clients typically use custom protocols based on UDP, which legacy systems don’t effectively protect. So our expansion of Spectrum has been eagerly received by the many mobile game developers across the region. Indeed, gamers have been using Spectrum even prior to this launch. One example is a mobile game producer where we protect their login/authentication servers that are TCP-based to mitigate DDoS attacks for the purpose of keeping their servers online for players to be able to log in and play.

The world is moving to serverless computing and Cloudflare is leading the way. Many of the companies in APAC are on the forefront of this trend and are leveraging Cloudflare to improve their infrastructure. One client is using Cloudflare Workers to speed up and improve capture rates of their analytics engine.

The Region

From a regional perspective, many countries in Asia are encouraging businesses to be digital-ready.  Governments around the region are spearheading programs to help SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises), corporations and government departments take advantage of technology and innovation to capture economic gains. For example, Singapore announced SMEsGoDigital as part of the 2017 budget and Thailand recently launched the Thailand 4.0 initiative.

In addition, one interesting aspect of the Asian market is that a higher percentage of companies are using multi-cloud architecture. Whether it’s because these  companies need to cover different countries where one of the large cloud providers (eg AWS, Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, Alicloud or IBM) is stronger than others, or because companies want to avoid “vendor lock-in”, many companies end up using several cloud compute partners.

The Last Word

Needless to say, it has been an exciting year. I am proud of what we have accomplished and looking forward to what we have left to do.

Join us

Given all this opportunity for growth, our team in Singapore is hiring! We have roles in Systems Reliability Engineering, Network Engineering, Technical Support Engineering, Solutions Engineering, Customer Success Engineering, Recruiting, Account Executives, Business Development Representatives, Sales Operations, Business Operations, and beyond. Check out our careers page.

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