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Google Cloud wins AirAsia contract to overhaul its customer app

The two companies will also establish a cloud centre of excellence to accelerate product development

Malaysia's digital travel and lifestyle platform AirAsia has signed a five-year partnership with Google Cloud to boost its Super App and create a cloud centre of excellence.

Airasia operates in Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, and the Philippines, offering flight and hotel bookings, e-commerce, food and parcel delivery, ride-hailing, and financial and health services.

Launched in 2020, it currently has 51 million users and is one of three unicorns headquartered in Malaysia.

The deall will see the companies establish a Cloud Centre of Excellence (CCoE) made up of Google Cloud technologists and AirAsia employees. It aims to embed an agile culture across AirAsia’s business units, accelerating product development and upskilling talent as a result. It will also deploy Google Cloud’s Site Reliability Engineering and MLOps best practices.

Through Google Cloud’s infrastructure, the CCoE hopes to help AirAsia’s Super App, which provides customers with flight, hotel, and food delivery information, to run seamlessly as more features are added, especially if accessed by a high volume of users at any given time.

The CCoE’s data scientists will also use the tech giant’s analytics, machine learning, and AI technologies to get real-time insights into customers’ opinions and emerging trends. This includes an understanding of the travel sector’s recovery trajectory and consumption patterns around food delivery and ride hailing. Through this, the companies aim to serve users hyper-personalised recommendations.

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Lastly, the CCoE will develop a suite of software development kits (SDKs) that ecosystem partners and external developers can use to create new features and services for AirAsia. This includes software components for biometric identification, chatbots, and e-wallets. Google is also set to expand its developer community in Southeast Asia through AirAsia’s network.

"With Google's help, our ecosystem will not only be transactional, but be about building community, and enriching that community – not just the customers but partners like restaurants, airlines, hotels and drivers," said Tony Fernandes, CEO of Capital A, formerly known as AirAsia Group. "I'm excited to reveal how Airasia and all of Capital A's assets will transform Asean and deliver value, not only in transactions but in making Asean a smaller place. What we are doing is not evolutionary, but revolutionary. I'm going to enjoy the ride with Google."

This isn’t the only new partnership Google Cloud has been involved in this week. Yesterday, Boeing signed three new cloud agreements with AWS, Google Cloud, and Microsoft, as it aims to get rid of outdated legacy systems. The aerospace company said that its partnerships expand and grow on existing relationships with each cloud provider, creating a single foundation for the company’s approach to cloud computing in the years ahead.

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