Malaysian low-cost airline, AirAsia, which earlier this year rebranded itself as Capital A, has announced a five-year strategic collaboration with Google Cloud to improve the reach and functionality of its airasia Super App, a digital and lifestyle platform targeted at customers in Southeast Asia (SEA).
In a joint statement, the two companies said they would “combine core competencies” to nurture technology talent and co-create software tools for open innovation.
They also plan to deliver “data-driven intelligence on behalf of micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises on the platform”, and ensure accessibility for diverse users in cities and rural areas, the statement said.
airasia Super App, which operates in Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, and the Philippines, is central to Capital A’s digital strategy, the company’s group CEO Tony Fernandes said.
The fintech platform, which is one of Malaysia’s three unicorns according to Credit Suisse, offers flight and hotel bookings, e-commerce, food and parcel delivery, ride-hailing, financial and health services, on-demand education and more.
It also has an integrated rewards program and mobile wallet, Fernandes said, adding that since its inception in 2020, the platform has grown to 51 million users.
Centre of excellence
Under the agreement, the two companies will establish a cloud centre of excellence (CCoE) consisting of AirAsia AllStars (an internal company branding) and Google Cloud technologists.
Fernandes said the CCoE will “embed an agile culture across all airasia Super App business units to accelerate product development velocity, enable teams to embrace change, and upskill talent”.
This will include tapping Google Cloud’s site reliability engineering (SRE) and MLOps best practices, “so staff and AirAsia Academy graduates can strengthen their technical capabilities and meet the requirements of the fast-growing business”, he said.
Fernandes added that by using Google Cloud’s “secure and scalable infrastructure, and microservices, serverless and networking technologies”, the CCoE will enhance the airasia Super App so that it remains robust, reliable and lightweight as more features and services are continuously added.
He added that by deploying Google Cloud’s analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies, the CCoE’s data scientists “can unify and analyse datasets to glean real-time insights into customer sentiment and emerging trends”.
Fernandes said the CCoE will develop a suite of software development kits that its ecosystem partners and external developers will be able to use to “cost-effectively create new features and services for airasia Super App users”.
“What we’re announcing today is just the beginning, and we look forward to exploring further co-innovation initiatives with Google, whether in digital travel planning, self-driving cars, cloud gaming, start-up investment, or supporting frontline workers through Google Workspace,” airasia Super App CEO Amanda Woo said.