Bukalapak co-founders back local cloud management firm

As a software engineer for more than 15 years, Iskandar Soesman always struggled to manage server infrastructure for his products.

He usually sent a request to an IT administrator, but the process took days. Moreover, software engineers can’t do it by themselves as managing infrastructure requires different skills.

The problem continues to exist even as companies and startups migrate their IT environment from the legacy infrastructure to cloud servers.

That’s why Soesman began working on a platform-as-a-service project in 2018 that could help developers set up their infrastructure. After several iterations, the small project turned into a complete cloud management platform called Awanio.

Soesman resigned from the job he held in 2021 to focus on building the product, along with Agung Surya Bangsa, Akbar Kusuma Negara, and Irfan Yuta Pratama.

Recently, Awanio has raised an undisclosed amount of seed funding from Init 6, the investment firm of Bukalapak founders Achmad Zaky and Nugroho Herucahyono.

Local pioneer for global solutions

Awanio is a cloud management platform that helps companies in managing their IT infrastructures to become cloud-ready. The company says it is the first local player to offer such a service in Indonesia.

Its main clients are local cloud hosting providers who want to make it easier for their end consumers to manage infrastructure. The startup also helps software agencies that create apps for other companies and need cloud servers to manage those apps.

Awanio’s solutions are similar to those from global players such as VMwareOpenStack, and Warren. “We can be an alternative for those products at a more affordable price,” Soesman told Tech in Asia.

Awanio offerings allow the management of computing power, storage, and databases. It also has additional services such as a billing engine that is integrated with payment gateways and kubernetes-as-a-service.

“Earlier, it took us 24 hours to prepare the physical servers, but with Awanio our customers can have bare-metal service in only a few minutes”, said Alfian Pamungkas Sakawiguna, CEO of local cloud provider IDCloudHost.

Awanio operates two kind of business models: one based on licenses and another on revenue sharing. While other solutions may be designed keeping IT administrators in mind, Awanio’s solution aims to allow software engineers to manage infrastructure independently.

The startup plans to use the fresh funding for product development and marketing purposes. It admits that it faces a challenge in educating the market given the technicality of the product.

“We are still in the process to make potential customers aware about the issues that can be solved by our products,” Soesman said.

Awanio currently has around 11 employees.

Managing the cloud isn’t easy

Soesman explained that cloud providers – including global players that have entered Indonesia market – offer utopian claims of a cheaper, easier, and more scalable platform to run software. However, he says that actually managing cloud-based services is not as easy as advertisements make it seem.

“A problem that mostly arises when a company migrates to cloud is the surge of cost. We need deep technical knowledge about the cloud to optimize the way we use it. Then the price will make sense,” Soesman said.

Bukalapak co-founder Zaky, who has backed Awanio via Init 6, acknowledges that there are challenges for local hosting companies looking to compete with global players. “We are optimistic that private, hybrid, and public cloud solutions offered by Awanio can help speed up cloud adoption,” he said.

(Source: TechinAsia)