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October 26, 2015

Cloud, analytics, databases – AWS wants it all

C-level Briefing: CBR spoke to Stephen Orban, Head of Enterprise Strategy, AWS about its continued drive into the data analytics space, going hybrid and unhappy customers.

By James Nunns

AWS, the leader in the public cloud arena has been significantly expanding its portfolio of services. Orban places this almost solely due to customer demand.

"90% of our roadmap is driven by what customers ask us for. That demand and what we are developing comes from what our customers are asking for, a lot of that comes from the enterprise."

This is likely to impact companies operating in the analytics space, with Orban saying: "We’re going to build the best platform that we can for the widest variety of use cases."

The analytics market has seen a number of industry specific offerings appearing in the areas of retail, farming and other sectors.

While AWS may have a broad stroke at the moment, it is also planning on industry focus.

"We are building industry focus teams within our organisation around understanding and being able to serve specific industry verticals.

"I think from the product development perspective, we want to hit the widest/largest constituency possible and we welcome the partner community."

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In addition to analytics, AWS has pushed into Business Intelligence with QuickSight and the database sector with its migration tools. Both of which have been offered up as alternatives for unhappy customers.

On getting into BI due to customer unhappiness, he said: "It’s either that they are unhappy, or there are possibilities that they feel they are yet to unlock and they just don’t have the solution for it today."

Orban had something similar to say for databases: "It’s just as much about the service as it’s about the business model and relationships and not feeling like you’re trapped in by these licensing models and these punitive business tactics, which is just not part of our DNA."

The company is targeting making migration easy, or certainly simpler than it has been. While it will be hoping customers move to it for any database needs, the migration service it offers is bi-directional, so customers can move away if they desire.

With so many services on offer, the company could itself be described as being hybrid rather than simply a public cloud company.

Orban would simply describe AWS as a cloud company.

"Public, private – those words mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people. We consider ourselves a cloud company."

Enterprises that have been implementing IT for any meaningful length of time will have hybrid architecture, said Orban.

"It really serves as a bridge from their on-premises environment to the cloud so that they can take advantage of everything the cloud has to offer."

He expects this to continue for some time, particularly as enterprises get better at both developing and operating their systems in the cloud.

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