As Amazon hosts its AWS:reinvent conference in Las Vegas, confidently proclaiming its dominance of the public cloud market, it’s easy to forget that there are areas of the cloud where the company is not even trying to compete.
According to Len Padilla, Vice president of product strategy at NTT Com, Amazon’s self-service model does not provide the human touch that many companies still require.
"It’s all based on interacting through an API and not so much through a human, which is where they see the future of IT. I think the future of IT will go there as well, eventually, so we have all of those kinds of efforts going on as well in NTT.
"But the kind of customer we are working with now isn’t there yet. We have probably a period of five to ten years ahead of us where most large companies are going to have both the old and the new style of IT within them. Really our focus is trying to help customers make all of that stuff work together."
Padilla says that while Amazon is a competitor for NTT in some ways, this fundamental difference means that the web giant does not have a complete hegemony.
"We see them as an interesting infrastructure alternative; we have a lot of customers who use them for lots of good reasons. The depth of technical services they offer is pretty much unparalleled. If you’re going to build a Greenfield app they are a really good place to go.
"But if you need application management, security consulting, global networks, it’s not that they’re bad; they could probably be good at whatever they tried to do. This is what they choose not to do, and conversely that’s what we choose to do.
"Our approach is working with the customer, trying to understand their business and help them with that complete business transformation.
"The infrastructure that underpins what we’re helping them to do is sometimes going to be ours, sometimes it will be Amazon’s, sometimes it will be Azure, sometimes it will be private on their own premises.
"In a very narrow sense, they are our competition, but in a more general sense they are another different kind of infrastructure for us."
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