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July 28, 2014

AWS: Larger companies ‘want a piece’ of startup innovation

Amazon to run webinars to help organisations implement DevOps.

By Ben Sullivan

Amazon Web Services will be holding a series of webinars over the summer to illustrate and educate potential users on the benefits of using DevOps within its ecosystem.

DevOps designates a set of tools, processes, best practices and corporate management guidelines that make an IT organisation more agile and more efficient. While the software tools and practices promoted by DevOps practitioners are well understood, rigid infrastructures reduce the benefits and hinders the application of agile methods.

Ian Massingham, a technical evangelist at Amazon Web Services, told CBR:

"We’ve got an education programme that we’re running at the moment here at Amazon Web Services which is intended to explain to customers and potential customers how they can use Amazon Web Services tools to help them deliver some of the benefits that DevOps implementations promise. With DevOps, we’re creating a software delivery environment that is more responsive, more agile, and more effective, and one that particularly focuses on larger organisations rather than startups.

"There’s a move, partly prompted by the startup community, amongst more established organisations to focus on software enabled innovations. For example, moves to bring this software innovation into the industrial market, or into the financial services market.

"This is really a result of the fact that the success of some of these high-growth technology enabled startups is becoming very visible to more traditional organisations. To put in bluntly, more established companies want a piece of this market. They can see firms like DropBox, Spotify, Netflix are all having great success in delivering services that have a high degree of relevance to customers and really provide solutions to customer priorities.

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The first webinar, which focused on the topic of ‘DevOps for the enterprise’, was held on 17 July. However, coming up, AWS has webinars on August 7, August 28, September 18, and October 9. You can register for the webinars here.

"These startups are really setting the pace in terms of meeting the customers’ needs in a really effective way and more established organisations are looking at that and thinking ‘we have a lot of resources, we have a lot of assets, we should not let these upstarts run rings around us’. Traditional organisations are trying to take some of these practices used in these newer startups and are trying to retrofit them into their IT environment.

"What we’re trying to do with the education campaign, really, is to demonstrate that AWS has services that can help our customers do that. We can help them match an agile IT service portfolio together with that desire to deliver applications and software based services in a quicker and more effective manner. Those two things are well suited to each other. It’s a great way to accelerate, improve and experiment with IT services from within your company…and we’re trying to position AWS into that opportunity and try to demonstrate to larger customers how they can benefit from using AWS in this innovation and experimental context."

Amazon Web Services has also recently launched new tools for mobile developers, making it easier for devs to build and deploy mobile apps.

Amazon Cognito is a new service that provides user identity and data synchronization that lets developers create apps that authenticate users through popular public login providers, and then keep app data such as user preferences and game state synced between devices.

"We continue to hear from customers that they prefer to avoid having to build any of the undifferentiated parts of their mobile apps," said Marco Argenti, Vice President, Mobile at Amazon Web Services.

"AWS already provides the backend processing, storage, and databases that customers around the world use to power sophisticated mobile apps. We designed AWS Mobile Services, including Amazon Cognito and AWS Mobile Analytics, to make it even simpler and more cost-effective to build and scale mobile apps on the AWS Cloud."

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