Analysis: Amazon Web Services held its annual conference in London where financial services were one of the main talking points.
The AWS Summit in London highlighted the strategic importantance of financial services to the cloud company while continuing to showcase the importance of a customer first approach aligned with continuous innovation.
Amazon Web Services has continued to dominate the cloud market but because the messaging for cloud is now so well known, it is hard for the company to pitch it the same.
So instead of the message that cloud will help save money, increase agility, and so on, the focal point is on the services that it offers while it introduces a stream of customers across industry sectors to talk about why they chose AWS.
The Summit, held at London’s Excel arena, welcomed over 5,000 people to make it the largest European show that the company has done to date. Those 5,000 plus attendees were shown customer examples of Mondo, a challenger bank, Travelex, a currency exchange company, and more.
With a financial services company and a fintech company on the cards, the message was clear – that cloud is good to go in FS.
Before Werner Vogels, CTO, Amazon, got into his keynote, Gavin Jackson, MD, UK & I, AWS, took to the stage to assure the audience that in the aftermath of Brexit, it would not be shying away from investment in the UK.
Jackson reiterated the company’s desire to open up a UK region, saying: "We see the UK as a fast innovator, a huge talent pool, and a fast adopter."
He added: "Keep calm and carry on innovating with AWS."
Vogels didn’t need to carry on this message, instead he went into talking about the history of AWS, where it was, and how it set about to "radically change the relationship between providers and customers."
After 10 years the company now has over a million active businesses per month, over $10bn run rate, and 64% growth – things are going well.
This show had a little more ego than previous AWS conferences, a little more showcasing of why exactly it is number one, several slides showed glimpses of its many customers in different segments.
One sector stood out more than the others, financial services, perhaps the last hold out for mass adoption of the cloud. However, with customers like Capital One, Mondo, Travelex, and more that the company isn’t allowed to reference, AWS appears to be showing that the final barriers to adoption have been overcome.
Vogels said: "Financial services are not worried by other large banks…they are more worried by start-ups. Death by a thousand cuts."
Aside from the customer references, Vogels spent a large amount of time running through how some of its services make life easier.
With containers, for example, which he described as bringing businesses "back into the world of managing infrastructure. Bring back a world of pain." After which followed a pitch for Amazon container management service.
It’s somewhat understandable that the company needs to showcase some of its services considering that in 2015 it launched over 700 new features and services, and this year it has already gone past the 400 mark. So keeping up is a struggle.
This explains why the company put up a number of slides to highlight the services that it offers for customers looking for a hybrid cloud.
Vogels also had a few words of advice for those running Virtual Machines, saying: "VMs may look like servers, they are not. Don’t treat them like that, if you treat them like that you lose out."
In this period of the presentation Vogels spoke in length about severless computing, replacing servers, VMs, and containers with code.
The idea is to utilise AWS Lambda to allow the developer to not think about servers. This means that they no longer have to deal with over or under capacity, deployments, scaling, and fault tolerance. With Vogels spending time talking about it, it is probably a good bet that this is something that AWS is going to me more proactive in pushing.
Amazon Web Services has grown into a market leading goliath but it is keen to assure that customers come first, innovation is still strong, and there are still areas for it to grow in to. An increasingly enterprise like feel to its conferences will appeal more to larger businesses, but the continued innovation will still make it an attractive proposition to developers.