AWS re:Invent Report: Transformation, not Technology
By Declan Waters, Founder and CEO
The Waters Agency team has been fortunate enough to attend AWS re:Invent since our inception five years ago. VMworld used to be our biggest show in terms of client attendance, but the focus is now centered around re:Invent. This has naturally evolved into our ecosystem and it will continue to be the direction of travel for us heading into 2023. Many of our clients in the US and Europe partner with AWS and are active in the marketplace. We always relish the opportunity to spend time face-to-face with teams, on this occasion from Pure Storage, Solo.io and KX, and of course the influencer community that help us dissect what’s going on. Following the pandemic, this year’s event was eagerly anticipated and it did not disappoint!
At re:Invent, you get your steps in after Thanksgiving! The show is spread across multiple hotels in Vegas, so in addition to the challenge of finding clients and media among the 5,000 attendees, you need to factor in the time to reach each meeting. Despite the slightly daunting economic environment, the vibe was refreshingly upbeat and our hosts gave us all plenty to discuss over countless cups of coffee and Happy Hours.
Talking to analyst and media friends in attendance (AWS flew 100+ analysts to the conference), the conversation on everyone’s lips was that change is in the air. New CEO, Adam Selipsky, is clearly on a mission. The (awesome) team over at SiliconAngle call him “The Solutions CEO’’ and that certainly reflects his focus of adding more value further up the stack. Speaking with the media, a running theme is that the AWS ecosystem of nearly 100,000 partners is going to be a major competitive advantage as they battle with Azure and GCP for more market share. Other topics making it to the keynote address included security security data lakes are a hot topic), governance and new use cases around AI/ML.
AWS has somewhere in the region of 300 services, its scale and choice of tools must be daunting for even the most seasoned in-house teams. According to Selipsky, “Customers really need to be able to take an end-to-end integrated view of the entire journey that their data goes on from ingestion to storage, to harmonizing the data, to being able to query it, to being able to do business intelligence and human-based analysis on it, to being able to collaborate and share on that data.”
That screams AWS 2.0, and our clients address many areas of the data journey he is outlining. What’s encouraging is that it’s clear that AWS needs the ecosystem now more than ever and is committed to helping its partners win. From a PR standpoint, education is needed as Selipsky is talking about transformation, rather than just technology. Transformation is a much bigger goal and conversation, and he is hoping customers will join him. Time will tell though as customers continue to tighten their belts.
Never a dull moment in this industry and that’s why we love it!
It was a superb week. Great to catch up with you all and see you in Vegas next year!
About the author:
Declan is the founder and CEO of Waters Agency and has been running media campaigns for US and European companies for over 20 years. His experience in media relations comes from representing companies such VMware and Nutanix and working with the likes of Condoleezza "Condi" Rice, former Secretary of State and John Thompson, Chairman of the Board at Microsoft.