Volkswagen to football, the cloud is impacting deeply on everything
The pioneer in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud has an annual revenue execution rate of $ 36 billion. It has almost twice the market share of its closest competitor, Microsoft Azure. In the eighth edition of the AWS Customer conference, re: invent, in Las Vegas at the beginning of December, there was a record attendance of 65,000. CEO Andy Jassy , which invariably intermingles his opening speech with musical scores, this time reflected the optimism of the cloud and the company's performance with Queen 'Don't stop me now, I'm having such a good time'. Jassy announced the Graviton 2 processor, a powerful data center chip acquired by Intel and AMD, and more than 20 new features and services, including six new capabilities for Amazon SageMaker including Amazon SageMaker Studio that unifies all the tools needed for machine learning development. In an exclusive interaction with TOI, Jassy spoke on the future of the cloud. Excerpts:
What are the newest workloads that customers are excited to move to the cloud? Are AI and ML shaping the conversation in the cloud?
Many enterprises are making these mass migrations to the cloud. Sometimes it’s digital transformation, sometimes it’s just modernization. As they move their core applications and learn about the value they get in the cloud, they are also finding all kinds of new workloads that they haven’t thought were possible before and they are now building capabilities around it. If you look at VW (Volkswagen) as an example, they are completely reinventing their factories, their manufacturing and logistics on top of AWS. If you look at the National Football League (NFL), player health and safety is such an important factor. They are going to take many years of information and video, and use computer vision and ML algorithms from AWS and they are going to simulate across millions of combinations of different points of contact, different angles of contact, and different types of equipment, and what kind of injuries they have had. They will also be able to create a digital athlete platform, where they will create a virtual repository of each player so that you’ll know how it is when they look healthy and compare that with a player who may have a head injury. ML is something that’s able to show you the subtleties between movements that are sometimes hard to catch.
When he talks about cloud transformation, he is not just technical, he needs high-level leaders to align with the strategy. Where are you seeing the gaps?
When you are a great company, you have succeeded and have a workforce that has operated the business in a certain way for a long time. But when there is a disruptive change of great technological transformation: the greatest technological change in our life time to the cloud, where it is much more profitable and can move faster than ever before, sometimes it is difficult to decide to make the change. And if you allow yourself to slow down to make a transformation, you will find yourself waking up one day where you really are behind your competitors and struggling to catch up. In a large company, where inertia is difficult to break, if the leader is not on board, they will find ways to slow down. Those who are most successful have aggressive goals from top to bottom.
You have suggested that Oracle and IBM are lagging behind due to their continued promotion of legacy systems, including mainframes ...
We have this belief that in ten years or so, relatively few companies will have their own data centers, and those who do, their data center footprints will be much smaller. All that computing is moving to the cloud. We are trying to make it easier for customers to move to the cloud. There are many solutions out there trying to solve that issue, but none of them are getting traction because they have different APIs, tools and hardware, very different from what people are using in the cloud or on-premise. We thought about the problem differently and created AWS Outposts to distribute AWS on-premise. It offers you the same AWS hardware infrastructure, services, APIs, and tools to build and run your applications on-premise and in the cloud for a hybrid experience.
You see yourself as two years ahead of Microsoft Azure. You criticized Microsoft for its recent licensing tweaks that discourage customers from running Windows Server deployments on non-Azure clouds. But it’s also true that Azure and Google Cloud are growing much faster than AWS.
In every area, whether in compute, storage, database, machine learning, analytics, our customers regularly tell us they see us a couple of years ahead in functionality and in operational maturity. We have this expression internally, there is no compression algorithm for experience and that’s because you can't learn certain lessons until you get to a different scale with the business. AWS is larger than other providers and you learn certain lessons that others who haven’t gotten to that scale can’t learn. So you can see, after a long time, companies are forcing you to buy their licenses to use their product. But it’s very unfriendly and customers don’t like it and I think it pushes customers away from those products. When they look at the way that larger old-guard licensing firms - Oracle and Microsoft - are behaving, they just don't want to continue to use those products.
Microsoft obtained the $ 10 billion JEDI contract. You say it was unfairly awarded ...
Customers make a detailed comparison of apples with apples from our platform with others and always tell us that we are a couple of years ahead in terms of functionality and maturity, so you are in a place quite different from where that acquisition came from . I think part of the problem is when you have an acting president who is openly dismissive of the company and its CEO, which makes it difficult for government agencies to make objective decisions without fear of reprisals.
Is there a delay effect in emerging markets that respond to the cloud compared to mature markets?
I think virtually every country in the world and every type of business and every stage of business is using the cloud in a very meaningful way. The adoption in the US is 12-36 months ahead of anywhere else, depending on the country and industry. In the earliest days of AWS, it was primarily startups and small businesses that were using the cloud to transform themselves. Today, it's everybody.
Volkswagen Industrial Cloud
Volkswagen has 122 factories around the world, but the tech used in them are often disconnected from each other. So it is working with AWS to lift all the factories into the cloud with one common architecture - the Volkswagen Industrial Cloud. It’s a mammoth task for the automaker that has iconic brands like the Beetle, Porsche and Audi, and a portfolio of 365 car models. It produces 44,000 vehicles every day. More than 1,500 suppliers globally produces 200 million components and parts that are shipped into its factories every single day. Volkswagen’s cloud is one of the biggest IoT projects in the manufacturing world, comprising a digital production platform to connect robots, body shop, assembly, logistics. The new platform will have sensors in each factory and tech that will send information so that everyone knows what the others are doing. Machine learning algorithms will gather information from sensors on the shop floor and provide insights. It’s a showcase of cloud power.