AWS re:Invent kicked off in Vegas yesterday, and a number of the Nordcloud team have travelled across the pond to attend what is probably the biggest Cloud event on the planet.
In 2016, Jaakko documented the sheer scale that is involved in running re:Invent, and this year AWS have managed to scale it up again. With a 44k+ attendees, (30k+ in 2016) the campus now spreads across 7 hotels the length of the strip - that's a 50-minute walk end to end (luckily there are shuttle buses!). The partner expo has doubled in size and is now across two locations, making the scale of the conference hard to comprehend.
Sitting in the 16,800 capacity arena for the Partner Keynote on the first 'formal' day of the event was a little awe-inspiring. Werner Vogel's keynote will be in the same location and we fully expect the atmosphere to be electric when filled to capacity on Thursday.
Today's keynote was led by Terry Wise, AWS' VP of Global Alliances, Ecosystems and Channels who highlighted both the growth of AWS, (1300 new releases so far this year and 70 on Monday of re:Invent alone) and the growth of the AWS Partner Community. AWS have clear evidence that those customers who work with companies within their partner ecosystem, such (as Nordcloud) are able to adopt the cloud faster and more effectively. In this way, AWS is committed to providing partners with the training and tools to help them do that (launching several within the keynote).
AWS recognise that their customers want skilled partners who are specialised and to support the AWS partner competency programme. AWS, therefore, audits the partners on their skillset and ensures that we have completed reference-able real-world projects. Today, AWS announced a Networking and Machine Learning Competency, and coming in 2018, Blockchain, Containers, End User Computing & Cloud Management Tools. Nordcloud already holds the DevOps Competency, and we are Managed Services, Lambda, DynamoDB and API Gateway Partners. We will, of course, be looking to add some of these new competencies to our lineup.
Wise believes that "Cloud is the foundation for innovation" and to help demonstrate this, he invited a number of people to the stage:
- Colleen Manaher, the Executive Director of U.S. Customers and Border Protection (CBP) talked about how CBP was using AWS and Machine learning to accomplish their vision of allowing you to "go from reservation to destination and back again without a passport or a boarding pass", using facial recognition, machine learning and AWS.
- Matt Wood, GM, Deep Learning and AI at AWS talked about the challenges of Machine Learning & how Amazon uses AI on a daily basis (from robots in their warehouses and Amazon Alexa to recognising music and actors in Amazon Prime Video).
- John Nichols from PG&E talked about the importance of Mentorship and Culture when transitioning to the cloud.
- David Mccann announced updates in the AWS Market Place & Service Catalog to make it easier for partners to deliver their services to end customers, including an Enterprise Contract for the AWS Marketplace.
- Steve Bashada, EVP and GM of Siemens PLM talked about how Siemens is using IoT (helping them increase availability of trains from 87% to 99%) and how they have launched MindSphere on AWS, which will allow companies to develop robust IoT solutions faster on AWS.
- Andy Jassy, CEO of AWS, talked about the importance of Partners for AWS and provided some insight into where he sees the market going over the next 12 months.
The Nordcloud team are in Las Vegas until Saturday morning, meeting with partners, customers & attending sessions. If you would like to discuss anything in this blog post of how Nordcloud can help, please get in touch!