Is AWS armed and ready to take on the big enterprise players? | #reInvent


Amazon Web Services served notice at its AWS re:Invent 2016 event in Las Vegas that with 32,000 attendees and a literal truckload of announcements, it was squarely aiming to take its cloud computing to large corporate enterprises.

The rapid and expansive growth, the innovation and the culture have AWS re:Invent poised to compete with leaders in the enterprise services space. But when theCUBE* hosts John Furrier (@furrier), Stu Miniman (@stu) and Jeff Frick (@jefffrck) sat down on Thursday to review the past three days, they emphasized that the competition will not allow AWS to take over completely. (*Disclosure below)

Going to battle

“Do you think the enterprise competitors are going to let them walk into their store, their house and push them around?” Furrier asked. Miniman responded by saying that the enterprise players in the industry have big buckets of money. AWS makes most of the profits for Amazon, and they are doing great with a $13 billion run rate now. But compared to Oracle, Microsoft, IBM, these guys have war chests and can go to battle,” he said.

Furrier talked about his interview with AWS Chief Executive Andy Jassy and noted that his view of the competition is not a benchmark. Jassy’s focus is on what AWS does best, and he is going to look straight ahead. Saying that you don’t go into battle unarmed, Furrier believes the enterprise leaders would like to take on AWS.

Culture breeds innovation

Frick discussed the company culture and how it is enabling the pace of innovation. “The fact that they have a culture that up bubbles innovation; that’s going to be the hardest thing for the incumbents,” he said.

According to Miniman, Amazon’s culture starts at the top. The company ingrains its 14 leadership principles in the culture. “And as we all know, culture eats strategy for breakfast. The big legacy companies are slower than Amazon. Employees are passionate and engaged,” Miniman said.

In speaking with Jassy, Furrier learned that AWS has a double-down strategy, which allows it to try aggressive solutions and abandon the ideas that don’t work quickly and double down on what works, offering a more agile and nimble environment in which you can speed up the decision-making process.

Frick told the panel that the company is data-centric and the numbers must prove out an idea or else it gets dropped quickly.

The gravity of the AWS ecosystem is just pulling everything in. Not only does it offer products and services, but it provides customers and the competition to create their own offerings. The real leverage AWS has, Miniman said, is data. Miniman asked if that will be a proprietary differentiator for Amazon. He believes they will have so much data that it gives them control within the industry.

During the keynotes, Amazon did demonstrations on AI and machine learning using customer data. Frick regards this as an advantage, because it has so much more mass in which to build a model, and Miniman agrees because AWS Lambda, a service that allows developers to run code without provisioning or managing servers, gives AWS a competitive edge.

To hear the co-hosts’ predictions for AWS re:Invent 2017, watch the complete video interview below, and be sure to check out more of SiliconANGLE and theCUBE’s coverage of AWS re:Invent. (*Disclosure: AWS and other companies sponsor some AWS re:Invent segments on SiliconANGLE Media’s theCUBE. Neither AWS nor other sponsors have editorial control over the content on theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.)

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