7 Secrets Every Cloud User Should Know About AWS

by September 14, 2015 0 comments

There’s much more to AWS cloud today than basic infrastructure as a service. Here are seven key secrets we discovered after interacting with AWS’s worldwide partner eco-system director Terry Wise and India head, Bikram Bedi.

AWS is having a dream run with companies of all sizes and types on-boarding their cloud platform. In India alone, the cloud computing giant has tens of thousands of active customers, some of which were start-ups when they began, but have now become well-known names like Snapdeal, Myntra, RedBus, etc. Moreover, the cloud computing giant also seems to have an impressive list of enterprise customers who’ve either shifted lock, stock, and barrel to the AWS cloud, or moved some of their enterprise applications to it.

In other words, there’s a lot more you can expect from AWS today beyond basic IaaS. To find out, we spoke to Terry Wise, Director of AWS Worldwide Partner eco-system, and Bikram Bedi, AWS India Head.

Here are the seven key secrets you probably didn’t know about AWS:

Secret 1: Customers Can Choose How to Buy Cloud Services
AWS allows companies to buy cloud based services either directly from AWS (online or through AWS sales team), or if the requirements are more complex (like migrating enterprise apps or building complex customized solutions), go through AWS channel partners.

“It purely depends upon the project a customer is working on. If a company is planning to migrate or run SAP on AWS, then it’s a large and complex task, and it may not be possible for a company to do it on their own. They would have to seek a big channel partner’s services, like an Infosys or CapGemini,” said Terry. “Likewise, for smaller projects like running mobile apps, a company could go for a smaller channel partner, like Minjar for the job”, he added.

Secret 2: There’s a Partner for Every Requirement

So basically, the point Terry stressed on was that it all comes down to the value-additions to a solution. “We’re a platform of 50+ services that are loosely coupled. Very rarely are those services the solution themselves. It really requires somebody to go and apply it to a specific problem like an industrial analytics problem, net migration services, managed services, etc” he added. In other words, AWS cloud has a lot of services to offer. All customers need is to find the right partner to migrate their on-premise solutions to the cloud.

Secret 3: Save on Infra Cost, Spend on Value-Adds

Customers save a lot of cost that would otherwise have been spent procuring hardware along with software licenses. This cost saving can be used for value addition on top of a cloud based service. According to Terry, AWS channel partners today, offer many value added services on top of the cloud, like doing application managed services, app development services, strategy and architecture, etc. If you think about the cloud, then it’s actually made of commodity infrastructure. So the real value of using cloud based services comes by taking value added services on top of it.


“We’re a platform of 50+ services that are loosely coupled, and are rarely the solution themselves. It requires somebody to apply them to a specific problem like an industrial analytics problem, net migration services, managed services, etc.”

–Terry Wise, Director-Worldwide Partner Eco-system, AWS


Bikram Bedi India Head, AWS

“We have over tens of thousands of active customers in India, and a lot of them come from SME space.”

–Bikram Bedi, India Head, AWS



Secret 4: 50+ Cloud Services to Build Upon

Should you choose AWS or one of the other leading cloud services players like Google, Azure, etc? To this, Terry pointed to the breadth of the AWS platform. He said that the services and capabilities of AWS are bigger than anybody else out there. “The other single biggest thing to look at is our global footprint” said Terry. “The track record we have of having been in the market for over 9 years, which is a lot longer than others. We have a great operational track record”, he added.

The other strong point is that AWS has a one million strong global active customer base. So while this gives confidence to CIOs while opting for AWS’s services, it also serves as a lucrative platform to build upon for ISVs and system integrators. “Each of AWS’s 50+ services offers an opportunity to build a solution, and the AWS cloud is the best software distribution mechanism on the planet,” said Terry.

Secret 5: Cost That Reduces with More Customers

Bikram Bedi, India Head for AWS said that cost is another key factor for going for AWS services. “The way we look at cost, we’re very hands-on as we’ve been running a high volume, low margin business for a long time. It’s is in our DNA. The way you look at things in such a business is very different as compared to the 80% margin business—customers, supply chains, costs, everything’s different,” he said.

Bikram compared the cost structure of AWS to a flywheel, saying that with more customers, better economies of scale are achieved, which helps AWS lower its prices further. This in turn helps acquire more customers, and the cycle continues. “We’ve dropped our prices 50 times over the last 9 years,” Bikram said proudly.

Secret 6: Get New Features Faster than Local Players
Two new competencies have been added to AWS recently—one around storage, and another around healthcare. According to Terry, AWS has broadly been into horizontal competencies, but now it’s time to also offer verticalized offerings as well.

There are a lot of startups who’ve emerged in India and are offering their own cloud based services to the local SMEs. Considering that they’re very close to them, they’re able to offer better cost and support. We asked whether AWS saw them as competition.

To this, Terry said that traditional hosting companies are actually starting to move out of this space because it’s a capital intensive business. “You have to operate on a global stage. Prices are coming down, margins are getting squeezed in that business, but more importantly, for these companies, it’s very difficult to keep up with the features sets and all of the options that we or one of the other scale providers provide,” he said.

From an Indian perspective, Bikram said that AWS has 5 offices with local teams who interact with the local SMEs. He felt confident that AWS had enough brand recognition in the market today across the board—whether SMEs, enterprises, or start-ups. “We have tens of thousands of active customers in India, and a lot of them come from SME space,” he added. Ferns n Petals for instance, moved their websites and vendor management platform on AWS, and get about a million hits a month. They’re providing flowers across many countries, and not just India. Such a capability can’t be run on a local data center provider’s infrastructure.

Secret 7: High Level of Data Security

Another key fear, especially among Indian SMEs about hopping onto a global cloud platform like AWS is the fear of their data moving to another country. To this, Terry said that from a data localization perspective, you determine where your data is on AWS. “We guarantee that it won’t leave. Plus, there’s also a much higher level of security,” he added.

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