AWS Summit London 2017

News and Events / July 21, 2017

Thomas, from our sales team, recently made the trip to London’s exCel conference centre to attend the AWS Summit. These Summits are all about showcasing the latest and greatest that AWS has to offer and are focused on educating the eager attendees. Here is his summary of the day.

 Written by – Thomas Linley

Arriving at the exCel, it was obvious that AWS continue to be surprised by the popularity of their events, evident by the long queues around the building at registration time. This didn’t curb the crowd’s enthusiasm for the day though, as people seemed eager to get stuck into the wonderful world of AWS.

The Summit was the largest one we have attended here in Europe with over 6,000 attendees, coming from all across Europe. Not only had people travelled significant distances to attend, there was also a great variety in terms of what stage people were at on their Cloud journey. The spectrum was wide – from the person who had just got a new job and was using the conference to skill up on AWS, to the loyal customer who, having their entire platform already on AWS, was hoping to find out the most recent AWS releases and advancements.

This seemed to match up well with what Gavin Jackson articulated in the keynote, that 44% of those attending were looking to optimise their current AWS estate across their multiple workloads. In fact, one of the more interesting conversations I had over the impressive lunch (artisan bakery sandwiches and the chocolate mousse were appreciated AWS!) was around exactly this and the general consensus that there is a lack of companies offering this kind of advice and expertise. Hearing this only strengthened my belief that we here at DNM are in the right space and I was more than happy to share many of our customer stories and examples on how we have supported them to make the move into AWS Cloud or enhance their existing usage.

Werner, as always, was impressive. I would urge anyone reading this to spend an hour of your time watching this keynote, to find out more about AWS super powers (no matter how cheesy it sounds, it’s one metaphor I believe works). It was interesting that Werner’s presentation started with Security (Security by Design) – it shows the advances that AWS have made, moving away from just telling customers that the Cloud is cheaper, the main message is “now we can afford better security for your data than any other organisation.” Werner focused on encryption and encourages users to encrypt as much as you can (everything if possible) and asserted that AWS enable you to be “the only one who decides who has access to your data” and not the service provider. Thanks to the recent DDoS attacks, AWS shield was discussed at length throughout the day.

Another of Werner’s comments that stayed with me was that for a first time “amazing” and “love” were being heard in the same sentence as IT in BP! We can certainly concur with that synopsis across our customers in AWS. ‘Better, Faster and Cheaper’ a winning combination which explains the 28,000 databases migrated from on-premise to AWS.

After the keynote, I spent the rest of my day trying to hear as many customer stories as I could and catching up with my AWS colleagues. There were 3 stand out customer stories for me over the course of the day;

  1. Trainline – using AWS to help customers in real time understand which carriages on a train are busy and which are quieter with more space. This kind of innovation, they find, drives new customers to a service which they know they pay a premium for.
  2. SkyScanner using Lex and Polly skills for the new Alexa gadget so that consumers, can use their voice to look at holiday options.
  3. Finally, the Financial Times which launched the new FT.com site and delivered the fastest loading news site in the industry which provided a 20% uplift in engagement.

The big difference, in my opinion, between the AWS Summits and other vendors conferences is the fact they focus on educating customers. It does a great job of reminding you of how far ahead AWS are with all their services and how the rest of the market is playing catch up.

If you are one of the 44% looking for help optimising your current platform or are reviewing dipping your toe into the Cloud then please don’t hesitate to contact DNM for a Cloud Discovery Workshop.

All presentations slides are now available on the Summit’s webpage.