There’s an old joke from the Gates and Ballmer days at Microsoft:
There are only two kinds of people in this world: Microsoft customers and future Microsoft customers.
Yet while Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has toned down this historic Microsoft arrogance, transforming the software giant with a ‘plays well with others’ reboot, today another software leader wants to be king of the playground: Amazon Web Services (AWS), the cloud effort from Amazon.com.
At the time of last fall’s massive re:Invent conference, I dinged the public cloud leader on its arrogance, as well as its complacency –characteristics common to undisputed market leaders.
At this year’s even more massive re:Invent, therefore, I sought to understand whether AWS was still struggling with these character flaws, or if it had made progress as an organization to overcome them.
Here’s my take.
Getting a Handle on AWS’s Scale
For a company who lives and breathes massive scale at a technical level, there is some irony in the fact that as an organization, AWS has also nailed impressive scale. In fact, everything about AWS is bigger than big – starting with its flagship conference.
From bragging about its $18 billion revenue run rate and its 42% annual growth rate, to trumpeting that it’s larger than the next bazillion cloud providers combined, to the hundreds of product announcements and thousands of hires it makes every year, to the 40,000+ attendees at re:Invent filling the halls of at least four major Las Vegas venues, everything about the company is huge.
And remember, AWS is but one division of parent Amazon.com, the ‘store that sells everything.’
Intellyx publishes the Agile Digital Transformation Roadmap poster, advises companies on their digital transformation initiatives, and helps vendors communicate their agility stories. As of the time of writing, Microsoft and VMware are Intellyx customers. None of the other organizations mentioned in this article are Intellyx customers. AWS covered Jason Bloomberg’s expenses at re:Invent, a standard industry practice. Image credit: Tracy Hunter.