Big Data will still be a game changer: AWS channels boss

Big Data will still be a game changer: AWS channels boss

Cloud provider’s new head of channels talks Microsoft licensing, the challenges of selling Cloud and the Big Data explosion

AWS head of global alliance strategy, Brian Matsubara, has been with the Cloud provider for six-and-a-half years. For six-and-a-quarter of those years he headed up the Cloud provider’s Technology partner team. He has now moved into a new role as head of the AWS global partner program. And that means channel.

“I have recently stepped into a role where I have been working on channel strategy across different business models including telecommunications,” he told ARN.

There were a swathe of new announcements at AWS re:Invent 2015, but the one that is near and dear to Matsubara’s heart is the bring your own license for Windows as he and his team worked on the project.

“It was one of the more frequent requests from our customers for a long time,” he said.

“We are a services provider license agreement [SPLA] partner with Microsoft so Windows is baked into the cost of EC2 [AWS Elastic compute Cloud], but a lot of enterprise customers were telling us that they had a volume license with Microsoft already so they had already paid for the operating system and didn’t want to pay twice, so this is huge.”

“We worked with Microsoft a couple of years ago to create its mobility licensing program but that was only for application software or everything above Windows OS. This is the first time that we have been able to do license mobility for the OS licenses.”

The challenge of selling Cloud

Matsubara went on to discuss the problems he has been trying to solve for partners attempting to sell AWS solutions and how the legacy IT discourse can inhibit these sales opportunities.

“We want to make AWS the most attractive platform and make the partners and their ecosystem stronger and create the greatest value out there to sell,” he said.

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“The advantages of the Cloud in general and, hopefully, AWS in particular is reducing sales cycle time.

“Once you reduce the time that a sales cycle takes, that becomes interesting to the partners. If they can close deals in three weeks that used to take three months, that’s very interesting to them.

“If you allow them to sell to a broader customer set, weather that be through different tiers inside a market, from enterprise all the way down to SMB and different geographic territories, I think that’s of interest to them too.

“That’s where the Cloud helps them, it’s speed and pipeline, and as broad of a pipeline as possible helps them too.”

The persistent game changer

With such a vast array of new offerings across multiple technology platforms, AWS is now going full speed at targeting that part of the market that has resisted the public Cloud movement to this point.

In light of this, Matsubara believes that the one technology that will have the most impact is Big Data.

“Big Data has been talked about and has been around for a while but there is so much potential for it. Andy [Jassy] mentioned in his keynote address that exabytes are the new petabytes, the scale of data now is something that was almost unfathomable five years ago,” Matsubara said.

“Customers now don’t have to be forced to purge themselves of their data. They want to, and they can, hold on to all of their data. More important than that, you now have this environment, the Cloud, that is this infinitely scalable data repository that is accessible from anywhere.

“Even more important than that is this infinitely scalable data repository that is surrounded by an infinite amount of compute resources that allow you to do things with that data.

“That to me is game changing, the type of business insights that customers can get out of their data that is something that has never been possible before. I think that people had always wanted to but they either didn’t have the capacity or didn’t have the time or expertise to do it.

“What AWS and others are doing is making analytics on massive data sets easy. You can be a marketing professional, a sales professional, a supply chain manager, a CFO or someone like that and get a slice of data across ten petabytes to see what the market trends have been for this particular time with these variables, and people are going to be able to do that.”

“What we are going to find is that people are using Big Data to make their industries better equipped to serve customers. There are a number of spaces where we are already doing that but I think we are just beginning,” he added.

Chris Player travelled to AWS re:Invent 2105 as a guest of Amazon Web Services

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Tags MicrosoftlicensingAWSre:Invent 2015

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