24 Sep 2013

Amazon Web Services - the sky's the limit for Cloud in Africa..

Amazon Web Services (AWS) are speaking at the prestigious Africa Com Cloud event ..

We caught up Attila Narin who will be speaking in November and posed a few questions on the AWS perspective on the cloud landscape ...


Attila Narin, Senior Manager, Amazon Web Services
What are the biggest challenges Cloud Computing is faced with in the immediate future?
There are no reasons why businesses shouldn’t move to the cloud in order to gain the benefits of agility, flexibility and cost savings that cloud computing brings. When speaking to customers about why they aren’t already in the cloud we sometimes run into the psychology of control. In a traditional environment, when there are problems, they’re used to walking down the hall to a physical box where their technology is running.  There’s a certain comfort, for some people, in knowing you can see the technology hardware in case there is a problem.  Relinquishing that control and ability to see the physical hardware is understandably hard for some.

What about the African landscape for Cloud, what are the specifics there?

We are seeing rapid adoption of the cloud and AWS has companies of every size and in virtually every industry. AWS is fuelling a hotbed of innovation in many sectors of business. We see fast growing start-ups, such as Spotify, using AWS to quickly grow and compete on a global scale to Aviva, the UK’s largest insurance company, using AWS for calculating insurance premiums over to Germany where established enterprise software vendors such as SAP have certified the AWS platform for use with SAP software. In South Africa, AWS has a number of customers running a variety of workloads. For example, Nedbank, together with partner Entersekt, is running a mobile banking application on AWS to help improve the security of the retail banking experience. On the one hand, AWS provides technology that enables South African customers to serve their local customers; on the other hand, AWS enables South African customers to go global within minutes to serve a global audience.

How does AWS work with telcos in the sphere of Cloud services?

Telcos around the globe are working with AWS to take advantage of the scale and the global reach of the cloud, the ability to innovate, and to tap into additional revenue streams. For example, Vodafone Hutchison in Australia provides mobile services to more than 6 million customers. They provide live, interactive mobile television service, known as Mobile TV, through the Cricket Live Australia application. The application lets fans to watch live cricket games and check live scores on their Android and iOS smartphones and tablets. Other examples include data analytics and many Telcos are leveraging AWS for this - for example, Nokia Solutions and Networks in Finland. Telcos have also partnered with AWS to provide managed services on top of AWS, such as eircom based in Ireland.

What are the future plans of AWS in the Cloud arena?

One thing that is clear for us is the cloud will be driven by customers. At AWS we spend a lot of time listening to customers and releasing new services and features based on this feedback. Last year alone we announced 159 significant services and features so you can expect this to continue in the future. I’d also tell you that customers care about cost and we’re going to continue to work to lower our costs and pass the savings to our customers.  We’ve reduced prices 37 times over the last seven years with no competitive pressure to do so.  This is a very different business than traditional IT and we think we’re quite good at running high volume – low margin businesses. 


Hear Attila Narin speak at Cloud @ Africa Com on 12-13th November 2013.

Attila is technical at heart and loves innovation, building systems, learning about new technologies and working with customers on the technical and business aspects of cloud computing. He has been with Amazon since October 2004 and currently leads the Solutions Architecture team at Amazon Web Services that is helping European companies move to the cloud. Before joining the AWS Business Development organization, he was one of the key members of the Amazon EC2 Team, managing the design and delivery of several of the currently available Amazon EC2 features. Prior to joining Amazon, Attila held several software development and leadership roles at Microsoft and served on Bill Gates’ Executive Strategy Team building innovative prototypes. Attila holds a Computer Science degree from the University of Florida.