Amazon is certainly one of the key players to watch in the emerging field of Web services. Ithas rolled out a powerful platform thatextends the value of its brand, while driving revenue through acommission-based model. Sure beats TV advertising in the Post-Tivo era.
While Starbucks is now extending its brand by making its trademarked coffee available in hotels, stadiums and corporate lunchrooms, Amazon is able to deliver its set of offerings in a far more dynamic and scalable, virtual world. And unlike Starbucks and WalMart, no bricks and mortar are necessaryto really grow the top (and bottom) line. Just code.
Amazon is even turning potential competitors intoaffiliates and resellers. Theyprovide custom interfaces and focus on what they do best, while relying on Amazon to provide the technology platform, distribution infrastructure and customer service capabilities. Why reinventthewheel when youshould be concentrating on thelook and feel?
It was in early 2002 thatAmazon decided to reach out to four keyconstituencies: (1) large partners who were seeking more efficient and effective ways to share data; (2) outside developers that hoped to create powerful new applications for Amazon; (3) third-party developers that wanted to provide theirown productsin Amazon'sMarketplace section; and (4) the growing number of web site operators that were relying on Amazon's affiliate marketing program to generate income.
Now, Amazon has 50,000 developersrelying on its Web services tools, capabilities and infrastructure. But this may bejust the beginning. As Internet guru Tim O'Reilly puts it: "Web services are starting to make even huge database-backed sites like Amazon or Google appear like components of an even larger system."Somehow, one imagines, it's allconnected.