AWS CEO Jassy fires back over growth rates vs. rivals

Andy Jassy's re:Invent keynote took aim at concerns about AWS' growth rates relative to rivals. It's about the base of revenue, he says.

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Amazon Web Services CEO Andy Jassy took on critics about the company's growth rate and said that the cloud provider's base of revenue is much larger than competitors.

"It took us 123 months to grow to a $10 billion revenue run rate and only 13 months to $30 billion," said Jassy before noting that AWS is at a $46 billion annual run rate now.

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However, third quarter revenue growth for AWS was 29%, slower than rivals such as Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure. But the base of revenue for Google Cloud, which now has an annual revenue run rate of $13.6 billion, is smaller. Azure revenue isn't broken out by Microsoft and wrapped into commercial cloud, which includes other services such as Office 365.

Jassy also said it's still early in the cloud migration and 96% of compute is still on premise. And historically speaking the COVID-19 pandemic will be pivotal to cloud adoption. "Enterprises we've talked to for many years have gone from talking to having a real plan," said Jassy. "Companies are taking a step back to rethink what they're doing."

AWS' Jassy at recent re:Invent keynotes has gone out of his way to a) remind technology buyers about its lead in the cloud; and b) jab at Microsoft for being competitor focused instead of customer focused.

As Jassy was talking, AWS released a host of updates. AWS launched:

  • AWS Graviton2-powered C6gn instances deliver 100 Gbps networking performance.
  • New AMD-powered G4ad Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) instances.
  • New M5zn instances for the fastest Intel Xeon Scalable processors.
  • Next-generation Intel-powered D3/D3en instances offer the highest storage capacity for local HDD storage.
  • New memory optimized R5b instances.

Jassy also positioned AWS as an engine to enable enterprises to reinvent themselves continually. "You want to reinvent when you're healthy," he said. According to Jassy, here's what companies need to continually transform. 

  1. Leadership will to invent and reinvent.
  2. Acknowledge that you can't fight gravity.
  3. Talent that's hungry to invent.
  4. Solve real customer problems.
  5. Speed.
  6. Don't Complexify.
  7. Use platform with most capabilities & broadest set of tools.
  8. Pull it all together with aggressive top-down goals.

Customers in the keynote included Snap and JP Morgan Chase.