​AWS regional product launch delay to continue in the name of immediate US use

AWS CEO Andy Jassy has said his company will continue to focus on getting services out, even if that comes at the cost of global availability.
Written by Asha Barbaschow, Contributor on
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Amazon Web Services' (AWS) CEO Andy Jassy has said his company will continue to focus on getting new products and services to market at speed, despite that resulting in lengthy delays for the majority of its 14 regions.

"It's always a trade-off when you're launching these services," Jassy told ZDNet. "Do you want to wait until you have the services available in our 14 regions and 38 availability zones or do you actually want to get them into the hands of customers as quickly as possible."

Jassy explained that having the services in the hands of customers as soon as possible allows the cloud giant to receive fast feedback that aids in bettering the services as they are rolled out globally.

"We pretty consistently will choose speed over big, monolithic launches that mean we get capabilities in customers' hands a lot later. We'll always try get capabilities to people quicker.

"I think it's absolutely true that we will continue to improve the speed with which we get all of services to all of our regions. They always get there; we have an aggressive road map for regional expansion -- probably more than we've seen in the past to all of regions."

Speaking to journalists in Las Vegas at AWS re:Invent on Wednesday, Jassy said that the United States is anywhere from 12 to 36 months ahead of the other countries when it comes to cloud adoption, noting that even still, the US is at the early stages of the enterprise and public sector adoption.

With 32,000 customers present at re:Invent this year, Jassy said he was optimistic that AWS will continue its market lead.

"We're incredibly excited about where the business is and most importantly about what our customers are doing on top of our platform," he said. "Our business is seven times the aggregate size of the next 14 providers combined."

Jassy conceded, however, that his company will not be the only successful player in the space, instead explaining that although there might not be 30, a small handful would be his prediction.

"The market segment size of the segments we are addressing with AWS is very large," Jassy said. "We're optimistic that we'll continue to be a significant and strong leader and we're very pleased with where we are."

During his opening keynote on Wednesday, Jassy announced AWS was giving its customers access to the artificial intelligence that's been powering Amazon products and capabilities for years, unveiling a suite of products as well.

AWS' first new AI product is Amazon Rekognition, an image recognition and analysis service with facial recognition on objects and scenes. AWS also launched Amazon Polly, which is a text-to-speech service powered by deep learning.

Third, Jassy introduced Amazon Lex, which provides natural language understanding and automatic speech recognition, powered by deep learning.

It's effectively "what's inside Alexa," Jassy said. "This will allow you to build all kinds of conversational applications."

Jassy said he believes AWS' customers feel empowered to get their work done, thanks to the incredible breadth that AWS gives them.

"It's one thing to have some of these services, but to have the features and capabilities within these services it radically changes what you can get done, how fast you can get it done, and the cost efficiency in which you can do it makes a big difference to customers when they're choosing who they want to partner with as their infrastructure provider.

"We have a lot of things that we announced today; we have a lot of things that we'll announce tomorrow; we have a lot that we have announced in the last two weeks; other things we'll announce in December; we have a lot more that we will announce in the first half of the year. We have dozens of separate autonomous teams that have two to three years' worth of things that they're going to deliver for their customers over the next couple of years."

When asked why he made so many announcements so far, Jassy said he felt like a kid on Christmas morning with a lot of gifts to open.

Other announcements include the AWS Greengrass platform for the Internet of Things, as well as a suite of partner programs including a joint partnership with VMWare that will see the two companies rolling out an integrated partner program in 2017.

Disclosure: Asha Barbaschow travelled to AWS Re:Invent as a guest of AWS.

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