Top 5 reasons customers are choosing AWS
Guru Gurushankar, PhD, is the worldwide leader for medical devices within AWS’s healthcare and life science practice and holds over 25 years of healthcare and medical device experience. Having worked for medical device companies such as Cardinal Health, Johnson and Johnson and General Electric in various roles ranging from running P&Ls to product development or global marketing, Dr Gurushankar brings a plethora of pertinent knowledge and experience to the position.
Dr Gurushankar took a moment to share the top reasons he believes customers are choosing AWS.
“AWS lets customers quickly access resources as they need them, deploying hundreds or even thousands of servers in just minutes. This means customers can very quickly develop and roll out new applications, and it means teams can experiment and innovate more quickly and frequently. If an experiment fails, you can always de-provision those resources without risk.”
“If you look at how people end up moving to the cloud, almost always the conversation starter is around cost. AWS allows customers to trade capital expense for variable expense, and they only pay for IT as they consume it. And the variable expense is much lower than what customers can do for themselves because of AWS's economies of scale.”
“Customers used to over-provision to ensure they had the capacity to handle their business operations at peak level of activity. Now they can provision the resources that they actually need, knowing that they can instantly scale up and scale down along with the needs of their business, which reduces the cost.”
“The fourth reason is the speed of innovation. Because customers can focus their IT resources on developing applications that differentiate their business and transform their customers' experiences, instead of spending time on the undifferentiated heavy lifting of managing their infrastructure and data services.”
“AWS allows customers to deploy globally in minutes. AWS has the concepts of a region, which is a physical location around the world where we have a cluster of data centres. AWS customers leverage around 76 availability zones across 24 geographic regions worldwide. And we are continuously adding new regions. We have had more than two, three regions announced very recently, and we don't plan to stop there.”
Summing it up, Dr Gurushankar says, “AWS customers are choosing AWS because it has a lot more functionality, has the largest and most vibrant community of customers, healthcare and non-healthcare, and partners, the most proven operational and security expertise. And the business is innovating at a faster clip, especially in new areas, such as machine learning and artificial intelligence and internet of things.”
One such customer is MTM, a leading non-emergency medical transportation broker based in the United States. Dr Gurushankar shares how the culture and mindset at AWS helps drive successful objectives-based customer partnerships.
“AWS customers have come to appreciate that our culture is really different. We are unusually customer-focused versus competitive focused. In fact, 90% of all the things we build are driven by what customers like MTM tell us and how they matter to them. We're also pioneers, and we hire builders. We're always looking at how they can reinvent flawed customer experiences. And finally, we are unusually long-term oriented. We are trying to build relationships and businesses that will outlast all of us.”
Future-tech and IXAfrica: Full Life Cycle Expertise
Future-tech is unique among data centre consultancies for a number of reasons. Not only does the Reading-based firm have high levels of expertise in markets ranging from Helsinki to Johannesburg, but Future-tech offers services across the complete life cycle of a facility.
“We are involved with projects from the initiation to completion,” explains James Wilman, Future-tech’s CEO. “We go from initiation phase - which could mean the site selection process or technical due diligence for a merger or acquisition - all the way through establishing the brief, the various design stages, construction oversight, commissioning, operation, end of life cycle replenishment, and can start right back at the beginning with refurbishment.”
While some factors, like the facility requirements for major tenants, remain the same no matter where you are, Wilman explains that “it's the environmental conditions, construction methodologies, supply chain, and skill sets available in different locations that vary, and that makes this a very interesting job.”
Future-tech was selected by IXAfrica as the life cycle design strategic partner for its hyperscale campus project in Nairobi, Kenya. Wilman explains that, over the past year, Future-tech has been leveraging its strong local knowledge, working closely with Kenyan architects and engineers, and collaborating with both Guy Wilner and Clement Martineau, to help IXAfrica successfully deliver Kenya’s largest hyperscale data centre.
“Future-tech did its first project on the African continent in 2012 in Kenya. I've been involved in the data centre space there for a long time, and have known Guy for a number of years through projects and interaction in Europe,” says Wilman. “As the IXAfrica project came into being, Guy and I spoke about it as he knew that we were already quite familiar with the area. We assisted out with the initial planning and project design, and the relationship really grew from there.”
Wilman adds that the experience helping Future-tech support the IXAfrica project has been hard-won. “It's been a steep learning curve, figuring out how to work in Africa. Some of our earlier projects were quite challenging, but we're fortunate to be at a point now where working throughout the region feels really comfortable,” he explains. “One of the things about Nairobi - which we found out when we were working on our first project in the city back in 2012 - is that, because it's about 1,200 metres above sea level, the altitude actually de-rates the onsite equipment. Having your equipment perform less well because of the altitude can massively impact the whole facility.” Understanding the factors that define a local environment can be the difference between success and disaster for a data centre, and Future-tech’s extensive experience in Kenya is a key supporting factor for IXAfrica’s success in Nairobi.
Wilman has also developed a strong collaborative relationship with Guy and Clement. “We've got over a gigawatt of design projects going through our office at the moment with different clients, which means that we're always learning new things. What is refreshing about working with Guy and Clement is that when we bring them a new idea, they listen to us,” says Wilman. “We've had a good run in Nairobi with IXAfrica built off of a long relationship, and I hope we get to continue working with them on their future projects.”