Tag: Amazon

IAR gets under Amazon’s bonnet

amazonsIAR Systems has announced support for newly launched Internet of Things (IoT) Microcontroller Operating System, Amazon FreeRTOS.

Together with Amazon Web Services (AWS), IAR Systems provides developers with easy access to  pre-integrated development tools for developing and debugging embedded and IoT-connected applications based on Amazon FreeRTOS.

Amazon FreeRTOS provides tools that developers need to quickly and easily deploy a microcontroller-based connected device and develop an embedded or IoT application without having to worry about the complexity of scaling across millions of devices.

Based on the FreeRTOS kernel, Amazon FreeRTOS includes software libraries which make it easy to securely connect devices locally to AWS Greengrass, directly to the cloud, and update them remotely. For new devices, developers can choose to build their embedded and IoT application on a variety of qualified microcontrollers from companies collaborating with AWS and IAR Systems, including Microchip, NXP, STMicroelectronics and Texas Instruments.

Amazon Web Services Principal Engineer Richard Barry said that AWS is pleased to be teamed with IAR Systems to provide developers with access to a high performance, pre-integrated set of development tools for developing and debugging connected applications.

“Software development is becoming ever more complex and critical and the need to have access to the right tools to help developers create, optimize and debug their code is paramount.”

IAR Systems Product Manager Lotta Frimanson said that FreeRTOS is widely used among our customers and the new capabilities added by AWS will enable them to take their development of connected applications to the next level.

“AWS and IAR Systems solutions provide easy access to high-performance and integrated tools that can enable developers to focus on the innovative and differentiating parts of their application.”

 

Amazon plots New Year partner revamp

usa-mockingbird-heights-munsters-vampire-grandpa-magazineAmazon Web Services (AWS) is planning a New-Year revamp of its channel partner programme.

The big idea is to promise incentives for resellers which commit to specialising in its core cloud technologies.

Terry Wise, vice president of worldwide alliances, channels and ecosystems at AWS, told the assembled throngs at the AWS Partner Summit keynote at the cloud giant’s annual user and partner conference, Re:Invent, in Las Vegas, that the AWS Channel Reseller Programme will get a full rebrand in 2018.

It will be renamed the AWS Solutions Provider Programme, and will feature beefed-up benefits and support for partners, Wise said.

“What customers are telling us is they want AWS to actually recognise and incentivise a set of partners that provide more of the specialised services”, he said.

The bookseller will use a tiered incentive structure for its new-look partner programme, with resellers specialising in managed services, cloud migrations, DevOps and other areas set to reap bigger rewards.

“Further incentives and investments in partners working with us on the front end to bring net new opportunities to the AWS cloud are coming”, Wise continued.

Furthermore, resellers who go above and beyond from a customer support perspective will also have their efforts recognised via the programme, he added.

“We’re going to make changes in the support model by recognising our reseller partners (who provide a great high-quality support experience) with a different economic model, and a much more flexible way in which you can offer support to our mutual customers”,  Wise said.

“Collectively, these areas are going to give our channel partners the opportunity to substantially improve the profitability of their business.”

More details will arrive early in 2018.

 

Symantec jumps on Amazon

amazonAnti-virus outfit Symantec has said it will move the “vast majority” of its cloud workload to Amazon Web Services (AWS).

It is making a “major operational move” to AWS, a month after moving its Norton consumer business to Vole’s Azure.

Symantec VP of cloud platform engineering Raj Patel, said: “Our cloud-first approach to engineering requires a highly scalable and reliable infrastructure that helps our team deliver faster time-to-market and ensures that security remains our top priority.

“AWS’s experience serving some of the most risk-sensitive enterprise customers was an important part of the decision to choose AWS as we execute on our enterprise integrated cyber-defence strategy.”

Symantec said the AWS platform allows it to develop new software and tools at a faster rate.

AWS VP of worldwide commercial sales Mike Clayville said: “By taking advantage of the benefits of deploying their software on AWS, Symantec has been able to accelerate its pace of innovation, gain more profound insights through their company-wide data lake, and use that knowledge to make better-informed business decisions.

“Leading ISVs worldwide are moving core business applications to AWS for greater agility and efficiency, to reduce costs, and to leverage the security, reliability, and global infrastructure we offer.”

 

 

 

Amazon sets up distribution from Bolton

enhanced-buzz-6474-1379079420-13Online bookseller Amazon has decided to set up one of its flash new robotic warehouses and distribution points in the sunny and vibrant town of Bolton.

The move will create 1,200 new permanent jobs in the town and means that the total permanent jobs Amazon has created in the North West of England now amount to more than 3,500. The company says that Bolton, home of the village of Nob End, will be equipped with Amazon Robotics technology in order to help products be processed throughout.

“Our ability to expand in the North West of England is the result of two things: incredible customers and an outstanding workforce”, said Stefano Perego, the rather astounding Amazon’s Director of UK Customer ‘Fulfilment’. “We are thrilled to begin recruitment for 1,200 new permanent roles in Bolton with competitive wages and comprehensive benefits starting on day one.”  How thrilling!

This is the latest spate of job creation from the company in the UK. Amazon had reaffirmed its ‘commitment to the country’ in the wake of Brexit by stating that its workforce would be raised to over 24,000 in 2017 – adding 5,000 jobs. Throughout the year, the company has opened new ‘fulfilment’ centres in Daventry, Doncaster, Tilbury and Warrington, creating, between them, in excess of 2,300 jobs. In addition, Amazon also announced in August that it is to add over 1,000 jobs at its new Bristol fulfilment centre.

In spite of its positive efforts in job creation, the online retail giant has recently caught a lot of criticism for its tax payments. While it rectified the 2012 findings that it paid no corporation tax, Amazon only paid £7.4 million in tax, despite retail sales surpassing £7 billion. Thrilling!

Cloud giants headed towards per-millisecond billing

grandpa_simpson_yelling_at_cloudThe cloudy giants like Amazon, Microsoft and Google are moving towards per-millisecond billing.

Microsoft and Google already have adopted the billing method and now Amazon has gone the same way – at least for some of its services.

Amazon’s move to introduce per-second billing for some of its services forms part of a wider industry trend and could inspire similar moves by other cloud players, according to partners.

The cloud giant has announced that it will begin billing some forms of Linux instance of its EC2 and EBS services in one-second increments, bringing it into line with public cloud rivals Microsoft Azure and Google.

Amazon’s partners were happy as it seems to be part of an inexorable trend towards ‘per-millisecond’ pricing in the cloud world.

The feeling is that the world will get used to the idea and other cloud companies to follow this trend.

AWS will be able to provide sustained usage discounts, which is one remaining area where competitors claim they are cheaper.”

It appears to customers because they can reduce their TCO for workloads in cloud which in turn increases the appeal of moving new or more workloads to it.

Per-second is very helpful when running very heavy workloads, but a lot of the very large migrations to the cloud are just datacentre migrations where the private cloud providers like IBM play.  It will be less interesting to some customers.

 

Amazon builds a new distribution centre in Bristol

 

amazonAmazon has just built a new fulfilment centre in Bristol that will create over 1,000 jobs.

The online retailer now has 13 fulfilment centres in the country.

The company said that these newly created jobs in Bristol are in addition to the 5,000 jobs that it is creating this year. Those new roles that were announced in July are to be based across three others new fulfillment centres in Tilbury, Doncaster and Daventry, in addition to being based at its offices in Cambridge, Edinburgh and London.

There will also be several full-time jobs created at Amazon’s fashion photography studio in Shoreditch. In total, Amazon will have a UK workforce of 24,000 by the year’s end.

The announcement might be sending a statement to the government about the company’s tax bill that saw it paying just £7.4 million in spite of UK profits of in excess of £7 billion.  It is also a sign that Brexit has not changed Amazon’s relationship with the UK or its ability to hire staff.

Doug Gurr, Amazon UK country manager, said in a statement: “We are creating thousands of new UK jobs including hundreds of apprenticeship opportunities as we continue to innovate for our customers and provide them with even faster delivery, more selection and better value.”

 

 

Supplier discovers a quarter of Brits have been scammed

nigeria1A quarter of UK adults have been scammed online in the past, according to research conducted by the supplier Misco.

Apparently only a third can tell if an email is real or not, which might be the main problem.

In light of recent high-profile cyberattacks, Misco tested the nation’s ability to spot whether an email is real or fake. The research used screenshots of both real and fake emails and texts from banks, online money transfer services and Apple’s iCloud.

When asked to identify which of two near-identical emails – one real, one fake – was a genuine online account statement update from a bank account, 12 percent were fooled by the phishing email, believing it to be legitimate.

Those aged 16 to 24 were twice as likely to be duped, with 25 percent of this age group believing the fake email was genuine. Sixty-one per cent believed both to be fake, even though one was authentic.

Only 60 per cent of those surveyed could correctly identify another fake phishing email, this time a supposed security update from a bank. Sixteen percent believed the email to be authentic, while 24 percent admitted they were unsure as to whether it was real.

Afsar Chaudhury, Misco practice lead for network and security at Misco said: “We live in a digital age, where everything from our boarding passes to our bank accounts are accessed online. This makes it easier for hackers to gain access to our details, and this is shown in the increasing level of sophistication that goes into phishing emails.”

Chaudhury advised people to look out for certain clues, such as poor spelling or grammar, and high levels of impersonalisation to prevent phishing attempts.

“Services will never ask you to enter your details through a message, so avoid clicking those links or sending personal information in a message. We recommend using a different, secure password for each account you hold and changing them regularly, as this makes it harder for your accounts to be hacked. Regularly updating the security software on your computer can also stop any malware in its tracks, in case you do accidentally click through on a phishing link.”

Disloyal punters ignore brands claims Salmon

Salmon-of-Knowledge-Irish-Stamp-from-An-PostBeancounters at global ecommerce consultancy Salmon have discovered that the era of the ‘disloyal consumer’ is upon us.

Apparently, brand loyalty is tumbling as consumers increasingly prioritise speed, innovation and convenience when they shop.

A new study of over 6,000 consumers across the UK, US and Benelux conducted, showed that 88 percent of consumers believe speed of delivery is more important to them than the brand being ordered (78 percent).

The study also found that consumers are becoming increasingly comfortable with new and innovative ways to shop, with 45 percent using or likely to use digital assistants such as Amazon Echo’s Alexa or Google Home in the next 12 months. They are more likely to use these devices than smart lighting (42 percent), smart fridges and other white goods (42 percent), Virtual Reality (40 percent) and Apple Home (37 percent). As these services look to control the products shoppers buy, brand loyalty looks set to decline even more.

Nearly 60 percent say they can see the personal benefit of Programmatic Commerce – allowing technology to automatically purchase goods for them based on their set of product preferences – compared to 53 percent the year before.

Consumer hunger for new retail technology is growing with 23 percent identified as “digitally obsessed”, making almost all of their purchases online.

This need for speed and convenience plays into a wider shift in consumer shopping behaviour, as they value the variety of digital services on offer and experience that they receive overall: 60 percent say that if a retailer was more digitally innovative, they would be more likely to shop there – emphasising the lucrative potential retailers could be tapping into, especially as 73 percent say they plan to spend more in the future.

Two thirds of consumers in fact feel all online retailers should offer same-day delivery, compared to 2016’s research showing that the average expected delivery time was 2.6 days – no doubt fuelled by services such as Amazon Prime.

Consumers are preparing for the next generation of retail technology – reflected in the fact that on average, there are four devices per household (increasing to five in the US) and over half (51 percent) of all surveyed also said they could not comfortably live one day without connected devices.

What is holding everything back is that retailers are failing to provide these elevated digital and innovative experiences for customers.

More than 57 percent believe the technology, apps and services they use in their own life are more sophisticated than that provided by digital retailers. Almost 70 percent said they want to see greater innovation to improve the customer experience, showing a desire to shop with only the most forward-thinking stores.

Hugh Fletcher, global head of Consultancy and Innovation at Salmon, said: “Loyalty is a complex thing. Across all sectors, we’re seeing fewer people favouring and remaining strongly aligned to certain brands and companies. This is especially prevalent in digital commerce – where the consumer focus on finding the lowest prices and fastest delivery doesn’t lend itself to being loyal to a certain product.

“However, as the study shows, loyalty is still there to be captured. Consumers are increasingly loyal to services over retailers – this is largely because the likes of Amazon is seen to be innovating and delivering the best overall experience to the consumer.

“It is this ‘experience’ that drives loyalty and will be the difference between being a leader in digital commerce and being left behind,” continued Fletcher. “What this means, however, is that retailers need to offer consumers a host of convenient services and harness innovative technologies in the process if they are going to attract and retain customers’ attention. As consumers are becoming more open to trying new technologies – or expect to in the coming months –retailers need to put in the ground work from now if they are to meet high expectations.”

Home Office wants help on Amazon public cloud

parliamentThe Home Office is looking for a partner to move one of its systems to Amazon Web Services (AWS).

According to an ad posted on the Government’s Digital Marketplace, the Home Office wants three suppliers to bid for a six month contract to move its Digital Capabilities to the public cloud.

“The HO Digital Capabilities programme deals with a significant amount of data and our current hosting provider has reached its potential… Home Office has determined that the in-house Amazon Web Service platform is the most appropriate location to run these services,” the advert says.

The Home Office wants to solve its migration problems of putting all its digital services on the new platform within the period and with minimal disruption to the live service. It  wants a supplier to provide solutions architects and developers to build the new AWS environment and provide a seamless switch to the new platform.

The closing date for applications is 17 August, with the start date pencilled in for no later than 9 October. The contract can be extended for a further three months if required.

Government is expected to be a big spender looking at AWS, Azure and Google (now that the search engine outfit has announced its UK datacentres).

 

Amazon web services growing strongly

amazonAmazon said that Amazon Web Services revenue is continuing to grow strongly and should make it $16 billion a year.

The company added that revenue growth for the public cloud giant had slowed down a bit.

AWS was critical to Amazon’s profitability in its 2017 fiscal second quarter. Operating income for the cloud business, $916 million, was up 28 percent year over year from $718 million. Meanwhile, operating income for all of Amazon was $628 million.

Amazon’s chief financial officer, Brian Olsavsky told investors during a short question and answer session that AWS’s run rate, which stood at $14 billion in the previous quarter, rose to $16 billion.

“We saw the largest quarter-over-quarter expansion in revenue for that business,” Olsavsky said.

Amazon supported that growth with a 71 percent year-on-year increase in investment to accelerate services and geographic expansion, including the opening of five new sites around the world, Olsavsky said.

In addition, the growth in the number of engineering and salespeople at AWS outpaced that of Amazon’s entire workforce, which numbers about 340,000, he said. AWS revenue for the quarter reached $4.1 billion, up 42 percent over the $2.9 billion reported for the second quarter of 2016, Amazon said.

However, that rise continues a trend of slower growth for AWS. Amazon figures show that revenue growth has slowed for the last six consecutive quarters. However, financial news site CNBC said Thursday that the growth has slowed for the last eight straight quarters, falling from a peak of 81 percent in the second quarter of 2015.

Amazon partners fear sleeping with the “frenemy”

200_sA new report published by SLI Systems finds many retailers view Amazon as both friend and foe.

In this second quarterly 2017 E-commerce Performance Indicators and Confidence Report, SLI Systems provides survey findings from 213 e-commerce professionals around the globe. Respondents represent mid-size retailers, with a mix of business models, including pure e-commerce, as well as omnichannel merchants.

Retailer forecasts for online and mobile revenues continue to be strong worldwide, despite declines in confidence this quarter compared with Q1 2016. Also a good sign, far more omnichannel retailers plan to increase, rather than decrease, the number of stores in 2017.

SLI Systems CMO Chris Brubaker said that this quarter SLI took a different look at the relationship between Amazon and online retailers.

He said: “We asked those who sell via Amazon why they do so, as well as the extent to which they view Amazon as a competitive threat. While consumers are shopping Amazon Prime Day with glee, for merchants, the perks of leveraging the online giant come with some concern.”

“Nearly 70 percent  of the retailers we surveyed that sell on Amazon reported being somewhat or very worried that Amazon will use their sales data to compete with them, indicating they view Amazon as more of a ‘frenemy.'”

E-commerce Revenue: 86 percent  of respondents worldwide expect their e-commerce revenue to increase this quarter compared to Q2 2016. UK retailers appear the most optimistic with a third predicting growth at 21percent  or more.

More than 81 percent  worldwide expect revenue from mobile sites and apps to increase in Q2 2017 compared to Q2 2016; 22percent  expect a boost of 21 percent  or more.

More than 39 percent  worldwide expect an increase, with 14 percent  expecting a decrease; in Q1 2017, 46 percent  of respondents expected an increase.

More than 45 percent  of UK retailers surveyed expect to add websites or brands and 90percent  (highest among regions) expect to add products or product lines during Q2.

More than 41 percent  of UK respondents plan to hire new employees in Q2 (down from 55percent  in Q1 2017), lowest among regions and compared to 57 percent  worldwide.

Only 24 percent  of UK respondents will begin selling on a new marketplace (lowest among regions). 28 percent  of UK retailers expect to begin selling to new geographic markets during Q2 2017 (compared to 40percent  in Q1 2017).

Customer Experience (CX) remains king in Q2 despite declining as the top choice worldwide compared with Q1. Replatforming climbed to the second top priority worldwide with 17 percent  in Q2, up from 11percent  in Q1.

Nearly a quarter of UK respondents expect to increase the number of stores in 2017; 33 percent  will keep the same number of stores.

In European countries, outside of the UK, growth is expected by a full 50 percent .

Across both the UK and Europe, only six percent  expect to shrink their brick-and mortar presence.

Amazon’s cloud growth is unlikely anything else seen

amazonsAmazon Web Services’ (AWS) growth is unlike anything seen in the tech sector before.

UK managing director Gavin Jackson talking to the assorted throngs and riff-raff at the AWS Summit in London, said the cloud provider’s $14 billion revenue run rate and 43 percent year-on-year growth for the first quarter of 2017.

“It’s unprecedented for a company which is just 11 and a half years old… unparalleled as a paradigm from any other technology shift we’ve ever seen in history, so it’s a pretty good indicator that cloud is the new normal.”

Aside from measuring AWS’ revenue, Jackson pointed to the tech firms using AWS’ cloud architecture, claiming that eight of the top 10 tech growth companies are using its platform.

“This should be a really clear indicator as to how people are thinking about their investments in technology,” he said, “but also as a clear indicator as to how people are thinking about investments in talent and skills, with the centre of gravity really shifting up towards these cloud companies.”

Amazon’s channel expansion “a misunderstanding”

hqdefaultThe drive behind AWS’ channel expansion plans have been misinterpreted, according to the cloud giant’s technology evangelist.

Ian Massingham said that claims that AWS is using the channel as a vehicle to scale its business are completely misunderstood.

The idea was mooted by Canalys which claimed that AWS and Google were embracing the channel as they seek to exploit the “next phase of cloud adoption”.

The analysts claimed that focusing more on partners will be the only way the cloud giants, some of which do not have a background in enterprise IT, can maintain their frenetic growth rates.

As a result, AWS grew 43 percent in Q1 and Google by 74 percent, Canalys claimed.

Massingham said that while Amazon has an increasing number of partners that are working with AWS, the reasons were up the spout.

“But I think the rationale that this is an AWS-centric activity that we would initiate because we want to sell more stuff is not the reason we are doing it. We are doing it because customers want to move more quickly than they can move alone, and partners can play a really important role in helping customers accelerate their adoption and therefore deliver the benefits that cloud offers,” he said.

AWS now commonly counts as a top vendor for many traditional resellers and services firms, with Computacenter, for instance, having built a 50-strong European AWS practice.

Partners were reacting to customer demand. There aren’t enough AWS experts around today to help customers move as quickly as they can. So partners can play a really important role in helping customers get to that new reality by bringing in the skills they’ve been able to hone through repeated engagements. It’s typical of a mid-sized partner to have 50-plus certified AWS experts on staff, he said.

Amazon, Microsoft and Google need channel help

R-9020249-1473392859-8701.jpegBeancounters at Canalys say that AWS, Microsoft and Google need the channel as they look to capitalise on the “next phase” of cloud adoption.

The analyst outfit said that AWS, Microsoft and Google grew their cloud infrastructure revenues by 43 percent, 93 percent and 74 percent respectively in Q1, as the overall market rose by 42 percent to $11.4 billion.

Canalys principal analyst Matthew Ball said that the three have worked out that building an indirect business will be the only way to maintain that order of growth.

“We’re seeing the next phase of cloud adoption beyond the big marquee projects like Netflix and Snapchat. The cloud providers are now looking at corporate and mid-market accounts, and for that they need greater reach and scale, and that’s where the role of the channel comes in.

“So we are seeing a lot of the big cloud providers, AWS and Google in particular – those that haven’t come from an enterprise IT background – starting to mature their partner programmes and channel engagements. They are looking to focus on that more because they recognise that the channel has those relationships with customers. So we believe that the channel will be a part of their go-to-market strategies going forward, especially if they want to maintain their high levels of growth each quarter and year.”

Canalys said that AWS’ Q1 cloud infrastructure sales were more than $3.5bn, but the market leader’s success need not be at the cost of the channel as the rise of cloud has in some cases expanded the role played by resellers.

“The channel has made good business selling datacentre infrastructure in the past, and we believe they still will do going forward. Cloud is another choice for customers in terms of how they operate their IT environments and, for sure, it’s a concern for channel partners. But we’ve seen some partners being affected by cloud and others changing their business model to develop consultancy or professional services to help their customers define a cloud environment.”

Amazon drops cloud prices

amazonAmazon Web Services slashed the prices on its cloud products.

The move is mostly geared to making more affordable the Reserved Instances through which customers can realize savings by booking cloud capacity for one or three years.

The long-term contracts which give AWS usage discounts are increasingly popular, delivering savings of up to 75 percent over on-demand pricing.

Jeff Barr, AWS’ chief evangelist wrote in his bog that AWS can continue reducing its prices because “we work with our suppliers to drive down costs while also finding ways to build hardware and software that is increasingly more efficient and cost-effective”.

AWS is adding the choice of buying three year reserved instances with no upfront payment for most of the virtual machine types available on its cloud. Previously, you could only defer payments on the one year contracts.

Price cuts are also being implemented across machine types for one year reserved instances and convertible reserved instances, which allow customers to change the instance type at any time as their applications evolve.

The prices customers will see depends on region and operating system, Barr said.

Amazon is also lowering the price of M4 instances running Linux by up to seven percent. M4 is AWS’ latest general purpose machines that balances compute, memory and networking.

Distributor extends existing relationship with AV player in Ireland to cover the UK market