Tag: Amazon

Amazon wrestles Oracle in handbags at dawn duel

cda0b487bcbf9c72a65ee8106e695603While you would not really expect Amazon and Oracle to see eye to eye, it appears that the two are having a very public hand-bags at dawn duel.

Two months ago Oracle co-CEO Mark Hurd called Amazon’s cloud infrastructure “old” and claimed his company was gaining market share.

Now Amazon Web Services chief Andy Jassy slammed Oracle for locking customers into painfully long and expensive contracts.

“People are very sensitive about being locked in given the experience they’ve had the last 10 to 15 years,” Jassy told Amazon’s AWS Summit in San Francisco.

“When you look at cloud, it’s nothing like being locked into Oracle.” Jassy was addressing a cultural shift in the way technology is bought and sold. No longer does the process involve the purchase of heavy proprietary software with multi-year contracts that include annual maintenance fees.”

Jassy claims that the cloud is about choice and ease of use, including letting clients turn things off if they’re not working.

Amazon Business might be a new reseller channel

amazonsThe UK launch of Amazon Business might provide some resellers with another way to reach SMEs.

Most people don’t see Amazon as a channel, but the online bookseller’s move to step up its B2B sales might make it more useful.

Amazon Business means that sellers can sell via the etailer to businesses offering VAT pricing and invoicing and special offers and discounts.

The retailer has been running its Amazon Business operation in the US since 2015 and seen a billion dollars of sales to 400,000 customers in its first year. It also enjoyed decent levels of success with the German launch last December.

All this means that the channel could get a different route to reach SME customers that are using Amazon to buy other things and would happily add items like laptops and consumables to their shopping baskets.

Bill Burkland, Head of Amazon Business UK said that whether you are a sole trader, a buyer in a mid-size company or a Chief Procurement Officer in a large multi-national organisation, Amazon Business has the products and capabilities to serve your needs.

“Amazon Business combines more than one hundred million business products with a new set of unique business features – from reporting and analytics to spending limits and purchasing workflow approvals – making it everything you love about Amazon, now for business,” he added.

Amazon is offering free one day delivery on orders of £30 or more and will give customers the chance to use its business analytics tools to track their spending.

Amazon sets up business marketplace

amazonOnline book-seller Amazon  has launched its business marketplace in Britain, selling products like office supplies, power tools, cleaning materials and lab equipment targeting an online sector worth $120.44 billion a year.

Amazon started its business marketplace in the United States in April 2015, and managed a billion dollars worth of sales in its first year, before launching in Germany four months ago.

It said Amazon Business would serve enterprises ranging in size from sole traders to multinationals, as well as universities, hospitals and charities.

Amazon Business will sell more than 100m products and is targeted at small, medium, and large firms. It includes features that are tailored for the business community including free one-day delivery on orders over £30, VAT-exclusive pricing and in-depth analytics that allow purchasing managers to track how much they are spending on their account.

The products the service will sell range from laptops to thermal imaging cameras and cleaning products.

Bill Burkland, head of Amazon Business UK, said: “Whether you are a sole trader, a buyer in a mid-size company or a chief procurement officer in a large multinational organisation, Amazon Business has the products and capabilities to serve your needs.

“Amazon Business combines more than 100m business products with a new set of unique business features – from reporting and analytics to spending limits and purchasing workflow approvals.”

Amazon’s cloud goes down

Amazon-Cloud-OutageAmazon’s cloud partners are tearing out their hair and stamping on their rabbits after the service went offline in the US.

Portions of Amazon Web Services, which is the world’s largest cloud computing company, went offline Tuesday afternoon, affected multiple companies across the United States but especially on the east coast.

The outage appeared to have begun around 12:45 pm ET. It was cantered in AWS’ S3 storage system on the east coast. Many of the services that firms use AWS are for back-end processes, and therefore not immediately visible to consumers, though the outage could disrupt customer-facing activities like logins and payments.

Shedloads of websites crashed and burned including Airbnb, Down Detector, Freshdesk, Pinterest, SendGrid, Snapchat’s Bitmoji, Time, Buffer, Business Insider, Chef, Citrix, CNBC, Codecademy, Coursera, Cracked, Docker, Expedia, Expensify, Giphy, Heroku, Home Chef, iFixit, IFTTT, isitdownrightnow.com, Lonely Planet, Mailchimp, Medium, Microsoft’s HockeyApp, News Corp, Quora, Razer, Slack, Sprout Social, Travis CI, Trello, Twilio, Unbounce, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and Zendesk.

The dashboard of Amazon Web Services, which tracks the status of the service, is unable to change colour, Amazon said. It is because the status dashboard also runs on the service that is down.

While the spectacular crash might not have effected many European companies, it does make cloud packages where data is sent across the pond look a lot less reliable.  Interest in cloud packages and SAAS is picking up, but huge outages like this make it a harder sale.

Amazon promises to create 5,000 UK jobs

amazonOnline retailer Amazon is set to create more than 5,000 jobs in Britain this year as the outfit boosts its UK operations.

Amazon, along with other tech giants such as Google and Apple, has increased its commitment to Britain in the last year, saying Britain’s referendum decision to leave the EU last June did not affect its investment plans.

The plans to add over 5,000 jobs in 2017 is a record for Amazon in Britain, although at least 2,000 of the jobs had been previously announced. The moves would take its permanent workforce in the country to 24,000.

Doug Gurr, UK country manager at Amazon, said the jobs would provide “even faster delivery, more selection and better value” for British customers.

Amazon’s new head office in London will have capacity for more than 5,000 people by the end of the year, the firm said. The concentration of tech expertise in London has been cited by many firms as an attraction.

 

Amazon was the Queen of Christmas

amazonOnline book seller Amazon said it shipped more than 1 billion items worldwide this holiday season, saying that it was its best ever.

The Amazon Echo home assistant and its smaller version, Echo Dot, topped the best-sellers list. Jeff Wilke, chief executive of Amazon’s worldwide consumer division said that it had difficulty keeping the shiny toys in stock.

Sales of voice-controlled Echo devices were nine times more than they were during last year’s holiday season, the company said. Amazon did not disclose comparable sales figures from a year earlier.

Jan Dawson of Jackdaw Research pointed it out it was easy to be positive when you don’t tell the world the actual figures. He said that that this year’s figures were all relative to numbers that they have never told anyone about.

Amazon likely sold between 4 million and 5 million devices this year to date with Alexa, the voice-controlled assistant on the Echo, estimated Morningstar analyst R.J. Hottovy in a research note. Shoppers can command the Echo to perform a host of tasks, from playing music to turning on Christmas lights.

“While Amazon’s device sales are still relatively small growth drivers currently, we believe the proliferation of these devices will drive more ubiquitous use of Amazon services over time,” said Baird Equity Research analyst Colin Sebastian in a note, pointing to customers ordering more items by speaking to the Echo.

More than 72 percent of Amazon’s customers worldwide shopped through mobile devices, the company added, and 19 December was the busiest shopping day this holiday season.

“Prime customers are spending twice as much as other consumers using Amazon and helping to fuel rapid revenue growth that few retailers with only a fraction of Amazon’s revenues are able to generate,” Retail Metrics President Ken Perkins wrote in a note last week.

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Amazon opens “top secret” cloud operation in UK

amazonAmazon Web Services today announced the launch of its previously “top secret” AWS Europe (London) Region.

The London Region is AWS’s third European Region, with existing regions in Ireland and Germany. Apparently the entire project has been built in secret and was only announced yesterday.

“Starting today, developers, startups, and enterprises, as well as government, education, and non-profit organisations, can leverage the AWS Cloud to run their applications and store their data on infrastructure in the UK,” AWS said.

The AWS Europe (London) Region offers two Availability Zones at launch.

“Our customers and APN Partners asked us to build an AWS Region in the UK, so they can run their mission-critical workloads and store sensitive data on AWS infrastructure locally,” said Andy Jassy, CEO, AWS. “For the past decade, we’ve had an enthusiastic base of customers in the UK choosing to build their businesses on the AWS Cloud because it has more functionality than other cloud platforms, an extensive APN Partner and customer ecosystem, as well as unmatched maturity, security, and performance. A local AWS Region will serve as the foundation for even more innovative cloud initiatives from the UK that can transform business, customer experiences, and enhance the local economy.”

Karen Bradley, UK Secretary of State of Culture Media and Sport, was clearly relieved that Amazon was expanding its operations post-Brexit and not leaving the country.

“I’m delighted to welcome the opening of the UK Amazon Web Services Region, which is a strong endorsement of our approach to the digital economy. The new AWS Region shows a clear confidence in the UK being open for business and one of the best places in the world for technology companies to invest in and grow.”

Cheap tablets killing the sector

 

cheap-tabletsBeancounters at IDC claim that a flood of cheap tablets are killing off an already dying technology branch.

In a new report, IDC said that 43 million tablets shipped in Q3 2016 but that figure was actually the bad news.  The overall market declined 14.3 percent year-on-year, because of poor sales at the top end of the market. Basically consumers switching to cheap tablets with lower margins.

While there is a .8 percent quarter-on-quarter increase in shipments as vendors get ready for the holiday quarter. the market’s pants.

Amazon with its Fire tablets were the only tablets to see significant growth.  These were up 320 percent year-on-year but still only taking 7.3 percent of the market. Huawei sales increased 28.4 percent to 5.6 percent of the market.

Apple’s shipments fell 6.2 percent and Lenovo was down 10.8 percent. Samsung fell 19.3 percent.

Vendor 3Q16 Unit Shipments 3Q16 Market Share 3Q15 Unit Shipments 3Q15 Market Share Year-Over-Year Growth
Apple 9.3 21.50% 9.9 19.60% -6.20%
Samsung 6.5 15.10% 8.1 16.00% -19.30%
Amazon 3.1 7.30% 0.8 1.50% 319.90%
Lenovo 2.7 6.30% 3.1 6.00% -10.80%
Huawei 2.4 5.60% 1.9 3.70% 28.40%
Others 19 44.20% 26.9 53.20% -29.20%
Total 43 100.00% 50.5 100.00% -14.70%

IDC senior research analyst Jitesh Ubrani said that they -$200 tablets were spoiling the market for everyone.

He said that the “The race to the bottom is something we have already experienced with slates and it may prove detrimental to the market in the long run as detachables could easily be seen as disposable devices rather than potential PC replacements”

Google close to Paypal cloud coup

PAY-Lion-King-cloud-MAINGoogle is pushing into cloud computing and could be about to score PayPal as a key client.

PayPal is evaluating the other leading providers and hasn’t made any final decisions, but what is worrying for Microsoft and Amazon is that it has put Google into the running.

PayPal has some existing business with AWS, namely its Braintree and Venmo products, which the company acquired in 2013. In moving infrastructure to the cloud, big companies often start with test and development workloads before touching critical customer information, and that’s likely where PayPal will begin.

But cloud services would open up new technical capabilities that are difficult inside their existing infrastructure. If there are big shopping days, Paypal could obtain some servers on the fly.

There is a lot at stake, Google wants to prove that it’s a legitimate player in the rapidly expanding cloud infrastructure market and to do that it has to kick the leaders Amazon Web Services and Microsoft firmly in the nadgers.

Google has also been allocating cash to its cloud technology as well as the sales, marketing and support needed to meet enterprise standards.

But it looks like this particular battle will be settled by cost. AWS has dropped the price of a storage product by 47 percent, the 52nd time Amazon has slashed prices.

Google may use its cash mountain to start a pricing war which is an area where Amazon would not be keen to go.  Microsoft might be able to use its own cash reserves to take on the rival.

But technically Google needs to match or beat AWS in terms of speed and reliability while also winning on price against a company that’s grown up thriving on razor-thin e-commerce margins. It has a long way to go before it can give AWS a run for its money. AWS generated sales of $2.9 billion in the second quarter, almost six times the amount Google makes in an entire year, based on RBC’s estimates.

However, there are signs that things are getting better. At the beginning of the month the Synergy Research Group claimed that Google’s cloud revenue surged 162 percent in the second quarter from a year earlier. The company still only commands 5 percent of the market, but it is growing fast.

It has also poached some good clients including Snapchat, Spotify, Home Depot and Walt Disney. Getting PayPal would represent another feather in its cap.

Amazon and Microsoft are the cloud kings

PAY-Lion-King-cloud-MAINAmazon Web Services and Microsoft are the rulers of the public cloud, according to beancounters at Gartner.

The research firm’s “Magic Quadrant” annual report surveys the amount and type of cloud computing services offered for rent by big companies. However this year it appears to be a two horse race between Amazon and Vole. Amazon is coming first, probably because it was first out of the gate,  while Microsoft continues a strong push at second.

Google, IBM, VirtuStream (part of EMC), CenturyLink, Rackspace and VMware all have a horse running but are a long way down the field.

Amazon’s poured shedload of cash into its $10 billion a year business. AWS “has the largest share of compute capacity in use by paying customers — many times the aggregate size of all other providers in the market,” according Big G.

Last year, AWS ran more than 10 times the cloud compute capacity as the next 14 cloud players combined. Asked whether that means Amazon’s dominance has held steady, grown, or decreased year over year, Gartner IT managing vice president Rakesh Kumar said that the research firm does not have the exact comparable figure, but that it is “reasonable to assume” that AWS has maintained the same lead this year.

Last week, Gartner released another report showing Amazon dominating the cloud storage market as well.

Google has been trying hard to win market share from the other two powers and to prove that it is serious about the public cloud market. Google remains the third largest player by Gartner’s measures, but it has slipped a bit relative to the top.

Google’s strengths lie in its big data analytics and machine learning technologies that it has used internally and is now offering to the public at large. Even AWS supporters love to use Google BigQuery and Bigtable, to parse and explore big amounts of data, for example.

Google has also made some strides entrenching its view of container management, as embodied in Kubernetes, to outside players. Containers, are a modern way to combine all the services needed for a software application into a portable unit that can, in theory, run on a company’s internal servers, on Google, or some other public cloud.

 

Amazon’s Prime Day boosted sales by 60 per cent

amazonOnline retailer Amazon claims that its “prime day” resulted in a boost of sales of 60 percent worldwide.

Despite early glitches, the retailer said it recorded the largest daily sales for Amazon devices on Tuesday, helped by heavy discounts. The Fire TV Stick was its best-selling device.

Orders rose by more than 50 percent in the United States, Amazon said. Orders placed on the company’s mobile app doubled.

Amazon did not provide total sales figures for the event, which was open only to members of its $99-per-year Prime subscription service.

However it might not have gone as well as Amazon hoped. Analysts noted that the rate of deals selling out was a lot slower than expected, meaning that Amazon was expecting the demand to be higher. However the number were still pretty good.

If orders jumped 60 percent over last year, that could mean sales in excess of $650 million on this year’s Prime Day

Citi analysts had projected up to $1 billion in sales from Prime Day. However, a snag that resulted in some customers being unable to add discounted items to their shopping carts could have affected sales.

Amazon’s potential sales from the event pales in comparison with the more than $14 billion of total value of goods transacted during Alibaba’s Singles’ Day shopping festival in China in November.

Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster said global unit sales growth of more than 60 percent outperformed the brokerage’s estimate of a 37 percent growth.

The sale is also expected to drive shoppers to the Prime service, which offers original TV programming and access to digital entertainment products such as Prime Music and Prime Video, as well as one-hour delivery of purchases.

Benchmark Co analyst Daniel Kurnos said he expects Prime Day to have added over 6 million new Prime members worldwide and to boost year-over-year revenue growth by 300 basis points.

Amazon.co.uk sees no Britexit fall out yet

amazonsAmazon says that its British site has not seen any sales dip since the vote to leave the European Union, and in fact it is planning to create a further 1,000 jobs across the UK this year.

UK country manager Doug Gurr said that the site’s sales were in line with expectations and it was business as usual.

Gurr, who became Amazon’s UK head in May after a stint in China, said it was too early to say what the impact of the June 23 Brexit vote would be.

“There’s a lot of details to be worked out … We don’t know exactly what the regulatory environment will be, we don’t know exactly what the terms of the new separation will be,” he said.

A survey published last week showed confidence among British consumers fell sharply in the days after the referendum, while on Tuesday department store retailer John Lewis said its sales grew more slowly last week.

On Tuesday the boss of Sainsbury’s, Britain’s second largest supermarket group, said there was a danger of Britain talking itself into another recession.

Gurr said Amazon’s plans for the UK had not changed on the Brexit vote.

“We’re continuing with the plans, we haven’t suddenly invented new plans,” he said.

The additional jobs will take Amazon’s full time permanent employees in the UK to over 15,500 by the end of the year.

The status of EU nationals currently living in Britain has been clouded by the Brexit vote.

“What we’ve said to all of our teams is: ‘As far as we’re concerned nothing changes. We’re still part of the EU as of today, we’ll continue to operate on that basis,” said Gurr.

Microsoft about to knock Amazon off of its cloud

Every silver has a cloudy liningBeancounters at Morgan Stanley think that Microsoft’s Azure will edge out Amazon Web Services by 2019 for both Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS).

The 2016 CIO Survey worked out that  31 percent of the CIOs will be using Azure for IaaS, versus roughly 30 percent using AWS. Today, about 21 percent are using AWS and 12 percent are using Azure. While nearly 55 percent of the surveyed CIOs said they’re using no public-cloud IaaS today, that number will drop to less than 10 percent by the end of 2019.

Azure is already leading AWS in PaaS and it is used by 18 percent of the respondents, versus AWS’s 16 percent. Azure’s lead will grow slightly by 2019, growing 9.8 percent versus 6.4 percent, Morgan Stanley said.

Software as a Service (SaaS) spending is looking promising with 95 percent of the 100 respondents predicting it will be flat or will increase, up from 90 percent last year.  Its key driver will be marketing applications from the likes of Adobe, HubSpot and Salesforce.

Nearly one-third of all applications will be migrated to the public cloud by the end 2017, up from 14 percent today, the survey said. On-premises apps will decline to 58 percent, from 71 percent today.

Hardware vendors, including conventional and flash storage makers, will continue to suffer as their market is eaten by the cloud. Hardware spending growth is down this year to 3.2 percent, from 3.4 percent last year.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise and NetApp face the largest threats, the study said. Biggish Blue might be saved by its cloud investments and cognitive-computing offering.

Oracle, EMC, Dell, VMWare and Cisco, in that order, all face declines in their share of the next three years’ IT budgets, ranging from -17 percent to -9 percent.

Amazon is the Queen of Retail

amazonBeancounters at Nielson have identified Amazon as the e-commerce supremo.

According to Nielsen, E-commerce is approaching two percent of total global retail sales and Amazon continues to dominate.

Amazon followed by Flipkart and Snapdeal were the most preferred e-commerce websites among sellers, with highest top of the mind recall, a recent study has revealed.

The findings came as a result of a study by Nielsen for the January-March quarter, which surveyed 1,184 online sellers. It revealed that 39 percent of online sellers “explore two or more e-commerce websites as an option to sell products on and grow their business.”

A high level of familiarity along with in-depth knowledge of an e-commerce website is the most important factor that drives brand equity, the report said. While Amazon had the highest top of the mind recall (25 percent), Flipkart stood second (21 percent) and Snapdeal (20 percent), it added.

“With the e-commerce industry growing in double digits, there is surge in demand by customers, and an evolving online seller category that is fuelling supply on portals To ensure the equilibrium of demand and supply, it is essential for e-commerce portals to focus on developing an inviting platform for online sellers in the country. Sellers are also increasingly discerning when it comes to reaching their customer and meeting business needs,” the Nielsen report added.

Amazon sticks Jassy on Cloud

andy_jassy_amazonAmazon has promoted Andy Jassy to the job of CEO of the industry’s top public cloud infrastructure business.

He has already been doing the job, more or less, since he founded AWS in 2003 with a team of 57 people and has presided over the most dominant cloud business in the world, with more than a million customers in 190 countries.

Jassy’s promotion, which Amazon announced in a blog post comes after CEO Jeff Bezos revealed in his annual letter to shareholders earlier this week that AWS is on track to reach $10 billion in sales this fiscal year.

Bezos said in the letter that AWS is larger and growing faster than Amazon itself was after its first decade in business. He also pointed to AWS’ addition of 722 “significant” new features and services in 2015 — 40 percent more than it added in 2014 — as evidence that AWS is innovating faster than any other cloud vendor.

AWS, along with Amazon Prime and Marketplace, are examples of big bets the company has made that have paid off. Jeff Wilke, senior vice president of Amazon’s consumer business and the executive in charge of those units, has also been promoted to the title of CEO Worldwide Consumer, Bezos said.