AWS re:Invent, AWS’s yearly flagship event, is almost upon us. Seat reservations open on October 15th so now’s the time to start planning your schedule by favouriting sessions you are interested in. 

Every year re:Invent gets bigger, and 2019 will be no exception! This year, you can expect upwards of 60,000 attendees, six event venues and 2500 sessions all over four and a half days!

The sheer scale of it all can be daunting so we’ve made things a little easier by picking out some key activities, sessions and announcements for those of you heading to Vegas. 

But first, let’s talk about why you really can’t afford to miss this year’s event.

What’s Different About This Year's AWS re:Invent?

The focus of the messaging at re:Invent has evolved year after year to a point where real business transformation is a central theme of the event – something we’re particularly excited about at Contino! 

In years gone by, a typical focus for customers adopting cloud would have been built initially on cost savings. As their capability matured, they would have turned their attention towards more compelling benefits such as staff productivity and operational resilience. 

Fast forward to 2019 when customers are now driven more than anything by the promise of Business Agility – that’s the ability to deploy features and applications faster with fewer errors. This is where customers can derive the most compelling benefits from cloud adoption and it is also where Contino has specialised in helping our customers develop capability!

AWS’s Cloud Value Framework, which was developed to help organisations convey the business value of moving to the cloud, helps illustrate this progression.

So if this year’s messaging resonates with you, here are a few talks that we think you might like.

Keynotes

An obvious pick but still important – this is where the events’ headlines are created. All are simulcasted through the re:Invent app, so those keen to avoid the crowds on the day are covered. AWS CEO Andy Jassy kicks things off on Tuesday morning to talk customers, products and services; whilst Amazon.com CTO Werner Vogels talks on Thursday about technical developments and investments that Amazon is making. 

Make sure to check out Adrian Cockcroft’s session on Trends in Digital Transformation (ARC203). Promising in part to cover the ‘evolution of IT monoliths to microservices and now cloud-native services’, this session should help position a lot of the new AWS service announcements over the week within the broader context of how businesses effect change and how they are being changed by advances in technology.

Our experience working with Direct Line Group, their Darwin insurance startup and the subsequent  ‘oil tanker and speedboat’ analogy to digital transformation should resonate with the messaging in this session.


Sumit Bahukhandi, founder of Direct Line Group newco Darwin and AWS’s UK Head of Enterprise Solutions Architecture David Elliott at the AWS Financial Services Symposium event on 16 September 2019 

AWS Services to Look Out For

Amazon Connect

One service we’re particularly excited about is Amazon Connect. Connect is AWS’s cloud-based contact centre offering that allows organisations to strip out a lot of cost associated with incumbent traditional providers, and start to add new value to end customers, driven by technologies such as AI and natural language services like Lex.

Check out the builders’ session - WPS322 - Building a modern call center using Amazon Connect - to get started.

Amazon Connect makes it easy to set up and manage a customer contact centre and provide reliable customer engagement at scale. However, to fully realise the value that Connect offers, you need the right technical and data foundations, skills and processes in place to ensure you own the capability to deliver greater value to customers through your contact centre. Contino’s Amazon Connect Practice can help. 

AWS Outposts 

AWS Outposts is a gamechanger for those looking at hybrid cloud, as Gerald Bachlmayr explores in ‘The Sandwich Responsibility Model’. It’s not yet on general availability, so we think this session could be useful in understanding how to take advantage when the service goes fully live: CMP302-R - AWS Outposts: Extend the AWS experience

High-Performance Computing (HPC)

HPC allows organisations to process data and perform complex calculations at high speeds, and since the advent of public cloud is no longer constrained by infrastructure capacity - allowing for accelerated innovation  

The session CMP204-R1 - HPC on AWS: Innovating without infrastructure constraints covers this at a high-level. 

With the AWS cloud allowing access to almost infinite processing power, the opportunity for financial services businesses in particular is massive, but needs to be reconciled with market and regulatory factors. Contino’s James Strong looks at this in more detail in his blog post: High Performance Computing for Financial Services

Summary

As you’ll notice, very little of this year’s agenda is focused on replicating a data centre in the cloud – and for good reason! The shift in focus to cloud as an enabler of business agility is a leap forward in terms of maturity, and this year’s re:Invent looks to reflect that. We’re excited about the breadth of new opportunities to innovate as well as the growth of AWS services to make those things a reality. Real transformation has never been more accessible for our customers!

Connect with Contino

Between sessions, the Expo floor and the re:Play party, you could end up struggling to cut through the noise to the stuff that really matters. 

Help is at hand, however! Contino will have people in attendance from APAC, EMEA and of course our locals in the USA, and we’d love to talk to you about all things Enterprise Cloud and DevOps. 

If you’d like to arrange time on-site to speak with our team, please get in touch!

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Dominic Ayres

Partner Manager

Dominic is Partner Manager at Contino, managing our relationship with key strategic partners AWS, Docker and Hashicorp. Previously at Gartner, Dominic brings experience of working with IT leaders from both public and private sectors; from mid-market to large enterprises.

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