Highlights from AWS re:Invent 2022

As you may have heard, two weeks ago, a team of colleagues from a number of GFT countries congregated at the 11th annual AWS global summit in the USA; a gathering of the great and the good from AWS, a condensed training camp for developers of all levels, and a chance to meet with senior clients who also attend this week-long conference. In total there were over 60,000 delegates attending what proved to be the biggest and best re:Invent so far. 

This was the third time GFT has sponsored the event, building on the success of our attendance in 2021. This time, we decided to have a bigger presence, including: a larger booth, a bigger conference team, and an aspiration to meet with even more clients and partners. 

Our key goals for AWS re:Invent 

+ Create an impact and cut-through for GFT amongst the many other AWS partners present 
+ Demonstrate GFT’s green credentials as a key differentiator 
+ Meet with as many prospective clients and developers as possible at our interactive booth 
+ Socialise and meet with existing clients and senior AWS partners, to discuss their plans for 2023 

Our UK team included; Neil Thompson (AWS Alliance Manager), Dean Clark (CTO) and Tim Osler (Head of UK Marketing). Here are their key takeaways from this year’s event!

A GreenCoding ethos

This year’s event brought together 30 colleagues focused on AWS from across the various GFT regions and it was fantastic to meet everyone face-to-face, often for the first time. The key theme of our presence at the event was focused on our GreenCoding initiative, which certainly struck a chord with all of our visitors. 

Our GreenCoding ethos connected brilliantly with AWS’s own sustainability message which had a prominent position within all the keynotes, especially their pledges:  

  1. to be using 100% renewable energy by 2025 (they have achieved 85% already)  
  2. to be ‘Water Positive’ by 2030 (see link)  

2022 has been an outstanding year for our AWS partnership. We have doubled our global certifications from 254 this time last year, to 593 today, and our target is to achieve 600 certifications by the end of the year. We have also added the AWS Financial Services Competency rating, which is a testament to the excellent work and focus we have on delivering cloud projects for financial services firms. We have also started to establish a presence in the AWS Marketplace, where clients can go to download pre-formed AWS services. This drive and the efforts we have made in 2022 have all resonated with AWS, who view GFT as a strong and dynamic partner that continues to grow. 

A significant presence GFT maximised our presence within the exhibition and engaged with as many clients, prospects and technical specialists as possible throughout the course of the conference. The focus for our booth was the GFT GreenCoding concept, and this certainly drew a lot of attention and interest. Most of our conversations at the booth revolved around GreenCoding, and our visitors were invited to undertake a quick digital questionnaire that pressed them on their attitudes towards more efficient and green topics, relating to software development and the management of IT.

Many of our visitors were enthused by this focus on green issues, but also felt guilty by the responses they gave us, with many developers highlighting that they just do not think about green issues when coding, and this had really opened their eyes on the topic. They observed that GFT was leading on this topic and many expressed an interest in further discussions.  

Amazon moving towards a zero-ETL future with two new capabilities 

After announcing the Amazon Aurora zero-ETL integration with Amazon Redshift and the Amazon Redsift Integration for Apache Spark, companies can now maximise the value they get out of the data – before the data is dispersed across multiple services and on-premises systems, whilst reducing the need to manually move or transform data between services. 

With these integrations, client data is available almost in real-time on Amazon Redshift. There is no need to build and maintain complex data pipelines for ETL. At the same time, Amazon Redshift Integration for Apache Spark, facilitates the build and execution of Spark applications on Amazon Redshift and Redshift Serverless – simplifying the use of Analytics and Machine Learning services in solutions. 

Other AWS solutions to keep an eye on 

For business intelligence, there was an update on Amazon QuickSight and Amazon QuickSight Q which allows users to create, schedule and share reports and also export data from a single business intelligence solution that brings even more benefit to organisations.

Amazon GuardDuty is already available for users who wish to monitor their AWS accounts and expose threats quickly.

Amazon Security Lake is a new tool that improves the protection of workloads, applications and data investigating petabytes. 

AWS SimSpace Weaver is a solution to build dynamic, large-scale spatial simulations on AWS managed infrastructure. 

AWS Supply Chain is a machine learning-powered supply chain application that mitigates risks and lowers costs for companies. 

AWS Clean Rooms is a new way to create clean rooms in minutes, whilst collaborating without sharing raw data. 

Overall outcomes 

Following this successful event, there is huge momentum for GFT in 2023 as we continue to grow our partnership and extend into new and existing clients that are aligned with AWS.  

The relationships made with visitors to our booth exceeded our targets and we are determining next steps and potential opportunities on a global basis. 

Having our AWS tech team on hand meant we now have a deeper technical understanding of the full AWS technology stack and new services that will help us deliver positive outcomes for the global GFT teams delivering AWS solutions for our clients. 

Of the GFT attendees, another positive aspect was bringing the global team together, some of whom have never met in person, but who are striving together to grow the AWS global practice, with many of the technical team attending Keynotes, Hands-on Labs, Chalk talks and workshops. 

All in all, it was a great success for GFT across all of the objectives, and we now look forwards to developing the sales leads, collaboration and wider opportunities arising from the entire team effort!

Find out more about our partnership with AWS here

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