Sunday, May 20, 2018
Business

Web services poised to become Amazon's prime moneymaker

LAS VEGAS — Most consumers think of Amazon.com as an online bookseller or, increasingly, as a digital marketplace where they can buy everything from diapers to giant flat-panel TVs.

But the one division that may eventually trump them all in terms of revenue is Amazon's deeply geeky business of selling infrastructure computer services to other companies over the Internet. Robert W. Baird & Co. analyst Colin Sebastian estimates that Amazon Web Services, or AWS, launched 7½ years ago, is generating $3 billion a year.

The executive running the business, Andy Jassy, has little doubt that one day, AWS will be the company's biggest sales engine. No company may be better positioned than Amazon — which pioneered cloud computing, the business of providing infrastructure computing as a service — to capture those dollars. It recently beat out IBM on a $600 million contract with the CIA.

Jassy chatted with the Seattle Times at re: Invent, AWS' annual conference in Las Vegas, about the division's prospects.

As the second re: Invent comes to a close, what have you learned?

I think we're really past the stage of people asking whether or not workloads are moving to the cloud. The only question is how fast will it happen and which ones will go first.

There are many companies with IT departments that are terrified of moving to cloud computing because it's technology with which they are not familiar and it threatens the way they've done business for years. So how do you get them over that hurdle?

A lot of it is education. … Another thing is training. We train tens of thousands of customers all over the world. And what we find is most people find it's pretty easy to use.

You had a bit of fun in your keynote speech referring to IBM as "old guard." How big of a threat are they to AWS' growth?

From the beginning of our thinking about AWS, we always expected there would be multiple companies in the space. One of the surprising things to us is that it's taken them so long to enter.

We have a 7½-year head start on all these technology platforms launching. When we talk with customers, typically, the alternatives they are considering from AWS are their current on-premises solutions. It's quite interesting to see how fast the business is growing. We believe it has the potential to be the largest business at Amazon one day.

The CIA contract was a big win for you because it spoke to some customers' concerns about reliability and security. How do you build on that?

The CIA contract was a further credibility builder for us in the public sector, but also in the enterprise. Virtually every enterprise we've talked with over the last six months has asked us about the CIA deal. For many of them, if the security and operational performance works for an entity like the CIA, it will work for them as well.

Comments
Camping without the hassle: New service rents you all the gear you need, plus the car

Camping without the hassle: New service rents you all the gear you need, plus the car

One day in April, I returned from a camping trip - a quick 24 out of the city - and ran a load of laundry. Whatís more telling is what I didnít do.I didnít hose down a muddy tent, I didnít soak a shoddily cleaned pot, and I categorically did not empt...
Published: 05/19/18
Romano: Save your money, sports betting wonít be in Florida anytime soon

Romano: Save your money, sports betting wonít be in Florida anytime soon

It is the middle of the day and the beginning of the off-season at Tampa Bay Downs. That means the action is limited to simulcast wagering, and that means the televisions outnumber the bettors.The parimutuel industry is long past its heyday in Americ...
Published: 05/19/18
Son of Crabby Billís founder leaves complex legacy of troubled projects and good deeds

Son of Crabby Billís founder leaves complex legacy of troubled projects and good deeds

SOUTH PASADENA ó Like his father, who founded the Crabby Billís seafood restaurant chain, John Loder Sr. had a larger-than-life personality. That was one reason he dived into the real estate business, becoming a well-known, if at times controversial ...
Published: 05/18/18
Updated: 05/19/18
Global Tampa Bay initiative seeks to grow direct foreign investment through expanded regional teamwork

Global Tampa Bay initiative seeks to grow direct foreign investment through expanded regional teamwork

TAMPA ó A decade ago, the Great Recession put Hillsborough and Pinellas countiesí efforts to grow their foreign exports on hold.But since then those efforts have returned, gained support and momentum, expanded the range of their ambition and are now ...
Published: 05/18/18
Florida unemployment holds at 3.9 percent, state adds 9,600 jobs

Florida unemployment holds at 3.9 percent, state adds 9,600 jobs

Floridaís economy appears to have plateaued with its unemployment rate holding at 3.9 percent for the seventh straight month, according to the April report released Friday.But some economists say it may be a good thing if the rate doesnít fall much m...
Published: 05/18/18
Lawsuit over Riverwalk Place tower in downtown Tampa settled

Lawsuit over Riverwalk Place tower in downtown Tampa settled

TAMPA ó A lawsuit over the mix of residences and offices in the planned $350 million Riverwalk Place tower has been dropped.Last August, Riverwalk Tower Investment-Intown LLC, which had been expected to be one of the developers in the project, filed ...
Published: 05/18/18
Orlandoís new attractions power jump in theme park attendance

Orlandoís new attractions power jump in theme park attendance

By MIKE SCHNEIDERORLANDO ó The arms race to build new theme park attractions in Orlando is paying dividends. A new report released this week shows theme park attendance at the largest parks in North America last year was up 2.3 percent, powered by ne...
Published: 05/18/18
How Mosaicís relocation could help Tampa International Airport land a flight to Brazil

How Mosaicís relocation could help Tampa International Airport land a flight to Brazil

Tampa International covets a nonstop flight to S„o Paulo, Brazil. Mosaic Co, which is moving its headquarters to Hillsborough County, has huge holdings in the country, including several mines. Could Mosaicís relocation help TIA realize its dream? It ...
Published: 05/18/18
Remember that upscale Guy Harvey RV resort near Tarpon Springs. Forget the Guy Harvey part

Remember that upscale Guy Harvey RV resort near Tarpon Springs. Forget the Guy Harvey part

HOLIDAY ó A year ago this month, Guy Harvey Outpost Resorts announced plans for its first-ever RV park, near Tarpon Springs where the Anclote River empties into the Gulf of Mexico.The $35 million resort, named after the popular Jamaican marine artist...
Published: 05/18/18
American Dream Miami to become largest mall in U.S. after final approval

American Dream Miami to become largest mall in U.S. after final approval

MIAMI ó A gigantic $4 billion retail and entertainment complex won government approval Thursday after years of debate, greenlighting what promises to be the largest mall in North America, just a few miles from the environmentally sensitive Everglades...
Published: 05/18/18