Ricardo Rentería
Sales Management Enterprise Lead
Amazon Web Services (AWS)
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A Digital Partner Able to Transform All Sectors in Mexico

By Miriam Bello | Wed, 08/19/2020 - 12:53

Q: What are the main obstacles preventing the digital transformation of companies in Mexico?

A: Some of the biggest challenges for large organizations to move to the cloud are not technical; they are mostly cultural. The biggest differences between organizations that talk about moving to the cloud and those that actually do it successfully often come down to a few key things. First of all, the senior leadership team needs to be aligned and truly committed to wanting to move to the cloud and to setting a clear direction and expectations for the rest of the organization to get everyone on the same page. Also, it is really important that organizations are trained on the cloud and are comfortable with the concept. 

Once the organization is committed, prepared and has started its journey, it is possible to identify a few key benefits of moving to the cloud. The first is agility. AWS lets customers quickly spin up resources as they need them, deploying hundreds or even thousands of servers in minutes. This means customers can very quickly develop and roll out new applications and it means teams can experiment and innovate more quickly and frequently. If an experiment fails, you can always de-provision those resources without risk.

The second benefit is cost savings. AWS allows customers to trade capital expenses for variable expenses and only pay for IT as they consume it. Variable costs are much lower than what customers can achieve for themselves because of AWS’ economies of scale. For example, Dow Jones has estimated that migrating its data centers to AWS will contribute to global savings of US$100 million in infrastructure costs. 

The third benefit is elasticity. Customers used to overprovision to ensure they had enough capacity to handle their business operations at the peak level of activity. Now, they can provision the amount of resources that they actually need, knowing they can instantly scale up or down along with the needs of their business.

Finally, the cloud allows customers to innovate faster because they can focus their highly valuable IT resources on developing applications that differentiate their business and transform customer experiences instead of the undifferentiated heavy lifting of managing infrastructure and data centers.

Q: How do AWS’ web services contribute to the digital and technological transformation of companies, startups and the public sector in Mexico?

A: Agility, scalability and security are fundamental to any company, regardless of its size. In moments of crisis, this ability to adapt and to respond to keep a business running was clearer to most organizations. Companies that were already running their businesses in the cloud could adapt and respond faster, leapfrogging competitors or protecting their businesses in a better way, which is what AWS offers to customers.

AWS’ customers have come to appreciate that our culture is really different. We are unusually customer focused, instead of competitor focused. Ninety percent of what we build is driven by what customers tell us matters. In Mexico, we have been supporting customers and partners for a long time and our presence here is expanding every day.

Q: What sectors are at the forefront of digital transformation in the country?

A: Cloud has become a business enabler and part of the new normal as companies of every size are now deploying new applications to the cloud by default and looking to migrate as many of their existing applications as they can and as quickly as possible. We have enterprises in every imaginable business segment.

We have seen strong development in retail, e-commerce, science and healthcare, hospitality (an industry now affected but that will bounce back fast as soon the economy re-open), financial services (including banks, insurance and fintech), telecom (as enabler, partner and customer), manufacturing (automotive, assembly and application modernization) and startups across all industries.

It is fair to say that companies that are taking advantage of the evolving technology trend and changes like the cloud are reinventing every vertical industry right now. Startups are disrupting long-standing industries and inventing new ones. Many corporate customers are embracing the change and using the cloud to transform their businesses.

In the case of Mexico, the recent IDC survey “ICT Solutions to Face the World Post COVID-19” shows that 30 percent of Mexican companies plan to increase their investment in public cloud infrastructure (IaaS) by 2020 by 20 percent on average. The cloud is democratic and allows virtually every business to transform.

Q: What added value does AWS’ solutions deliver to the healthcare sector?

A: The AWS cloud plays a significant role in how this sector innovates. Without AWS, there might be fewer prescription drug breakthroughs widely available, for instance. Today, the American Heart Association is building a precision medicine platform on AWS to aggregate and analyze data that will help researchers uncover cardiovascular disease insights. Similarly, the Cancer Genome Atlas dataset has made its data available on the AWS cloud, lowering entry barriers for researchers working on developing new treatments for cancer.

Using AWS, AstraZeneca is enabling scientists to identify more patients with actionable cancer types, to develop medicines faster and to treat more patients sooner. GRAIL, Inc. is combining high-intensity genomic sequencing with modern data science techniques to transform the way cancer is diagnosed. SkinVision offers affordable detection of skin cancer, one of the fastest-growing diseases in the world.

AWS also has a direct impact on improvements in patient care. Arterys is revolutionizing medical imaging and healthcare through ultra-fast cloud computing, advanced visualization and deep learning. Qventus is using AWS for machine learning and analytics to help hospitals to identify bottlenecks and improve efficiencies in the emergency room, operating room and pharmacies.

Q: What actions is AWS taking with healthcare providers, public health agencies, government corporations and life sciences companies to support their efforts to control COVID-19?

A: We launched the AWS Diagnostic Development Initiative, a program to support customers working on better, more accurate diagnostic solutions and promote better collaboration across organizations solving similar problems. As part of this, we are committing an initial investment of US$20 million to accelerate diagnostic research, innovation and development to speed our collective understanding and detection of COVID-19. The AWS Diagnostic Development Initiative begins with participation from 35 global research institutions, startups and businesses focused on tackling this challenge.

In Mexico, Roomie IT Services is one of our customers using AWS tools: the first and only 100 percent Mexican organization to develop, produce and sell humanoid robotics in Mexico which, in collaboration with infectious disease experts, designed a prototype robot whose purpose is to identify suspicious cases of COVID-19. With AWS software, the main objective of the robot is to protect medical staff and patients and prevent the spread of infection. It strengthens the health system at the height of the pandemic, acting as a first point of contact in hospitals. It is important to point out that the robot identifies suspicious cases but does not diagnose them, so it does not replace doctors.

Another great case is NEORIS, a digital accelerator that creates disruptive solutions for businesses with digital aspirations to boost their connections with customers, employees and stakeholders. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, it has expanded the capabilities of its HealthCheck platform to support the efforts of businesses and governments to reopen operations in multiple countries and slowly become productive again. The AWS service-based application, already used by 10 leading multinationals in 16 countries in Africa, the Americas, Asia and Europe, is helping to protect the health of 222,000 employees and will be key in efforts to support regional economies on their road to recovery.

Q: How can technology and AWS make a difference for tourism companies in Mexico?

A: Innovation is in our DNA and our structure and approach to product development and delivery is fundamentally different than that of other IT vendors. First, we hire builders. We think of builders as both people who like to look at customer experiences, figure out the pain points and reinvent them and those who understand that the launch is the starting line, not the finish line. Anything that we have built that has ever worked, we did not roll it out on day one and it has not been an overnight success. You must keep iterating and listening to customers to keep building.  

We have decentralized, autonomous development teams who are working directly with customers. They are empowered to develop and launch products based on what they learn from these interactions. When a new feature or enhancement is ready, we push it out and it is instantly available to any customer that uses that service. 

In moments of crisis like this, every industry is being challenged to reinvent and at AWS, we will do what we do best: hear our customers, from tourism and other verticals, to help them achieve their goals. 

Q: How do AWS’ services help companies build the foundation for not only transforming their complex operating systems but accelerating the transition to a sustainable energy future?

A: Globally, Amazon has over 86 renewable energy projects that have the capacity to generate over 2.3GW and deliver more than 56.3 million MWh of energy annually, enough to power more than 580,000 US homes.

AWS is committed to running its business in the most environmentally friendly way possible and our scale allows us to achieve higher resource utilization and energy efficiency than the typical on-premises data center. A recent study by 451 Research found that AWS’ infrastructure is 3.6 times more energy efficient than the median of surveyed enterprise data centers, with more than two-thirds of this advantage due to a more energy-efficient server population and higher server utilization.

As part of Amazon’s Climate Pledge, we are committed to reaching 80 percent renewable energy use by 2024 and 100 percent renewable energy use by 2030 on our path to net zero carbon emissions by 2040. To achieve these goals, we focus on four complementary areas: increasing energy efficiency in our facilities and equipment; continuous innovation in our data centers; advocacy at the global, federal and state levels to create a favorable environment for renewable energy; and working with various power providers around the world to increase the availability of renewable energy.

Q: How does AWS balance factors like economy and agility with security, compliance and reliability to target the public sector?

A: Security will always be our top priority. AWS has been architected to be the most flexible and secure cloud computing environment available today. Our core infrastructure is built to satisfy the security requirements of the military, global banks and other high-sensitivity organizations. AWS uses the same secure hardware and software to build and operate each of our regions.

We have a shared responsibility model with the customer. AWS manages and controls components from the host operating system and virtualization layer down to the physical security of the facilities in which the services operate. Meanwhile, AWS customers are responsible for building secure applications. In addition, our partners offer hundreds of tools and features to help customers meet their security objectives, ranging from network security to configuration management, access control and data encryption.

Q: What would you say to governments that find themselves hesitant to invest in technologies like the cloud?

A: Clients need to act like a startup, no matter the size of their country or organization. That way, they can get creative, insist on the highest standards and always look for new ways to exceed customer expectations. The status quo is never enough; there is always a new way to improve service delivery or outcomes.

Q: What benefits does the AWS Partner Network (APN) provide to partner companies?

A: AWS takes a different approaches to partnerships. We put the customer first and design our strategies to enable APN partners to deliver high-quality AWS solutions and services to joint customers. APN makes it easy for partners to find relevant business, technical and customizable marketing resources to help build a healthy, sustainable and profitable company.

Qualified partners can market and sell their software to AWS customers on the AWS Marketplace, a curated digital catalog that makes it easy for customers to find, buy, deploy and manage third-party software and services that customers need to build solutions and run their businesses. AWS Marketplace simplifies software licensing and procurement, with over 7,000 software listings from more than 1,500 software vendors in 39 categories like security, networking, storage, business intelligence, databases, machine learning and media.

 

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the world’s most comprehensive and broadly adopted cloud platform, offering over 175 fully featured services from data centers globally. Millions of customers—including the fastest-growing startups, largest enterprises, and leading government agencies—are using AWS to lower costs, become more agile, and innovate faster.

Miriam Bello Miriam Bello Journalist and Industry Analyst