Miguel Álava (AWS): “Creating our cloud region in Spain from scratch gives us more freedom” | companies
Amazon Web Services (AWS) becomes a technology partner of many operators (Telefónica, Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Vodafone, Verizon, T-Mobile and Bell Canada, among others) and this year they also did not want to miss the Mobile World Congress , from Barcelona. During the fair, he announced an agreement with Telefónica Tech, already advanced by Five daysto jointly promote new cloud solutions and expand capabilities in the AWS cloud for telecom professionals, and a tool focused on sustainability, which endorses that “the migration of servers and applications to the cloud reduces the energy consumption of companies”, Miguel Álava, general manager of AWS in Spain and Portugal, explains to this newspaper.
What is the tool?
It is a carbon footprint tool that allows our customers to estimate the carbon emissions of their workloads on AWS and helps them report, track, and review their historical emissions to track progress toward their future carbon reduction targets. Additionally, the tool allows them to see how they would reduce their emissions if they moved their workloads to Amazon Web Services.
Do you have any calculations in this direction?
A recent study by 451 Research shows that AWS infrastructure is five times more energy efficient than an average European enterprise data center. Specifically, Spanish companies can reduce their energy consumption by more than 80% if they run their applications in our cloud instead of operating their own data centers. As a technology provider, one of our mandates is that technology is consumed in a sustainable way. And, for this reason, we have also announced the construction of nine solar power plants in Spain. In total, more than 1.15 GW, which will supply clean energy to Amazon’s operations in the country and to our future data centers in Spain.
How is the construction of the area cloud of AWS in Spain? They said he would be ready by the middle of this year, is there a change given the pressure from rivals?
In principle, what we announce is maintained. But I want to emphasize that we are building the region from below, with an investment of 2,500 million (which includes public works, connectivity, power plants, refrigeration…) and that, in our case, the region is not It’s not just a hub like it is with other providers. We envision regions with three data centers that are isolated from each other in risk profile, but replicate synchronously, so they can be considered a single logical unit. Thus, as data is replicated, clients can continue to function even if there are problems in up to two of them, even if there is some service degradation.
And why did they decide to build their region from scratch and not ally with a partner like Google, Oracle or Microsoft who will have their region with Telefónica?
What we want with this investment is to create a local digital fabric and ecosystem, because ultimately a digital value chain is created around our territory that drives the economy and society. With this approximation, we believe that we will increase Spain’s GDP by around 1,800 million and create 1,300 new jobs over the next ten years. Another reason for doing this is that we want to provide the best possible service. We deliver a lot of innovation (in 2020 alone, we launched 2,757 new services and features) and to deliver all of this technology, we need to have a very high degree of hardware and software standardization. To mount a region cloud there are a lot of requirements that if not made from scratch it’s complicated; moreover, starting from scratch gives you much more freedom to do it in a standard way.
How is the AWS business evolving in Spain?
More than 80% of the Ibex 35s and the 10 unicorns in Spain are our customers. We have tens of thousands of customers in the Iberian Peninsula from all sectors, including administration, and the demand has not stopped since we opened an office in Spain in 2014. This is what has made us encouraged to make such a significant investment in the country. . Although I can’t give you local data, AWS is a $71 trillion company, growing at nearly 40% a year, and helping to understand what’s going on in Spain.
Will Spanish customers migrate to the AWS Spain Region when it goes live?
You do not have to. Each customer can use the region of their choice (we have 26 in the world), just like foreign companies can use the Spanish region. In the end, there are three criteria that make the choice to use one or the other: one is latency, the other is data sovereignty (there are organizations that will want to have them in Spain ) and the price.
I understand that prices vary depending on the economy of the country.
Exactly. We are very transparent on that. Pricing is based on the cost structure we have in each country.
Do you foresee this benefiting the region? cloud Spanish?
It is difficult to answer because we still have no visibility on what the pricing policy will be.
Coming back to mobile, how does AWS help telcos?
There are four areas in which they turn to us. One has to do with their technological infrastructures (they migrate them to the cloud to increase automation, reduce costs, be more agile and innovate more) and another with data: with the Internet of Things, the advanced computing, 5G, and private mobile networks will capture, store, analyze, process, and ultimately monetize that data, if needed, and our platform helps them. The other two areas are related to their business model (many telecom operators build services heart connectivity in native networks cloud, allowing them to reduce their capital expenditure and rapidly expand into new services) and 5G. We’re talking about new applications that require low latency, and we have a solution that brings AWS services and processing power much closer to customers.
And, outside of telecoms, what services or solutions are customers asking for the most?
In our conversations with customers in Spain, we see how businesses of all kinds are demanding technology tools based on the cloud that help them increase their flexibility, scalability and allow them to innovate quickly. In addition, there are certain trends in the use of cloud computing. One of them is artificial intelligence and machine learning. At AWS, we believe that in the future most workloads will relate to these technologies in some way, and while many companies are already implementing them, there is still much to be done. discover. In Spain we have the example of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, which uses machine learning from AWS to predict areas where more fires could develop in the summer in an effort to improve prevention and aid in suppression.
And what other trends do you detect?
Data analysis. More and more customers are building solutions for data ingestion, processing, and analysis with AWS. The cloud is crucial to being able to get the most out of the data they generate and make better business decisions based on it. And yet another trend is the use of Internet of Things solutions. Over time, most companies’ on-premises footprint likely won’t consist of servers (almost all will be in the cloud); they will be connected devices. Today, billions of these connected devices are found in homes, factories, hospitals, cars, and countless other places. For this reason, IoT cloud management solutions are increasingly in demand. One example is Cepsa, which applies AWS data analytics services to 300,000 sensors located at its manufacturing facilities, refineries and chemical plants in Spain, Brazil and China. These sensors produce 170 million data points daily that Cepsa stores and processes in a data lake based on AWS. With this, the energy company can identify operational trends, improve forecasting in the supply chain, and quickly identify inefficiencies, thereby reducing expenses and energy consumption while increasing the production of refined products.
Do you suffer from a lack of digital talent?
We have quite a few open positions in Spain, because despite the fact that there are good talents in the country, there are not enough of them, as is the case in the rest of the world. That’s why we’ve committed to training 29 million people in the skills cloud (as of November 2021, we have already trained over six million) and we offer a free training program for the unemployed, in addition to other training programs. One is AWS Academy, which offers higher education institutions a free, cloud-based program that prepares students for the industry’s most recognized certifications, and another, AWS Educate, which offers access to of training in cloud more freely, allowing each teacher or student to choose how to structure the content.