AWS Re:Invent 2016: Rackspace Helps Businesses Transform

While the second day of AWS re:Invent focused on the superpowers AWS is providing customers through its vast and growing portfolio of services and features, day three was all about putting them to work.

AWS CTO Werner Vogels kicked off the day with the final keynote of the conference, and began by telling the audience to apply those superpowers so they could “become transformers, and really make a difference,” in their specific businesses or industry.

Appropriately dressed in a Transformers t-shirt, Vogels expounded on the announcements presented by AWS CEO Andy Jassy the day before, and went through his own list of new services and features covering everything from security to analytics to serverless architecture. Thorough descriptions of all the new features released during re:Invent 2016 can be found on the AWS blog.

Similar to his keynote at re:Invent last year, Vogels devoted a good part of his presentation to encouraging the audience to become builders, to change things and reimagine the way they do business. This is the essence of how AWS is empowering businesses — by giving them the ability to implement smart thinking and turn clever ideas into disruptive new business models.

By harnessing the immense toolkit AWS is creating, businesses can indeed transform the way things are done. Getting there however, takes expertise and a familiarity with those tools that is always up to date with their constant evolution.

“I think on one hand people see all these new services and features and how cool they are, but then they also see the rate at which they’re growing and sometimes feel like they can’t keep up,” said Rackspace AWS Evangelist Eric Johnson, who with James Cowe, director of AWS strategy and architecture for Rackspace, described the “Attitude of Iteration” in their re:Invent session, necessary to face the challenges of change without overwhelming technical teams with a constant tug-of-war between implementation and improvement.

And that’s exactly where Rackspace comes in, Johnson said.

“We’re filling that gap. We’re the ones who are going out and learning the tools, and keeping up with this stuff for those customers who don’t have resources in-house to do it themselves.”

Johnson agreed that the expanding set of AWS tools is akin to a set of superpowers, extending the metaphor to describe Rackspace’s role to help implement them and turn AWS consumers into transformers, as Vogels suggested.

“If AWS gives superpowers to businesses, if it turns them into Batman,” Johnson said, “then we’re Batman’s butler. We’re Alfred. We’re the ones behind the scenes taking care of all the details so the superheroes can do their jobs.”

Eric Johnson Rackspace
AWS Evangelist at Rackspace Eric Johnson

Johnson said he was excited by many of the announcements that came out during re:Invent, most notably the new analytics tools and serverless initiatives that Vogels covered during his keynote.

But more than anything, he said he was excited about the way Rackspace was poised to partner with AWS to help turn businesses into transformers.

“It’s the right time and place and we’ve got the right people to help businesses realize these things,” he said. “Our job is to show people how they can accomplish what they’re trying to do, but also how it can be better, easier, faster and cheaper.”

His assertion is based on cold hard facts. Earlier this week, Rackspace was named an AWS Premier Partner, and prior to that, we announced that in the year since the launch of Fanatical Support for AWS, our engineers and architects have earned more than 500 professional certifications through the AWS Partner Network.

Check out Rackspace Chief Technology Officer John Engates’ interview on AWS’ “the Cube,” live at re:invent 2016:

We’re proud of those accomplishments and we’re excited to be in a position to help businesses move to the cloud or make their current cloud deployments even better. We’re looking forward to another year of growth, helping businesses apply AWS superpowers and become transformers.

Visit Rackspace to find out more about our managed services for AWS and the customers we’re helping turn into transformers. You can also check out tooling demos and learn which service options are the right fit for your organization.


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