How AWS is helping businesses sustain during Covid crisis


Several digital services that allow companies to deal with the Covid-19 crisis operate on the AWS platform, says Andy Jassy, CEO, AWS at the first Online Summit 2020

During the fire side chat of the first AWS Online Summit, Andy Jassy, CEO, AWS,  shared how the company is driving business continuity with changing dynamics of business operations, in the times of Covid.

The single biggest priority for AWS during the crisis has been trying to make sure that its employees are safe. And there are so many things the company has done in this aspect. Jassy said, “We’ve changed over 150 of our various policies, largely around trickling down on extra-cleansing our facilities and physical distancing. We’re spending an inordinate amount of money in building a testing capability and a lab capability for all of our employees in our facilities. So just a very broad array of things we’re trying to do to help employees.”

Today, most of the digital services, be it retail, entertainment, gaming and enterprises and others are predominantly run on the AWS platform. For example, the vast majority of Zoom’s cloud infrastructure. Similarly, Netflix, Disney Plus, Hulu, Prime Video – entertainment options that are keeping people engaged across the world. “We’re trying to help people, and companies function while they can’t be operating normally at work. A lot of the things that are allowing us to deal with the crisis run on top of AWS. So we’re just trying to help our customers in various areas,” he added.

On the other hand, AWS is helping governments, healthcare companies and other organisations who are screening the virus, to try and start building its cure. The company has built a Covid data lake that has a lot of data sets in it that helps researchers and public health officials and others try and help find solutions. “We’ve spent about US$ 20 million in an AWS EDI research fund to help people start to find solutions here,” Jassy shared.

For the US government, AWS has helped the Small Business Administration build a website to allow people apply for and get loans. In the case of the state of Rhode Island, it has helped in  sending unemployment checks to individuals quickly. For the National Health Service, or NHS, in the UK, it connected patients with medical practitioners and then got them the supplies and the medicines that they need.

On the enterprise front, Amazon Connect, which is a call-center service has seen significant growth. AWS launched it about three years ago, and it has got big quickly with a broad array of enterprises using it, such as companies like Capital One and Intuit and John Hancock, Citigroup and Johnson & Johnson and Hilton and Best Western.

Jassy mentioned that with so many companies having their customer-service agents work from home, it is good to see companies have spun up Connect to help them deal with all of their calls from customers. Combined with virtual desktop solutions, like Amazon WorkSpaces, and video conferencing like Chime or Zoom, “We will continue to build tools and capabilities in an automated fashion. And they may not have to do it in our corporate offices. So I think customer service is going to change pretty meaningfully,” he highlighted.


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