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Amazon Web Services (AWS) Dominates Indian Cloud Market

Madhusudan Shekar, Head – Solutions Architecture, Startups, AISPL explains the why and how and the successful business use cases.

India is a key market for AWS. Outside of US, AWS has its largest footprint in India and this is indicative of the large scale enterprise adoption in this geography. Since the launch of the AWS Asia Pacific (Mumbai) Region in June 2016 there has been tremendous growth in the number of customers in this region. AWS acquired over hundreds of thousands of active customers in the country. The India region acted as a big boost in supporting the rapidly growing AWS customer base in India, giving them a faster service, and allowing them to keep data locally to satisfy any data sovereignty requirements.

While AWS today must be leading the pack among the global cloud biggies in India (Microsoft breathing on its shoulder) Madhusudan Shekar, Head – Solutions Architecture, Startups, AISPL, lists some of its differentiators.“Our definition of cloud computing means the ability of a customer to buy technology over a network. Subsequently, the customer can use the technology as per requirements and then switch off when not needed. Crucially when switched off, the associated costs too should not be incurred,” informs Madhusudan. This strategy of helping customers to onboard and offboard fast and in optimized budgets has made AWS a compelling draw in the Indian cloud computing domain.

Madhusudan further explains that IT usage for most Indian enterprises follow an‘erratic sinusodal’ curve where it virtually gets shut for 8-10 hours during low business activities. Hence the switch on, switch off model associated with the cost savings it leads to has made AWS popular. Another advantage Madhusudan cites for AWS stems from the fact, in his own words, that “there is no compression algorithm for experience.”What it necessarily means is that AWS has been operating at high scale with high security for 12 years now and this experience has given it what Madhusudan slyly remarks as ‘unfair advantage’ over competitors in the Indian market.

AWS today has 175 + services and it spans storage, compute, databases, networking, AI/ML, analytics, IoT, security and mobility. Two years back, the discussion with customers was largely around storage, compute or databases. But today, consumers are consuming AWS in India across the breadth of its offerings.

Madhusudan clarifies though that not all services are often launched together in all geographies. “Sometimes a particular service is launched in one zone, stabilized there, bugs are fixed and subsequently rolled out in other geographies after a gap of few weeks or few months,” he informs. This concept of rolling rollout of services has proved to be a big advantage for AWS in its deployment strategy even in India.

To understand this AWS business model in its entirety, it would make sense to understand Amazon’s nomenclature system. Any geography with multiple datacenters is called an Availability Zone, while Region is one encapsulated area constituted of few Availability Zones. A particular Region will have all its service deliveries simultaneously.  There are 22 such Regions worldwide and 69 Availability Zones with 3 of them being in India.

India is one of AWS’s largest regions in the long term with prominent local players including Tata Motors, HDFC Life Insurance, Shaadi.com, NDTV, and Druva, to name a few. Amazon is seeing a great adoption of cloud services from both startups and large enterprises in India, claiming that 90% of the top 100 Indian startups use AWS. Practo, connects 60 million patients to 200,000 doctors from 10,000 hospitals. Shaadi.com a popular matrimonial site, and another customer of AWS, uses capabilities such as AI and machine learning from AWS to analyze 67 billion event records to make 4 million matches.

HDFC Standard Life has built a digital platform off AWS called Atom, where all their digital workloads are being put on AWS now. Then, there are customers like Hotstar, Freshworks, NDTV, Times Now, Malayala Manorama, Bombay Stock Exchange, Bajaj Finance and Bajaj Capital. Aditya Birla Capital, is another great example of a non-banking finance company who are starting to put workloads off AWS. Take Titan Industries or Tata Motors, they have put all their digital business, their digital properties on AWS, doing some interesting stuff around telemetry and IOT. AISPL has also achieved full Cloud Service Provider empanelment by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY).

Delhivery, one of the largest e-commerce logistics companies in the country, is an example of how analytics is being built on AWS. They have to route packages between their various warehouses and to the end customer, there are SLAs involved, delivery times and penalties involved. Policybazaar.com is using AI/ ML through Amazon Polly. Haptik is using AWS for personalizing the experience, using AI and ML services. redBus is the largest bus ticketing platform in the country. They are using Amazon SageMaker, the managed platform for developers and data scientists to manage algorithms and frameworks.

PayU, one of the largest payment gateways in the country, uses Amazon Aurora, which is one of the fastest growing database services in its history. They also use analytics services. Vistara has built most of its digital properties on AWS. Future Group, Brigade Group are using AWS on some of their mission critical business application like SAP. L&T Infotech has one of the largest deployments of SAP in the world today; that sits on AWS. Kent RO has moved from Microsoft Dynamics to AWS. Aditya Birla Group is building their analytics platform on AWS.

The company also has a strong partner network called the Amazon Partner Network that has tens of thousands of partners from across the globe. AWS has recently added over 10,000 new partners to the APN. Over 60% of APN Partners are headquartered outside the United States. Outside of US, India saw the largest growth in number of partners. In the last 12 months, India contributed the most new non-US headquartered APN Partners. “So we are seeing a strong growth momentum as far as the customer and partner base is concerned,” informs Madhusudan.

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