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December 7, 2021

Takeaways from the AWS re:Invent conference

AWS reInvent

We’re reflecting on our time in Las Vegas at AWS re:Invent last week - as always, it was educational, fun, exhausting, exciting, but most of all AWSome! Our thanks go to the AWS team, clients, and prospects that made the event one of the best ever - and definitely in the last two years!

Between the five of us from Cutover who attended, we racked up 500,000 steps, had 35 face-to-face meetings, and attended six keynotes and one re:play event with the incredible Zedd. This is what we learned over the course of the week: 

Kieran Gutteridge, CTO:

I saw Werner Vogels in 2013 present at SkillsMatter, causing me to step-change my thinking to now understand everything as a programmable resource, which obviously appealed to me as a software person. Fast forward eight years and the depth and breadth of programmable resources we can make use of so rapidly in the cloud is staggering. Re:Invent was superbly organized and gave us valuable time to attach ourselves to a firehose for over 14 hours a day and think about how we can help more of our customers reap the benefits of running software in the cloud quickly and safely operate on the cloud with confidence. 

The keynote speeches, workshops, live sessions on the expo floor, and dinners with the team gave us the ability to have “high bandwidth/low latency” discussions and be face to face with our customers and partners, which felt very special. It was great that AWS employees took the time to help make the “easy button” for us and our customers which will take us one step closer to running software being as exciting as turning on a light switch. This will enable our customers to focus on delivering value to their customers rather than worrying about underlying CPU, storage, and provisioning of IT which they will be able to manage at the click of a button.  

Simeon Klein, General Manager:

We have sorely missed the opportunity to meet people from across the globe with different skill sets, perspectives, and approaches. After a difficult two years for us all, Re:Invent was a refreshing reminder of the power and value of human interaction. I was delighted to be reminded of its importance. 

We came away from Re:Invent energized and, most importantly, with clarity of thought on what the broad term ‘cloud’ means for us at Cutover. Quite simply for us, it is about:

  1. Accelerating cloud migration across the seven Rs (refactor, replatform, rehost, relocate, repurchase, retire, retain)
  2. Becoming more prescriptive and opinionated in how we can help our clients - we know how to simplify some of the most complex problems enterprises are facing today
  3. Becoming a core component to cloud governance  

Markus Mühlberger, Staff Engineer:

Re:Invent is a cloud engineer's heaven. The number of sessions available is so vast; you almost get paralyzed by the number of options.

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For me, the conference was about three things: gaining in-depth knowledge about AWS technologies (not just through sessions, but also talking with experts in the AWS village), establishing in-person relations with our cloud suppliers, and, lastly, having fun.

The last point, for me, was about competing in AWS GameDays, which earned me not only a trophy but also a picture with Dr. Werner Vogels after his keynote.

It was also a team-building exercise, spending time talking about the possibilities of Cutover during dinners and on the casino floor - it is Vegas, after all!

Jonathan Boxill, Account Manager:

As a first-timer at an AWS event, I had no idea what to expect or how to pace myself. So many people to meet, sessions to attend, and learning to be had, it was mind-blowing. Thank goodness for the virtual Re:Invent recordings so you can suppress the overwhelming fear of missing out. You know each day starts with a keynote, but what you don’t expect is your client to be featured on the stage, then diving into getting in touch to drive that all-important face-to-face meeting at long last! The organic way a day twists and turns at a convention of this size is impressive. 

Spending time in the expo area was also part of the fascinating experience. Our AWS colleagues in the CloudEndure team spent a lot of time enabling briefings with prospective partners and clients while we held court at their booth. It’s so true when people say that you can get a month’s worth of meetings done in an hour! 

Carolyn Dunlop, VP Partners:

As an APN partner with ISV accelerate credentials, the immersion into AWS thinking was the highlight of the conference. As I go about my day-to-day with AWS, I am always struck by the leadership principles of customer obsession and thinking big. At Re:Invent, both the meaning and, more importantly, the reality hit me full force. 

Customer obsession: Cutover is a customer and a partner of AWS. I was struck by the unlimited enthusiasm of every executive, employee, and fellow attendee for what we can achieve together. There was not one meeting that I had where the conversation at some point didn’t turn to how AWS could help us and what actions would ensure our success. As a veteran of partnerships and alliances, this is something that is not always expressed or, more importantly, delivered on! 

Think big: We have been working on automating professional services with AWS for a long time. This work helps our customers simply manage the scope and size of the migration challenge and then focus on accelerating those migration tasks - working from simple cloud lift and shift to workload migration through to mainframes (Mainframes….. Yes mainframes!) All of these conversations made us stop, listen, plan, and think big about how we can extend further. After two meetings at Re:Invent we had it down. Something that we had not dreamed of at the beginning of the week was now sketched out and one step closer to delivery! \

Thanks, AWS for putting on an amazing and valuable conference. It was great and we can’t wait to celebrate 11 years of re:Invent next year! 

Try the Cutover platform for yourself or have a look at our integration with AWS CloudEndure for Disaster Recovery.

Or come and learn with us - watch our webinar featuring the experts from Deloitte and AWS: “So you’re in the cloud. Now what?”

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