I love Amazon, but it's not what you think
I, like many people, love Amazon for their efficient store and method of delivering products. Considering the number of products they move is quite amazing when you think about how quickly something comes to you. Of course, they structure their company and vendors in an approach to encourage that level of success and continually push that forward. AWS cloud services operates similarly.
What I love about Amazon, having followed them both technically but also as an organization, is I truly believe that customer service is their number one priority. Duh? Right?! No. Almost every company in the world says “customer service is #1” publically. But, in internal meetings many places customer service isn't the number one priority; it’s a hassle, a cost, something to be ignored. Amazon recognizes clearly with an online store that customer service is paramount as they are forever competing with brick-and-mortar stores. The same is true of the backend cloud services. Customer service means trust and value. Do you trust Amazon and will they take care of you concerning the product you’re getting? YES! And value? Is the value there for what you’re getting? Meaning you are paying very close to the cost of the product. YES.
The AWS cloud services group at Amazon says and has said over the years you pay for what you use. That is true for every aspect of their cloud services. When AWS first came out with their services, there were a few other players at the time. Those other players did not have that same “pay for what you use” mantra. The other service companies at that time would work to lock you in so they could charge almost anything. Amazon is religious about this “pay for what you use” mantra in my opinion. It has forced all other cloud providers to copy it. Which awesome!! This value also builds more trust. Having been the co-founder of a software company, InstallShield, I’ve experienced the lock-in of pricing so I’m always on the lookout for lock-in and price-fixing. Based on my experience with AWS, I believe they will keep on reducing prices as the cost is reduced.
AWS can accomplish this due to it being in their business model from the beginning. They have to be set up to be constantly cutting costs and reducing prices for people. Once that's built into the culture it perpetuates itself where everybody in your organization has that same goal. It's difficult, if not impossible, to take an existing organization, like Microsoft or Google, that doesn't operate with that mantra, to change to that thinking. My company, InstallShield, was a development company (like Microsoft). We had (have) software boxes to sell. We had a fixed price and over time never lowered prices. In fact, we slowly increased them. The business was dependent on those prices and there's no way to change that without significant pain or reason. Microsoft has, to some extent, changed their software pricing model, Why? Because they were FORCED to by Google Docs etc. and AWS. It has taken a long time and hasn't permeated everything, but Microsoft is changing. Credit to Microsoft!
I find trust and value comforting with AWS cloud services such that I can standardize on some of their functionality and technology and known while there is always some level of technical lock-in they're not going to screw me with pricing later... like other companies do.
So thanks Amazon for your customer service focus and you're “pay for what you use” mantra.
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