Heading to the Event

On the 30th of May, our team had the pleasure to be a part of the first AWS Summit events in Poland. We headed to Warsaw happy and excited, yet having in mind our previous experiences from similar events in Berlin or Stockholm. Would it be as impressive as the mentioned events? And the most critical question for us: will CEE be an essential region for AWS?

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What are AWS Summits?

Before we move to the insights, let me go back a little and explain to you, what AWS Summits are and what their role is.

Bringing technologists together to connect, collaborate, and learn about AWS.

Basically, the most obvious goal of such events is marketing. AWS Global Summits are free events focused on bringing the cloud computing community together. Ranging from one to a couple of days, you can learn how to choose the right service, improve your infrastructure, use of the cloud in your organization, and drive digital transformation.

Dance like no one is looking, Encrypt like everybody is!

Those events are held in major cities around the world and attract technologists from many industries and skill levels who want to discover how AWS can help them to innovate. You hear all of that from AWS leaders, experts, partners, and customers. Sessions differ from technical breakout sessions, demonstrations, hands-on workshops, labs, and team challenges. And last, but not least you can network with AWS partners and your peers in the venue.

Insights

First and the most apparent observation is that we finally have an event in CEE region of Europe. We were afraid that it may be a peripheral event - however, it did not happen. It was a fully fledged event, as impressive as the ones we have seen in Germany or Sweden.

Personally, I am pleased that such an event took place in Poland - however, it is not a selfish feeling. It is very important for the whole region to host and be a part of the AWS Global Summit movement. And not only the presence of the event signaled that Central and Eastern Europe is essential for AWS. From our experience, Amazon Web Services slept over their chance and allowed Microsoft Azure to dominate. But they’ve declared that we are back in the game.

Such conference is an example how that attitude will change. We should be proud and happy that Warsaw was chosen - bear in mind that there are many case studies from countries associated with CEE region (a great example is the Moneta Bank case study from Czechia).

Amazon Mantra by Jeff Bezos

During the day, we saw fantastic examples of how you can bet on the cloud. For us, it is definitely an excellent time to be a builder. Having so many services and tools is helpful, especially in the case when you want to build a product. However as Glenn Gore (Chief Architect at AWS) told us during the keynote:

Technology is just an enabler, we face more significant challenges in terms of cloud adoption across industries.

Yet, even that presentations and “hallway track” were all about tech, everything felt pragmatic and motivated by the business as it should be. It is very reassuring to see how AWS cares and educates about that, even as a vendor and they do not have to. Then we, as partners and the IT experts and service providers, should have that mantra in mind.

For us personally, it was a fantastic time to network and meet our friends at the expo hall. Countless talks and discussions, commenting seen presentations and discussing little disappointment that there was no announcement made this year in Warsaw (even that Gdańsk holds an important Development Center for Amazon Lex and Amazon Polly).

Amazon Sumerian presentation during the conference

It was also an awesome chance to meet our curators from the Amazon Web Services Partner Network program. Your mileage may vary, but for us, the most essential and exciting presentations were about Serverless and Amazon Sumerian. You need to bear in mind that this is the marketing event, so networking and relations are the most crucial element of that. Yet, still, talks were pragmatic and helpful - which is not a usual thing for such events.

Badge from the conference

Summary

It was an intense but very productive and energetic day for us. And you do not expect that from a typical marketing event. The most important message coming from that is CEE becomes an important place for AWS, and as APN partners we hope to see that - we would be honored to build multiple case studies in our region. One thing that I wish for the future is even more significant (e.g., multiple day) event with a new, exclusive announcement. I would love to see that happening in 2020 - hopefully, see you there!

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