The AWS effect

How is Amazon Web Services making a difference to the lives of ordinary South Africans?

02 May 2023

Chris Erasmus, AWS. Photo: Paul McGavin

It’s December 2019 and Las Vegas is plastered with huge billboards up and down the strip advertising the AWS re:Invent conference, a giant jamboree that the cloud provider throws every year. This was its biggest yet, and upwards of 65 000 people crammed into the conference centre, with no hint of what was to sweep the world in a few short months. Amazon Web Services had yet to open its region in South Africa, but it was on the way, and there was some excitement about what it would mean for the country.

I got to speak to Doug Yeum, who had recently been appointed worldwide channel chief for the company. He happened to be running the AWS business in Korea when it launched its region there in 2016. He said the demand for AWS cloud services had exploded, and this had borne fruit for AWS partners, especially those that had the necessary experience and skills prior to the region’s launch.

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