Amazon’s re:Invent Conference Set For This Week

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Amazon has gotten into the trend of holding large conferences showcasing its newest technology just like tech majors Microsoft, Apple and Google, and this week is this year’s event. Amazon is expected to focus heavily on Amazon Web Services and the growth of its cloud offerings, just as it did last year. The company will also likely highlight how recent acquisitions have improved its offerings in the areas of orchestration, and video.

Amazon to balance developer needs with enterprise needs

In a report dated Oct. 2, Raymond James analysts Aaron Kessler, Justin Patterson and Yena Jeon noted that in the past couple of years, Amazon’s re:Invent conferences have had a bit more of an enterprise focus. In 2013, Amazon announced the expansion of some of its partnerships and looked to move higher up on the “enterprise tech stack” with Kinesis and WorkSpaces.

Last year, Amazon revealed its Aurora database, which the Raymond James team says has seen “significant” adoption since it was released in July. The internet firm also focused on micro-services last year with its support for Docker through EC2 Container Service and Lambda, which allows users to focus more on business logic verses infrastructure for a “serverless cloud.”

Amazon to showcase Lambda?

The Raymond James team expects this year to bring even more focus to Lambda along with security, usage monitoring, and Amazon’s recent Elemental and ClusterK acquisitions. Elemental is a video-focused service, while ClusterK allows users to orchestrate spot instances in a way that helps online retailers deliver the lowest prices.

Amazon management is expected to spread its announcements across the keynote speeches on Wednesday and Thursday like they did last year. Andy Gassy, Senior Vice President of Amazon Web Services, and CTO Dr. Werner Vogels provided more details on the growth of Amazon Web Services and new products in their past presentations at re:Invent.

Amazon’s re:Invent becoming more important

The analysts note that Amazon has seen attendance at its annual tech conference grow steadily over the last few years. In the middle of last month, Amazon announced that more than 18,500 people are planning to attend the conference, compared to 13,000 last year. This represents about a 46% annual increase in attendance since the internet firm started hosting the conference.

They also noted that Amazon has boasted a strong enterprise presence at its events in recent years as well. This year General Electric CIO Jim Fowler, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Intel’s Data Center Group Diane Bryant, and executives from Netflix are scheduled to speak at re:Invent this year. Kessler and team said this strong presence indicates that Amazon Web Services is picking up momentum in the cloud.

Features more important than price in enterprise cloud

They also think features are more important than pricing when it comes to enterprises’ use of cloud services right now. They do expect AWS to remain competitive in pricing and possibly keep cutting prices, but they note that there are limits to how low the company can cut pricing for infrastructure.

They pointed out that AWS has been focusing on adding more features as a broader variety of enterprises bring their workloads to the cloud. Through the first half of this year, AWS had already introduced 350 new features, compared to 516 in all of last year and only 280 in all of 2013.

The Raymond James team thinks this year’s announcements at re:Invent could bring upside to their estimates for revenue growth for this year and next. They have a Strong Buy rating and Shares of Amazon rose as much as 2.11% to $543.75 per share during regular trading hours today.

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