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How Amazon Stays Ahead of the Game

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Amazon is no stranger to staying ahead in the tech industry, and its web services sector is no different. Amazon Web Services, or AWS, leads the online computing industry offering services at prices that no competitor will be willing to match. How did AWS manage to gain such a competitive advantage whilst keeping long-term sustainability a goal? Here are a few key points in their strategy that have helped them be successful:

  • Be an Opinion Leader: “The idea seems to be to dominate not so much by the traditional “vendor lock-in” of hooking customers on proprietary technology, but by making itself the center of the styles and habits of cloud computing.”
  • Look to the Long Term: Mr. Jassy, head of AWS, said “We’re extremely long-term oriented,” he added. “We’re trying to build a relationship with our customers that will outlast all of us in this room.”
  • Know Your Strengths: Amazon has developed some of its competitive edge by buying technology from smaller firms and applying it to their giant infrastructure.

Knowing which fields your business can improve in will help it develop core competencies that will give your company a competitive edge. AWS has understood this, and with it has built a service with which no competitor can compete. Its intelligent business tactics lend AWS access to the latest technology before it becomes available to their competitors, and securing their position at the top. Applying these tactics to your own company will help you stay ahead of your competition, and stay there.

Read the full article in the New York Times here.

E-Commerce Dips into the Home Services Industry

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The biggest names in e-commerce are now competing in the home services industry, attempting to bundle your recently purchased items with related services. Giants like Amazon give approved businesses a chance to bid against one another to provide your desired service. How will this affect you? Here are some things to consider:

  • This is a ridiculously huge, untapped industry: “Angie’s List … estimates the home services industry is $400 billion. Others put it at more than $800 billion. ‘There are few pots of gold left as big as this on the Internet,’ said Marco Zappacosta, chief executive and co founder of Thumbtack.”
  • Amazon is king and is only getting bigger“‘I can tell you that with 85 million customers purchasing products from Amazon that needed installation or assembly, customers have told us that Amazon Home Services fills an important need,’” says Peter Faricy, VP of Amazon Marketplace. “For Amazon it is another step toward becoming the conduit through which we buy everything, not just goods but services and entertainment as well.”
  • Google is another top contender: With services like Google Express to compete with Amazon, Google isn’t going to give up this sector of this emerging market without a fight. With the ability to provide services directly from its own search engine, Google will be sure to have its share of the market.
  • Home service providers have to cut prices to compete: Small business must cut costs in order to compete with Amazon’s bidders, but at the same time are gaining volume. “‘I look at it as an opportunity – it’s Amazon,’ […] I would say it’s early days still. We are trying to make it work. It’s a little difficult adjusting with the new prices, but there’s definitely volume there. We’re interested, but a little nervous about the low prices,’” says Matt Feldman, an entrepreneur who’s business is changing due to this bidding process.

In summary, expect your next Amazon flatscreen TV purchase to come bundled with a dozen of TV installers fighting with one another to give you the best price possible, and other e-commerce retailers to follow suit. What does this mean for home service providers? Smaller margins and a lot more work.

Click here for the full article in The New York Times.

What Cloud Computing Means to Your Job

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With advancements in technology, there have been many accusations that technology has made many jobs that were once vital to running a society disappear. From the production line to the accounting office, more and more jobs are being replaced by computers and software and it’s only going to continue to grow. In this era of cloud computing that the tech industry is moving into, companies will require smaller departments and less workers. Many companies will eventually have to adapt to cloud computing and that can be an issue. Here are some of the main points from the biggest cloud companies around:

  • Ed Lazowska who holds a chair in computer science and engineering at the University of Washington said “Technology shapes styles of work. One critical advantage of the cloud is that sharing becomes dramatically easier.”
  •  David Campbell, who is the head of engineering at Microsoft Azure mentioned how they are able to make engineering changes by moving parts of its customers traffic into new software in real time which “takes hours, instead of months and years in the legacy”.
  • At Amazon Web Services they have built the worlds biggest cloud computing business. Work is divided into teams of small size in order to determine what the customer is doing with an important product. This allows the team to quickly adapt the product to work better and look for new insight. For 2014, Amazon announced that it’s cloud division created 60% more new products that it did in 2013.

One can conclude that companies who adapt to cloud computing will be more collaborative, more specialized, and ultimately be better at delivering their services and products. What do you think?

Read the entire article here