During Amazon Q1 earnings call, CFO Brian Olsavsky spoke to AWS' automotive partnerships
During Amazon Q1 earnings call, CFO Brian Olsavsky spoke to AWS' automotive partnerships

Amazon CFO Touts Big AWS Wins at Volkswagen, Ford and Lyft

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Amazon’s latest powerhouse quarter in the cloud included some major wins in the auto industry. Those wins involved the world’s largest auto maker, Volkswagen AG, as well as Ford and ride-sharing IPO hotshot Lyft, according to a special shout-out to AWS from Amazon CFO Brian Olsavsky.

Toward the end of last week’s Amazon Q1 earnings call, which to that point had not included any questions regarding the results from the Amazon Web Services cloud unit, Olsavsky made a special point of mentioning AWS’s excellent performance in the quarter.

“Since I don’t want to run out of time here, I’m going to ask a question for myself about AWS, because I want to get some information to you,” Olsavsky said in a fairly unusual approach to the analyst-driven Q&A process.

Amazon Q1 Earnings Call Highlights: AWS Updates
During Amazon Q1 earnings call, CFO Brian Olsavsky spoke to AWS' automotive partnerships
Brian Olsavsky

“I want to be sure to highlight the AWS performance in Q1: we’re now at an over-$30-billion annualized run rate, with 42% FX-neutral growth and $2 billion more of revenue in this Q1 versus last Q1,” Olsavsky told the analysts.

That stellar performance is the result of not only “a very large expansion of our tech teams and our sales teams that support this business” but also “a lot of the good work on infrastructure and efficiencies” involving Amazon’s massive data centers and associated logistics, he said.

On the customer side, AWS is seeing a powerful combination of “continued momentum in enterprise migrations to AWS” along with business customers “moving large workloads to AWS at a faster pace,” Olsavsky said.

He then pointed to some major wins among auto-industry companies. In describing them, Olsavsky underscored the huge secular shift in that industry toward mobility services as a strategic adjunct to the traditional business of designing and building vehicles.

Amazon Q1 Earnings Call: AWS-Auto Partnerships Details

“I’m particularly happy about the Volkswagen alliance that we’ve joined to power their Volkswagen Industrial Cloud,” Olsavsky said.

“That’s going to integrate more than 30,000 facilities plus another 1,500 suppliers and partners in Volkswagen’s global supply chain.”

With Ford, Amazon is “powering the cars of the future,” Olsavsky said.

And for Lyft, the company’s recent registration for an IPO revealed that it’s spending $100 million per year with AWS to power its ride-sharing service. (For more on that, please see Amazon and Lyft: Is $100 Million a Year a Bargain or Bungle?)

Amazon and Microsoft Playing in the Same Sandbox

Another major cloud vendor deeply involved in the Volkswagen Industrial Cloud is Microsoft. I covered their partnership in a recent article called Volkswagen’s Remarkable Journey from #1 Car Maker to Software Company via Azure Cloud:

At the ripe old age of 82 and having become the world’s largest automaker, Volkswagen AG is undertaking a massive transformation to surge into the wild new world of digital as a software company that provides mobility services and information rather than just cars, trucks and buses. 

Centered on the Volkswagen Automotive Cloud developed in partnership with Microsoft, Volkswagen is developing a new strategy grounded in software and technology to provide that all-encompassing objective of every digital business: to deliver superior customer experiences.

“Our goal is the customer experience for customers in their own vehicles and beyond,” said the Volkswagen executive in charge of the new mobility-services effort, Christian Senger.

So, another great quarter for AWS. And another blunt-force reminder that its customers are exploiting the full power of the cloud not only to cut IT costs but also to completely remake themselves into what they need to become to continue meeting and exceeding the demands of customers.


Disclosure: at the time of this writing, Microsoft was a customer of Evans Strategic Communications LLC.


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