Friday 10 October 2014

Amazon’s New Frontiers: Robotics and Data Generated from Connected Devices

The chief technology officer at Amazon, Werner Vogels, likes to move around the world about few times in a year. He is famous for giving out predictions and this time he has predicted the robotics, data from connected devices and automation will become the new frontiers for the company.

The Company is working on automating most of their functions like fulfillment centers and autonomous vehicles. He stated that with the increasing number of sensor the data can explode any time. This prediction is coming from a person who primarily runs a $150 billion retail vision.

According to Vogel, data which help in building up the analytics are extremely beneficial to the company. Companies have been using video anonymously to show the restaurants and shops about their customer base demographic. Through the video the company can identify between a Caucasian and middle-aged man who is well dressed.

Numerous companies have been using the AWS (Amazon Web Services) for managing the data which gets generated from these kinds of sensors. In India itself Amazon's cloud is being used by Tata Motors to run their management system. The cloud computing has been gaining huge importance in India and Microsoft has already announced the cloud computing centers will be opened in India. According to Vogel, Amazon has no such plan of opening data centers in India.

They say that hybrid cloud would be a much better option for India and it will be better model. They are expecting services and content to become device-independent which opens up scope for cloud computing.

According to Vogel, cloud computing has a vital role in all the areas wherein a user can have specific interfaces for different types of devices, but at the end data and services will be stored in one location which can be accessed by different devices. Vogel has visited India more than 6 times. According to the recent reports the customer base for Amazon Web services has nearly increased by 50%. Last year the company has nearly 8000 customer which has now increased to 12000 customers.

Is there any specific kind of advice or direction for organizations based on heavy engineering? Simple advice would be to stay away from trying out everything. According to Vogel, the company had ensured that they have appropriate processes in place to which required things and to build things which will be useful for the customers.

A minimum set of features is usually built by retailers. Later on, based on these features the retailers build products which consider the feedback received from the customers.

The product managers of Amazon usually send a press release in the initial stages which basically describes the product as well as its requirements. Once this has been done, the company focuses on getting answers for 20 sets of questions which are frequently asked by the customers. According to Vogel, the aim of the customer is to determine the reaction of the customers towards a product, much before they can even build the product. The company calls this as working from customer’s end.

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