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AWS on India hiring spree to meet demand for AI, big data services

AWS on India hiring spree to meet demand for AI, big data services
Craig Stires, AWS’ Asia Pacific head for artificial intelligence, analytics and big data

Cloud computing giant Amazon Web Services (AWS) has embarked on a major hiring spree in India spurred by a major uptake in services related to artificial intelligence, analytics and big data, a top executive told TechCircle.

Craig Stires, AWS’ Asia Pacific head of artificial intelligence, analytics and big data, said that the company was also recruiting rapidly in the three other markets in the region owing to the demand for such services.

“We are absolutely growing the teams,” Stires said. “We have been expanding them to provide the right kind of technical and customer support in all the markets in the region.”

He added that AWS was also investing heavily in training capabilities across the region.

According to the company's careers page, it has 127 full-time openings for its Bengaluru office that includes 35 positions for IT, operations and support engineering, 31 open spots for solution architects, 20 positions for business and merchant development, followed by 14 open spots for software development.

Other positions are spread across human resources, legal, data science, business intelligence, database administration and leadership training, among others.

Elsewhere in the Asia-Pacific region, AWS has full-time vacancies in Beijing (98), Seoul (110), Tokyo (185) and Singapore (182).

Stires said strong growth was being recorded in the Indian market and every time he visited the country, his customer meetings were growing exponentially.

"Digital natives or startups in the country have been showing strong growth over the years and now enterprises are getting ready to transform digitally," Stires said. “There is still a lot of opportunity in the market as there are enough companies who would like to move their analytics to the cloud.”

In an earlier interview with TechCircle, Nawal Hamarass, director of alliances and channel partners for Asia-Pacific at AWS, had said that India was a $1-trillion economy and an important market for the company.

“Nearly 60% of our partners are based outside the US, and out of all the partners that we added in the last year, 50% of them were from India and most of them were technology partners,” Hamarass had said. Hamarass had also said that AWS has a total of 40,000 technology partners from Asia-Pacific.

Last week, AWS said that it was adding a third availability zone in Mumbai driven by the demand in the country.

Explaining why companies have been trying to transform digitally or run data-driven businesses, Stires said that they understand the need to satisfy customer demands by providing faster, better services because of the democratisation of analytics or AI services that is empowering rival customers.

"Data is being looked at in a different way. Earlier these data sets used to reside in servers or devices. But now companies are looking to use these data sets to solve the most urgent and critical business needs," Stires explained.

He cautioned, however, that companies should not look to undertake a digital transformation overnight as this could result in more expenditure as well as operational complexities.

"Currently companies are and should look at acquiring just a small portion of the data sets over a shorter period and run experiments on it to see if the pain points of the business can be solved. Once they see successful results, they can scale up the experiment," Stires said, adding that AWS was uniquely positioned to help its customers run these small experiments.

"The experimental approach takes a linear cost model rather than an exponential cost model. If you try to gather all of your data and run analytics or any other service on them, then you will spend a lot on infrastructure. It makes more sense to taste success and then scale it up," he explained.

Asked about the company's investments and innovation in voice analytics, Stires said that AWS has been gradually adding more languages to its services such as Lex, Polly and Transcribe. He added that the AWS's approach has been to keep on investing in areas such as natural language understanding.

* The writer was at an event in Mumbai that was hosted and paid for by Amazon Web Services.

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