First blog since Dreamforce… not good! The marketing guys are all over me. “You have to blog consistently.” Of course they’re right, but who has the time! Inauguration was yesterday, pretty amazing times. So now that Obama is in and the recession will be coming to an end, banks will become stabilized, the capital markets will bounce back, and general goodness will proliferate throughout the world, it’s time to blog and get ready for a great 2009. Maybe he’ll need a quarter or two…
- EC2 – Host your data center on Amazon, leverage it for databases and mail servers, use it as a disaster recovery site, and leverage vast amounts of computing power. This isn’t the most exciting offering to talk about, but you can have access to Amazon’s amazing infrastructure for pennies.
- S3 – This is what most people think about when they think about Amazon Web Services. This is simply storing documents with Amazon, again, for pennies. You can easily pull images of documents into Salesforce or wherever else, so the user doesn’t even know where it’s located, they just know it’s easy to access and you know that it’s cheap.
- DevPay and Fulfillment Services – Now we’re getting into some more exciting areas. DevPay enables you to leverage Amazon’s shopping cart and billing system for launching a store. You can even sell subscription plans, not just a fee per order. Fulfillment Services is really interesting. This may not be a true cloud app, but you can actually send Amazon your inventory and they’ll store it in their distribution centers, which of course are the best that money can buy. They handle packing and shipping when someone buys from you, whether from your website or from there’s. You can focus on sales and marketing, they focus on the boring stuff that they do better than anyone else. Very cool!
- Mechanical Turk – This is definitely my favorite. Amazon calls it artificial artificial intelligence. It’s basically a workforce in the cloud. Some tasks computers just aren’t that great at. So you can send a task up through Amazon to the Turkers and for pennies they’ll complete the task. These are people located all around the world, who, for 2 cents or 5 cents or 1 dollar, depending on the task, will do something you ask of them. It could be looking at an image and transcribing it into data. When Steve Fossett’s plane went down, they leveraged the Turkers to look at satellite maps and help in their search, scanning for the plane. Companies also leverage it to clean data, analyze catalogs and competitive coupons, etc.