Smart Business Day 2023 Recap: Opportunities for Small and Medium Businesses
In the past, small and medium businesses (SMBs) struggled to compete with larger enterprise companies. Limited budgets and resources kept SMBs at a disadvantage. Today, all this has changed, thanks to cloud technology. Amazon Web Services brings the power of cloud to SMBs, offering the most comprehensive—and widely used—cloud technology, with more than 200 fully featured services from data centers all over the world. On May 10, 2023, we held AWS Smart Business Day, a free virtual event for SMB business leaders and IT professionals who want to become more familiar with AWS’s cloud offerings. The 10+ sessions were geared toward those not yet using AWS who wanted to learn more—as well as current AWS customers hoping to optimize their existing infrastructure.
An introduction to what makes an SMB a smart business
The conference started with a keynote address led by Claire Gribbin, the Head of WW SMB Segment at AWS. Gribbin covered AWS’s strategic framework for SMBs: M.O.M., which stands for Modernize, Optimize, and Monetize. Simply put, this refers to updating the technology on which SMBs operate, improving internal processes, and uncovering new ways to increase revenue. In her address, Gribbin explained how focusing on these three topics can help SMBs create a culture of innovation, attract the best talent, grow their customer base, save money, acquire measurable data, and more.
How AWS enables SMB customers to transform the way they do business
The keynote was followed by a customer panel, which broadly covered why businesses run better in the cloud. Afterward, participants split off, joining either the technical track, which did a deep dive into the nitty gritty of cloud architecture, or the business track, which focused on leadership topics. The technical track sessions included “Learn how Dragonfly migrated to a cloud-native architecture, while continuously innovating with AWS” and “Curantis addresses the challenges of complexity in data with AWS.” The business track included sessions like “Recession-proof your business with AWS Migration and Modernization Acceleration Program” and “LoanPro simplifies the complex with AWS.”
In addition to the sessions, attendees benefited from a live Q&A with AWS experts, a plethora of customer success stories, and AWS Training and Certification opportunities. Some of the sessions even had built-in rewards. For instance, the business track session with AWS customer Jaggaer covered how the company used AWS infrastructure to optimize. Attendees were also eligible for a free business value and technical assessment, courtesy of an AWS Partner, which would act as the first step to helping create a customized migration plan.
The value of technology partners for resource-strapped SMBs
Speaking of partners, attendees were also introduced to one of AWS’s superpowers: the AWS Partner Network. Not sure what a tech partner is? While AWS Cloud infrastructure provides most of what customers need to succeed, we also believe that it is our partners who have the skills, knowledge, and resources to truly help our customers who have limited in-house IT staff. This was especially apparent in our business track session, “Mission Cloud helps COMPLY save $460K USD on AWS.”
In this session, attendees learned how AWS customer COMPLY found itself in a common—yet scary—conundrum. After having acquired new companies, costs were quickly escalating. Mission Cloud, an AWS Partner familiar with this situation, was able to step in and help before things got too complicated. COMPLY was ultimately able to save hundreds of thousands of USD. This session helped attendees think about how they could work with AWS to find the right technology advisor themselves—or better use the one they already had.
Attendees also learned about other resources that could help them connect with fellow SMB leaders and garner support, such as the AWS Connected Community and the AWS Smart Business Hub. The SMB Solutions Library, which Gribbin mentioned in the closing keynote, is a curated library of easy-to-deploy solutions built specifically for SMB customers and their partners.
If you weren’t able to make this year’s event, you can register to watch the sessions on the AWS Connected Community, a free resource where you can find on-demand training about the cloud and digitization as well as exclusive offers just for SMBs.