AWS Training and Certification Blog

Intercompany AWS GameDay fosters teamwork and cloud innovation

As the race to the cloud has accelerated over the past few years, digital transformation has become a key topic for many leaders and organizations. While technology makes innovation possible, it’s people who drive cultural and transformational change. When organizations invest in the cloud fluency of their workforce, they’re empowering people’s learning experiences with the tools and training needed to succeed in their transformation journey.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has many cloud learning initiatives that help small and large organizations accelerate cloud adoption by upskilling their workforces. For instance, AWS Skills Guild is a comprehensive cloud enablement program designed to build cloud fluency across an organization and helps stand up their own internal cloud training programs. Interactive learning events, like AWS GameDay, are a key component of Skills Guild and help customer workforces put their knowledge to the test.

Permission to experiment and innovate

In October, Skills Guild collaborators PETRONAS from Malaysia, Techcombank from Vietnam, and Singapore Public Sector Agency came together to learn and innovate in a three-hour, virtual, cross-industry AWS Skills Guild Intercompany GameDay.

The goals of the GameDay were to help learners experience cross-team collaboration and experimentation firsthand and realize how their cloud skills impact business outcomes.

To lay the groundwork for success, the executive supporters of PETRONAS, Singapore Public Sector Agency, and Techcombank championed the program by vocally supporting the value of innovation and learning opportunities like GameDay. Leadership support is critical in driving organizational change, and as a result, employees felt a major paradigm shift toward cloud-first thinking and experimentation enablement.

Looking back on the event, Mr. Aik-Chong Phuah, head of digital engineering at PETRONAS, shared, “PETRONAS has been on a digital journey for the last few years. Besides data, having cloud fluency is a critical enabler in skills, agility, and speed to market. It is key for us to continue to innovate and experiment with cloud technologies. GameDay was an opportunity for the teams to collaborate, learn, and put their skillsets into practice.”

Putting learnings into practice

During the GameDay, with the support of AWS experts, more than 60 players from the three organizations were asked to pretend they were employees of an imaginary company called Unicorn Rentals. They were charged with a mission to migrate its IT infrastructure to the AWS Cloud. They were divided into teams of approximately 15 people, and for three hours, they used their newly acquired AWS skills to solve real-world challenges related to upgrading Unicorn Rentals’ IT infrastructure, including unexpected internal and external events.

In a gamified, risk-free environment, the teams’ accuracy and efficiency to resolve issues were measured throughout the event and their scores were displayed on the live, interactive scoreboard. This timed competition forced participants to think creatively and learn to collaborate across different teams with similar cloud skills.

During his keynote speech, the executive supporter of the event, Mr. Thanh Hai Bui, chief of staff and head of strategy and performance management of the technology division at Techcombank, said, “Game Day is a great chance for us to learn through play, communicating with the best teams in the area and learning from each other and every challenge encountered. Watching all team members collaborate on a single, effective way to deal with the problem really moved me. I could see all of them embracing Techcombank’s core values, reflecting our motto of “BE GREATER” in everything they do.”

As teams brainstormed and experimented to create new solutions to manage their cloud resources, participants tested their knowledge. They successfully deployed and configured AWS services to solve Unicorn Rentals’ business problems within its IT environment on a limited budget. They broke communication silos, thought outside the box to troubleshoot, and experimented with new ideas to come up with the best solution for the business.

The gamified concept of GameDay included attractive prizes that boosted excitement to learn cloud skills. It encouraged and empowered players to be bold and innovative while creating solutions to challenges—all while having fun.

Building a community of cloud learners

When asked about their experience in the week following the event, one participant commented, “It was great as a team bonding activity [and] there was new knowledge gained from online resources and from each other when tackling the ad-hoc events.”

As participants in the Skills Guild at their respective organizations, the players had already attended cloud technology workshops and built a level of technical competency. But, to them, the real benefit of the GameDay was an opportunity to apply the skills they had learned firsthand, tackling the simulated real-world scenarios as they exercised their own skills.

A software engineer from Singapore Public Sector Agency said, “GameDay provided the teams with the learning opportunity to understand different services in AWS in a fun and exciting way and it was great to tackle the problem as a team to amplify our strengths and cover our weakness.”

Additionally, they appreciated the safe and encouraging environment where they could verify and consult on ideas with AWS experts and other players, deploying solutions in live AWS accounts without the fear of failing their IT operations. This helped to nurture the players’ confidence and encouraged experimentation. Furthermore, being able to work with participants from other companies in the region during group discussions solidified their learnings and strengthened their sense of teamwork and cloud community.

A few weeks after the GameDay, Techcombank’s Mr. Thanh Hai Bui noticed increased enthusiasm for learning from their participants. “[The GameDay signaled] that the path we are taking to develop cloud at Techcombank is proper. I saw a lot of happy regrets after the game since they could not try all the challenges. To them, it is not winning or losing that matters; what matters more are the gaps they were able to identify and [the opportunities to] discuss them after that. I think they have better orientation of what they and their teammates should learn and what the whole team should improve on. What a fun and really valuable experience for us!”

Rooting a culture of innovation

Becoming a cloud-first organization is a journey. Through their involvement with Skills Guild and events like this GameDay, PETRONAS, Singapore Public Sector Agency, and Techcombank are taking steps to lead their industries and countries in organization enablement and transformation in the cloud. Building cloud-focused communities—both internally and in partnership with organizations—is creating a groundswell of cloud leadership backed by executive collaboration. Each participating member walked away with a newfound confidence in their cloud capability and permission to experiment in the cloud.

At PETRONAS, Singapore Public Sector Agency, and Techcombank, success is achieved with the commitment and investment from leadership to build a cloud-first culture, allowing innovation to take root in the organizations.

Read more about AWS Skills Guild.