Desktop and Application Streaming

Amazon WorkSpaces Work from Home Offer for 2021

Looking back on a year with COVID-19

It is hard to believe that we are coming up on a year of living with COVID-19. In February 2020, countries around the world were beginning to institute travel restrictions, and organizations were shifting large portions of their teams to working from home. We knew that customers needed to enable their teams to work remotely, very quickly.

Throughout last year we helped customers scale up quickly on Amazon WorkSpaces to adjust to working from home. For example, for Comune di Cagliari, a municipality in Italy, employee and citizen safety is the top priority. They could not afford to stop working, so we helped them implement WorkSpaces, enabling 600+ employees to work from home and stay safe. Grubhub, the food-service online and mobile platform, was able to scale up from a handful of Amazon WorkSpaces to over 1,200 in two days. The pharmaceutical company Kyowa Kirin was able to scale up hundreds of WorkSpaces in a week, and contact center consignment and consulting company Hankook Corporation was able to deploy a remote work environment in two days.

Looking towards the future of work

Now, about a year later, COVID-19 has lasted longer than we thought it would. And even though the switch to work from home was a reaction to COVID-19 rather than a proactive choice, one of the things many organizations have found is that work from home is an important and permanent ingredient in enabling workers to perform at their best. Working from home will be an important part of the future of work. PwC found that 83% of employers say remote work for the company has been successful, compared to 73% in their 2020 June survey.[i]

With that in mind, many customers are rethinking their long-term remote work strategy. And increasingly their strategy includes a fully managed Desktop as a Service (DaaS) solution like Amazon WorkSpaces because it can give users the access they need to all their apps, by providing a persistent desktop they can securely access from anywhere and from almost any device. Today, I want to highlight two things we are doing to make WorkSpaces an even better option to consider as companies think about work from home in 2021.

First, I’m excited to share that we are re-introducing the Amazon WorkSpaces Work from Home free offer to help businesses transition to virtual desktops. WorkSpaces can be used to provision either Windows or Linux desktops in just a few minutes, and quickly scale to provide hundreds or even thousands of desktops to workers across the globe. Effective immediately, new Amazon WorkSpaces customers are be able to use up to 50 Windows Standard Bundle WorkSpaces – plus one Windows performance bundle, two Linux standard bundles and one Workspaces Windows Value bundle – through July 31, 2021 at no charge.

Second, just about everyone currently working remotely has felt the challenge of an uncertain home network where staying online is a challenge – and I wanted to point out how one of our recent innovations can help. At re:Invent this year, we announced the General Availability of the WorkSpaces Streaming Protocol (WSP) – a cloud-native streaming protocol that enables a consistent user experience even on unreliable networks. If you or your team are working from home, and the only room in the house where you can have quiet also has a spotty connection, WSP might help you. Muneer Mirza, the General Manager of End User Computing at AWS ran into the same challenge.

We hope this offer and our continued innovation will help you enable the right solution for your remote workers. We are here to help if you need more information – here are a few ways to learn more.

Getting Started with Amazon WorkSpaces

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Work From Home Offer Details

We are offering Amazon WorkSpaces for up to 54 users at no charge for new WorkSpaces customers, offer available through July 31, 2021. This offer includes 50 standard WorkSpaces and additionally one Windows performance bundle, two Linux standard bundles and one Workspaces Windows Value bundle. Amazon WorkSpaces customers currently using the Free Tier will be able to continue doing so through July 31, 2021. These WorkSpaces can be used in any AWS Region where WorkSpaces Free Tier is currently available. To qualify for the offer new customers must be under an Amazon account to qualify and not under a partner account. For more details on the offer visit the Amazon WorkSpaces FAQ.

[i] Source: It’s time to reimagine where and how work will get done, PwC’s US Remote Work Survey – January 12, 2021