Store and protect my data FAQs

Benefits

Q: How will moving to the cloud benefit my business?

A: In the world of small and medium-sized businesses, scalability is a key factor to success. If you’re like most businesses of this size, you don’t have the staff or capital to invest in capabilities much before they are needed. The odds are that you thrive on agility and being able to scale on the fly to meet new opportunities as they arise. The cloud is a primary platform to scale your operations. With the cloud, you can:

  •  Increase productivity and deliver new functionality and capacity as needed to support your business.
  • Create a more cost-effective model by eliminating investments in hardware, maintenance, power, cooling, and floor space.
  • Use the services that you need and have a predictable monthly bill, based on only what you use

Q:How is cloud storage better than traditional on-premises storage?

A: There are several main benefits of cloud storage, including:

  • Cost: Instead of buying and maintaining your own physical storage hardware and software, pay for only what you use in the cloud, which lowers your overall cost of ownership.
  • Scalability: Increase or decrease the amount of storage to fit your exact needs.
  • Accessibility: Access your data from anywhere.
  • Functionality: The cloud offers deep functionality for storing, accessing, protecting, and analyzing data.
  • Security: Cloud providers typically add additional levels of security to provide extra layers of protection to customers.
  • Agility: Begin using the cloud within minutes and get more value from your data.
Storage options

Q: What kinds of cloud storage does AWS offer and what’s the difference?

A: AWS offers a broad range of services designed to fit your needs, based on your performance, availability, and pricing requirements. Solutions include:

  •  Backup and restore: Backup your data with solutions that:
    • Keep your data intact and protected, unlike data on traditional spinning hard drive systems, which can degrade with time.
    • Backup all types of data, whether it’s structured or unstructured.
    • Reduce the amount of downtime or data loss that your business withstands during an outage.
    • Scale your backup resources in minutes, without having to wait to procure more tapes and disk storage.
    • Perform non-disruptive and low-effort migration to cloud backups using the broad portfolio of data transfer services offered by AWS.
    • Solutions include Amazon S3, AWS Storage Gateway, AWS Backup, Amazon EBS Snapshots, Amazon EFS.
  • Disaster recovery: Prepare and recover from a disaster with solutions that:
    • Minimize downtime and data loss that happens during data center failures, server corruptions, and cyber-attacks.
    • Use automation to reduce human error and improve reliability.
    • Help protect against ransomware by assisting with data recovery to minimize data loss.
    • Solutions include AWS Elastic Disaster Recovery (AWS DRS), AWS Backup.
  • Data archiving: Solve your long-term data retention and digital preservation needs with solutions that:
    • Are purpose-built for data archiving, providing you with the highest performance, most retrieval flexibility, and the lowest cost archive storage in the cloud.
    • Adhere to industry, government, and geographic privacy and regulatory rules to help you always remain in compliance.
    • Provide the agility to quickly move data from archival to production access as needed.
    • Protect data from degradation, corruption, tampering, and theft.
    • Solutions include Amazon S3, Amazon S3 Glacier storage classes (Amazon S3 Glacier Instant Retrieval, Amazon S3 Glacier Flexible Retrieval, Amazon S3 Glacier Deep Archive)
  • Object storage: Store any type of data in its native format with object storage that:
    • Allows you to manage storage in one place with an easy-to-use application interface.
    • Optimizes storage costs, tiering between different storage classes automatically.
    • Makes storage easier to use to perform analysis, gain insights, and make better decisions faster.
    • Solutions include Amazon S3, Amazon S3 Glacier
  • File storage: Create a secure shared file system quickly with solutions that:
    • Require no provisioning, patching, or maintenance.
    • Scale your file system automatically; when files are added or removed, the systems scale up or down to higher or lower levels of throughput as needed.
    • Reduce costs by automatically moving infrequently accessed files to lower-cost storage tiers.
    • Provide a fully managed file system designed for high availability and durability.
    • Solutions include Amazon EFS, Amazon FSx
  • Block storage: Scale fast with block storage that:
    • Offers high-performance for demanding workloads, including relational and non-relational databases, enterprise applications, containerized applications, big data analytics engines, file systems, and media workflows.
    • Scales, and is easy to use, with increased storage capacity available in just a few clicks.
    • Protects against failure with 99.999 percent availability.
    • Solutions include Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS), Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2)
Security

Q: What happens to my data in the cloud, and how do I know it’s secure?

A: As a customer, you own your data, and you select which AWS services can process, store, and host it. AWS doesn’t access your data. Securing customers’ data is top priority at AWS, with rigorous contractual, technical, and organizational measures put into place to protect confidentiality, integrity, and availability of data. AWS provides the tools and services so that you can secure your data in the cloud and decrease your risk of data leaks.

Q: As a small or medium-sized business, can I afford an AWS solution?

A: Yes. Working with AWS gives you access to all of our experience working with large enterprises, including security, reliability, and resiliency. We then meet you where you are to provide you with service and support specific to your needs. Cooperating funding programs with our certified partners can also help you get going quickly. Ready to get started now? Sign up today for AWS Free Tier and gain free, hands-on experience with the AWS platform, products, and services. Our total cost of ownership assessment is also free and gives you a useful, data-based analysis to help you assess your options without obligation.

Cost optimization

Q: What can I save by moving to AWS Storage?

A: Cloud storage offers savings by reducing investments in hardware and associated maintenance, and helps your IT staff to operate more efficiently. Your cost savings depends upon the types of data you’re storing, and how much data you have. In a study by IDC, businesses saved an estimated 31 percent when they used AWS cloud infrastructure instead of buying and running their own equipment. Source: IDC, The Business Value of Amazon Web Services Storage.

In another analysis of AWS Storage customers, IDC determined the business value of moving to AWS Storage to be an annual average of $78,400 per 100 users. IDC calculated the value based on the quantification of these benefits:

  • More efficient and productive IT and storage teams.
  • New business opportunities through the enablement of enabling innovative capabilities and added agility to adapt to market conditions with cloud.
  • Cost reduction of both operations and IT infrastructure.
  • Less unplanned downtime affecting end-user productivity.
Getting started

Q: How do we determine our cloud storage requirements?

A: Taking the time to identify where and how your data is stored today gives you a head start on mapping your existing storage infrastructure to AWS Storage options. Consider these areas as inputs to determining your storage requirements:

  • How often you access your data: AWS offers storage options and pricing tiers for frequently accessed, less frequently accessed, and infrequently accessed data.
  • Required performance: AWS provides categories of storage that are optimized for different performance levels, so that you pay for only what you need, and nothing more.
  • Criticality and sensitivity of data: Critical or regulated data needs to be retained at almost any expense and tends to be stored for a long time. Highly sensitive data needs to be protected from accidental and malicious changes.
  • Amount of data you have: Knowing the total size of the data set helps in estimating storage capacity and cost.
  • Data transience: Transient data is short-lived and typically does not require high durability. (Durability refers to average annual expected data loss.)
  • Budget: With a pay-as-you-go model, your budget is flexible and can adjust to your exact business needs.

Q: How do I begin to move my data to the cloud?

A: It isn’t all or nothing—AWS provides you with the flexibility to tailor your cloud migration to your needs. And, you don’t have to go it alone. AWS enables you to choose from a global community of trusted cloud partners with diverse expertise. One simple way to get started is to run a pilot project with selected applications that aren't necessarily mission critical. You could also start by migrating non-production data, which is data that you know you must maintain in storage, but don’t use as part of your daily workflows. Backup is typically a good first choice to use to test out the cloud, since there is minimal disruption to the business processes you have today. You also can opt for implementing a hybrid solution, by keeping some of your capabilities on-premises, and some in the cloud.

To help you with your migration, there are different paths that you can take:

  • Self-start: AWS offers self-start tools that include complimentary online learning tracks and documentation. Begin with learning about migration tools and services, such as the AWS Snow Family and AWS DataSync.
  • AWS Sales: These teams can help guide you to the best type of solution to meet your needs and get you started.
  • Partners: The AWS Partner Network has partners specializing in the needs of small businesses, to help you build out and execute on your migration plans.
  • Managed Services: Use managed services to take care of a lot of the foundational heavy lifting to give you a secure and scalable cloud storage implementation.

Q: Is there someone that I can contact at AWS about solutions to store and protect my data?

A: To get started, please contact us.

Secure my business FAQs

Benefits

Q: As an Independent Software Vendor (ISV), I am considering working with AWS. What security and compliance precautions do you take into account?

A: Thousands of ISVs who use AWS to power growth with cloud services know how important security is. Read our specific ISV resources, which cover topics such as data access, movement, the CLOUD Act, EU laws, and much more.

Q: How does migrating my security to the cloud simplify my security challenges?

A: Managing security in the cloud allows you to safeguard your operating environment and customer and corporate data without compromising performance, cost or optimal architecture. With cloud-based security, you inherit strong security and compliance controls and benefit from the ability to easily scale and enhance visibility and control. Automation enables efficiencies that help improve your protection and save time, and trusted security partners and solutions enable you to continuously improve with new and innovative security features.

Q: How does is AWS infrastructure better able to secure my data?

A: AWS security infrastructure is built to satisfy the highest requirements of the world's leading financial, educational, and governmental institutions that rely on it-ensuring you have the same level of security they do. Customers report on average 43.4% fewer monthly security incidents, and 69% reduction in unplanned downtime.

Our extensive investment in global availability zones and redundant networks, storage, and compute help ensure that you always have access to your critical data and applications. In addition, we bring experience and frameworks to ensure business continuity, including dedicated teams and partners who can provide on-demand expertise and support.

Q: What kind of improvements can I expect in terms of downtime and security?

A: AWS provides the most reliable cloud with the least outages, resulting in customers achieving a 69% reduction in unplanned downtime . We have a track record for being the highest-availability cloud, a status built on our extensive investment in global availability zones and redundant networks, storage, and compute. High-availability through cloud infrastructure pairs massive scale with access to exactly the resources needed, providing a level of reliability not achievable with in house solutions.
In addition, AWS security infrastructure is built to satisfy the highest requirements of the world's leading financial, educational institutions, and governmental institutions that rely on it-ensuring you have the same level of security they do. AWS customers report 43% fewer monthly security incidents on average.

Options

Q: What specific activities are managed by the cloud?

A: A cloud-based security solution designed for your specific requirements can save your team time through automation and improve your visibility and control. For example, a cloud-based solutions can:

  • Provide data protection. Ensure data is properly protected and compliance standards are met without having to know the ins and outs of each regulation. Automated data detection and encryption continuously monitors and protects your data moving through and across workloads.
  • Ensure compliance and data privacy. Give you a comprehensive view of your compliance status and continuously monitor your environment using automated compliance checks. Timely updates help you meet security and compliance standards for your specific industry.
  • Detect potential threats through continuous monitoring. Use of the latest technologies, including integrated threat intelligence, anomaly detection and machine learning detect and stop malicious or unauthorized traffic to prevent it from becoming a business-impacting event.
  • Manage user and device access. Manage user identity, access policies, and entitlements as well as business governance including, user authentication, authorization, and single sign-on instead of dedicating your resources to these tasks. As your organization grows, the cloud easily scales your identity and access management capabilities.
  • Enforce network and application security. Enforce fine-grained security policy at network control points across your organization. Cloud services can also scan for known software vulnerabilities, even those introduced unintentionally during development and deployment that can be exploited to access your network.

Q: How can I maintain control of my security when outsourced to the cloud?

A: AWS security solutions allow you to safeguard your operating environment and customer and corporate data without compromising performance, cost or architecture. Security is a shared responsibility between AWS and our customers. This shared model relieves your operational burden as AWS operates, manages and controls the components from the host operating system down to the physical security of the facilities. Customers maintain responsibility and control of workloads running inside the cloud. Because AWS security solutions are deeply integrated, a high level of automation is possible reducing human configuration errors and freeing up IT resources for work critical to your business. The ability to automate tasks in novel ways makes it easier to collaborate and more quickly and securely deploy code.

 

Getting started

Q: We are growing quickly, and we are adapting to a hybrid work model. How do we improve protection without having to increase IT staffing?

A: Because AWS security solutions are deeply integrated, a high level of automation is possible, enabling you to reduce human configuration errors and give your team more time to focus on other work critical to your business. Our solutions are easy to use and allow you to automate tasks in novel ways, so your team can effectively collaborate and more quickly and securely deploy code.

Q: How can I get started?

A: Security is a journey of continuous improvement, and even if you’ve already gotten started, it is hard to know if you are adequately protected. Let us help by providing a free AWS Security Assessment where your network, software, data and devices will be evaluated against industry standards and our own AWS framework. Your custom report will give you an overall risk score, identify gaps, and provide a roadmap for what to address immediately and how to improve over time. Contact us

Migrate my data FAQs

Benefits

Q: What are the benefits of migrating my datacenter to the cloud?

A: The cloud levels the playing field for small and medium-sized businesses, enabling them to save money, become more competitive and reducing their business risk. Some of the primary benefits of migrating to the cloud include:

  • Real savings you can see and measure: Manage your business needs more efficiently and cost effectively in a pay-as-you-go model, rather than having to make large capital expenditures. Pay only for the resources that you use in a predictable monthly bill.
  • Secure your business: Protect, detect, respond, and recover from threats to your business faster and more reliably. You benefit from knowing that underlying hardware and software stays up-to-date and that your increasingly flexible work environment can be easily supported, secured, and recovered if necessary.
  • Use internal resources more effectively: Automate tasks such as monitoring, security, and backup, and leverage custom reports to analyze and manage costs and usage. This frees your team to work on initiatives that could be more mission critical to your company's growth.
  • Improve productivity: Provide remote teams reliable access and eliminate performance issues. Add resources with the click of a button and quickly deploy applications globally without the risk or latency that comes with on-prem infrastructure.

Q: How does a cloud migration help my business become more competitive?

A: No small or medium-sized business today can afford unplanned downtime or productivity losses as they adapt to demand for more flexible work environments and face increasing security threats. By migrating to the cloud, businesses of your size gain access to the resources to provide better and more reliable performance, better meeting your business needs.
And, when you migrate to the cloud, you give your business the advantage of increased agility by lowering the time to build, deploy, and maintain applications that can automatically scale to the needs of the workload. Updating your applications and having access to the best development tools and resources, will help you continue to reduce your costs over time.
Ultimately, moving to the cloud is about much more than the near-term efficiency gains. It is a long-term investment that will help you grow your business and make IT part of your business success and differentiation.

Different Workloads

Q: What happens to my different workloads, is this a one size fits all approach?

A: The AWS cloud solutions are optimized to suit your specific migration needs. With more experience than any other provider across company sizes and industries, the AWS approach is to use data-driven analysis to plan a migration that exactly meets your business needs.

AWS can move any workload—applications, websites, databases, storage, physical or virtual servers—and supports all frameworks and languages, all processor types, and all operating systems, including Microsoft Enterprise Applications and open source. You can also easily run SQL on AWS and manage your new and existing SQL Server licenses. AWS can also run VMWare Cloud and SAP. AWS gives you access to more than 200 native services to fuel innovation.

Reliability and Cost

Q: How will AWS help me to move to the cloud affordably and reliably?

A: AWS uses a data-driven approach to ensure you have all of the information you need to right-size a solution for your specific business needs. The most successful migrations follow this process:

  • Assess. Generate an assessment through the Migration Evaluator that is a thorough but noninvasive way to get started without monopolizing your team’s time. A migration assessment and discovery process provide you with projected costs and savings estimates within hours to build business justification for your migration project.
  • Support. Having the right team to help you can be the difference between meeting or missing your goals. Experts help anticipate challenges and leverage learning over many migrations to ensure you get the results you expect.
  • Proof of concept. AWS will help you develop a proof of concept to plan and visualize the steps to make your migration happen as quickly and affordably as possible. Part of this effort will be evaluating the skill needs of your team and ensuring you will have ready access to the training and support you need to realize the most from your cloud migration.
  • Migrate. Often fully automated, the migration doesn’t require making changes to your current workloads. You can then update and future-proof at your own pace by adopting cloud-native technologies where it makes sense to fully realize the benefits of the cloud transition, reducing operational costs as applications are re-envisioned and become managed cloud services.

Q: As a small or medium-sized business, can I afford an AWS solution?

A: Yes! Working with AWS gives you access to all of our experience working with large enterprises, including security, reliability, and resiliency. We then meet you where you are to provide you with service and support specific to your needs. Cooperating funding programs with our certified partners can also help you get going quickly. Ready to get started now? Sign up today for AWS Free Tier and gain free, hands-on experience with the AWS platform, products, and services. Our total cost of ownership assessment is also free and gives you a useful, data-based analysis to help you assess your options without obligation.

Getting started

Q: What AWS tools do I use to get started?

A: AWS makes it easy to get started so you can fully assess the migration options for your business.

  • Migration Evaluator is a free assessment tool to give you access to insights and accelerate decision-making for migration to AWS at no cost. The assessment is fully automated and can deliver results in hours. It includes a projected cost estimate and savings of running on-premises workloads in the AWS Cloud.
  • Amazon EC2 provides secure and resizable compute capacity to support virtually any workload.
  • AWS Application Migration Service minimizes time-intensive, error-prone manual processes by automatically converting source servers from physical, virtual, or cloud infrastructure to run natively on AWS. It further simplifies migration by using the same automated process for a wide range of applications.

Q: Is there someone that I can contact at AWS about my cloud migration?

A: To get started, please contact us.

 

Work securely from anywhere FAQs

Benefits

Q: Why is it important to secure remote workers?

A: Unintended cyber events are focusing more on remote workers. Many home networks lack basic security, which is often the first line of defense. There is also a rise in phishing issues and credential theft geared to home email addresses which can impact an employee’s device. This puts the sensitive information that many remote workers are accessing on home networks at risk, including critical corporate data and sensitive financial information.

Q: How does AWS help my employees work remotely?

A: With more people working remotely, either permanently or in a hybrid model, AWS offers solutions that deliver these tools to keep them productive and secure:

  • Secure cloud desktops
  • Remote content collaboration, video, and communication
  • Secure remote network access
  • Application streaming

For the more specific needs of your remote call center agents, AWS offers a virtual contact center solution.

Use Cases

Q: What are some use cases of secure virtual cloud desktops?

A: Amazon WorkSpaces is a secure cloud desktop virtualization service for Windows or Linux desktops, that enables your remote employees to access resources from any supported device.

This is useful for:

  • Any remote employee working outside of the office, because there is no need to install any software on their personal devices to continue to work at home.
  • Businesses looking to spend less on physical machines for employees, by eliminating the need to buy and manage expensive devices for your remote employees.
  • Strengthening remote work security, since devices that use Amazon WorkSpaces don’t store any company data on the device itself.
  • Employees who need to perform compute or graphically intense work, but don’t have powerful machines.

Q: What are virtual workstations?

A: A cloud-based virtual workstation is a way to host your local desktop in the cloud. Virtual workstations on AWS using Amazon EC2 with GPUs are a great fit for studios, creative departments and freelancers that require high-performance graphics workstations for visual effects, animation, or video editing. Virtual workstations can be used anywhere by artists and editors, without performance constraints.

Q: Why would I use a cloud VPN over a traditional VPN?

A: In the past, when remote employees were working outside of the office, they would use a remote access VPN to securely access applications, data, or files that were needed from corporate servers housed on-site. Many businesses are opting to move away from traditional on-premises IT services in favor of the cloud. Because of this, there is less need for remote workers to connect back to a physical office since their applications are residing in the cloud. AWS Client VPN is a cloud VPN that enables your remote employees to securely access AWS cloud resources, as well as any resources in your on-premises network. As an added benefit, with a cloud VPN, resources are placed closer to your remote workers which provides better performance, leading to increased productivity.

Q: What is a virtual contact center?

A: A virtual contact center enables employees to work from any location, and since there is no need for office space or equipment, can reduce capital expenses and scale easily. With flexibility for agents to work in locations of their choice, virtual contact centers help reduce employee turnover rates, which is a common problem with contact center staffing. With Amazon Connect, you can setup a virtual contact center in a few steps. Remote agents can handle all customers from a single interface. For example, they can chat with customers and create or respond to tasks as they are routed to them.

Options

Q: What solutions does AWS offer for collaboration among virtual teams?

A: Amazon Chime, which is a high-quality communications service that transforms online meetings with an easy-to-use app which works seamlessly across all your devices. With Amazon Chime, you can schedule and attend online meetings and video conferences, and chat, call, and collaborate inside and outside your organization, all with a single app. Amazon WorkDocs, which enables you to store, manage, share and collaborate on files in the cloud with coworkers. Files are only visible to designated contributors and reviewers, and others can’t open, read, or change files unless granted access. Amazon WorkDocs supports many different file types, including all common document and image formats.

Q: Does AWS support applications that our remote employees need to use?

A: Yes, many commercially available applications and open-source offerings are available on the AWS Marketplace, which is a curated digital catalogue that makes it easy for you to find, buy, and use third-party software that has been vetted by AWS. You can subscribe to applications on a monthly basis and consolidate all of your billing for your applications into one central location.

Q: What is the difference between Virtual Cloud Desktop (Amazon WorkSpaces) and Application Streaming (AppStream 2.0)?

A: Virtual cloud desktops create an entire working environment for a remote employee, whereas application streaming focuses on delivering a single application. Amazon WorkSpaces is a managed, secure cloud desktop service that provides your workers with a full desktop experience with access to documents, applications, and other resources from any supported device, anywhere.
Amazon AppStream 2.0 is a fully managed application streaming service that provides users with instant access to their desktop applications from anywhere on the device of their choice, with a responsive, fluid user experience from anywhere.

Q: Is there someone that I can contact at AWS about working securely?

A: To get started, please contact us.

Build websites and apps FAQs

Benefits

Q: What is different about a cloud-based website?

A: The cloud gives organizations of any size access to the tools, applications, and infrastructure to quickly improve customer online experiences. You are no longer limited to the capacity of your own servers but can leverage an entire global network. If your website traffic suddenly spikes, new resources can be accessed immediately and users will connect to your website or applications from the server closest to them, improving performance.

Q: How can a cloud-based website or app reduce my day to day management?

A: Digital workflows simplify managing your site by connecting you with the information you need to make decisions quickly. Automated tasks such as monitoring, security and back up free resources to focus on initiatives more mission critical to your company's growth.

Q: What kind of improvements can I expect in terms of downtime and security?

A: AWS provides the most reliable cloud with the least outages, resulting in customers achieving a 69% reduction in unplanned downtime . We have a track record for being the highest-availability cloud, a status built on our extensive investment in global availability zones and redundant networks, storage, and compute. High-availability through cloud infrastructure pairs massive scale with access to exactly the resources needed, providing a level of reliability not achievable with in house solutions. In addition, AWS security infrastructure is built to satisfy the highest requirements of the world's leading financial, educational institutions, and governmental institutions that rely on it-ensuring you have the same level of security they do. AWS customers report 43% fewer monthly security incidents on average.

Options

Q: What are my options if I use the cloud?

A: AWS Cloud solutions are optimized to suit your specific needs. With more experience than any other provider across company sizes and industries, AWS can help you achieve your specific goals from launching a simple site to get started to adding sophisticated features like dynamic content. For example, you can:

  • Build and host websites. Budget-friendly solutions make it easy to explore and deploy the right solutions when you need them.
  • Create web and mobile applications. Use the cloud to manage work more easily inside and outside of the organization. You can create simple, custom apps for employee onboarding, travel and expense reporting, procurement management, and everything in between with no programming experience required.
  • Deliver dynamic and rich content. Cloud-based content delivery solutions can enable customized and consistently fast and secure delivery of content based on the user, whether it is video, product updates or other rich media content.

Q: How much expertise is required for my team to support a cloud-based website or app?

A: Whether you’re developing a marketing, rich-media, or ecommerce website, AWS uniquely supports businesses of your size through:

  • Predefined configurations available for WordPress and other popular content management solutions, take the guesswork out of creating your site.
  • Prebuilt templates for everything from employee onboarding and travel and expense reporting to procurement management, require no programming experience.
  • Flexible, secure, integration-ready, and low-cost database solutions are easily accessible for online sales and retailing and enable PCI compliance.
  • Easy to create and delete development sandboxes and test environments enable you to move from idea to development and test quickly without large upfront investments.
  • Integration with a wide range of partner products and rich partner ecosystem speed your time to deployment.
Getting started

Q: How can I get started?

A: Set up your free account. Start by creating an AWS account and use the predefined configurations for common web server (hosting) setup. You can start a free trial to test ideas before deploying them and build or transfer a site with web tools you already use or investigate new best-in-class options.
Start growing traffic and increasing customer engagement. Once you have seen how the AWS platform can enable your website and applications, launching your site is simple. Then, you can focus on building traffic and customer engagement through features easily enabled on your site.
Simplify managing your site with ‘digital workflows.’ Simple web interfaces connect you with the information you need to make decisions quickly and stay productive.

Gain insights through analytics FAQs

Benefits

Q: Why is moving to the cloud essential to maximizing the value of my business data?

A: If you’re like most business leaders, you want to drill down on real-time reports, have access to the most current data, and combine data in new ways to identify trends and make better informed decisions. Moving to the cloud is the fastest way to get access to all your data, regardless of the source, while it is still fresh. Amazon Web Services (AWS) provides you with the tools to work with your data in open formats so it can be easily integrated and queried wherever it is stored in the cloud. Instead of doing analysis on partial or incomplete data, the cloud enables business users to access the latest data from across the business in an easy-to-use dashboard so insights can be quickly analyzed and reviewed across the company.

Q: What business outcomes can I deliver right away if I use the cloud for analytics?

A: A cloud-based approach provides an affordable way to access the very latest tools to unlock your analytics strategy. Using the cloud opens new possibilities to empower business users with access to fresh, relevant insights. For example, the cloud can help your business:

  • Increase efficiency. Get access to broad infrastructure options, including fully managed services, to simplify data access across platforms and reduce time spent configuring drivers and managing database connections.
  • Unify business intelligence. Build insight-driven reports and dashboards across business intelligence tools.
  • Collaborate and share data. Securely share data among accounts, organizations, and partners while building applications on top of third-party data.
  • Improve financial and demand forecasts. Automatically create, train, and deploy machine learning models for predictive insights.

Our extensive investment in global availability zones and redundant networks, storage, and compute help ensure that you always have access to your critical data and applications. In addition, we bring experience and frameworks to ensure business continuity, including dedicated teams and partners who can provide on-demand expertise and support.

How it Works

Q: How can I ensure that my data will be secure, meet compliance requirements and that management of permissions and other administrative tasks don’t overwhelm my team?

A: Cloud infrastructure is designed to scale storage resources to meet fluctuating needs. Data is stored and protected in an environment built for reliability and resiliency. AWS Infrastructure is built for analytics, which means that loading data from diverse sources, monitoring these data flows, setting up partitions, turning on encryption and managing keys, re-organizing data into columnar format, and granting and auditing access is done in days not months. And once deployed, you can run and scale analytics in seconds not minutes.
AWS also offers a highly reliable, secure and scalable solution. We automatically adjust your cloud capacity to meet demand, which gives you the flexibility to grow or scale back your use of cloud resources without paying for more than you need. No business can afford network downtime. With the largest global infrastructure of any cloud provider, AWS has resiliency architected in the cloud from the ground up. This allows us to provide you with the most reliable cloud with the least outages.

Q: Do I need to “clean” up my data and consolidate before I can benefit from the cloud?

A: You don’t have to, and shouldn’t, wait for your data to be “clean.” The cloud can bridge the gap between what you have and where you need to be. AWS can help you assess how to eliminate data silos and get integration and visibility into all of your data regardless of source or location. AWS services enable data from many different sources to be connected, analyzed and displayed in a single user-friendly data dashboard. Conclusions can be drawn to make insights easy to gather and share across the organization.

Q: How will AWS help me get more from moving my data and analytics to the cloud?

A: AWS gives businesses of your size cloud storage, compute, and network infrastructure that meets the specific needs of your analytic workloads. We provide a fully integrated analytics stack with a mature set of analytics tools optimized for performance at the lowest cost.

Getting started

Q: As a small or medium-sized business, can I afford an AWS solution?

A: Yes. AWS leverages experience working with large enterprises and then meets you where you are to provide you with service and support specific to your needs. Cooperating funding programs with our certified partners can also help you get going quickly. The cloud levels the playing field for small and medium-sized businesses, giving you access to infrastructure, tools and services that take the cost and complexity out of analytics, offer predictability when it comes to spending and ensure you only pay for what you use. Contact us to speak with a sales representative.

Managing the customer engagement lifecycle FAQs

Q: How will moving my customer care operations to the cloud benefit my business?

A: The flexible, pay-as-you-go nature of the cloud alleviates the cost, scalability, and integration challenges that many small and medium-sized businesses face as they attempt to grow their customer engagement capabilities. Cloud-based services, available on demand, enable you to swiftly meet the high service-level and omnichannel communications demands of today’s customers. You can quickly scale operations across buyers’ preferred digital communications channels and use AI-driven insights for personalized communications, targeted marketing, and problem resolution throughout the customer lifecycle. This approach improves the ability of businesses with limited technical resources to act fast, compete better, improve customer satisfaction and loyalty, and lower the total cost of ownership (TCO) of their customer care operations.

Q: How is a cloud solution better than operating my own call or contact center?

A: Cloud services span all aspects of customer engagement, from contact center to omnichannel communications to inbound and outbound marketing campaigns and promotions. They accommodate growth quickly and affordably, reduce the cost of IT infrastructure, and alleviate the burden of integrating multiple customer care IT components. Specifically, there are four primary advantages to using a cloud-based customer engagement platform compared to operating your own.

  • Lower TCO: Instead of buying and maintaining your own contact center and marketing communications platforms, you pay only for the IT resources you use in the cloud. Your cloud provider is responsible for buying, updating, managing, and expanding the technology infrastructure and also absorbs the incremental increases in power, cooling, and real estate expenses as your infrastructure grows.
  • Immediate scalability: Accommodating growth with on-premises infrastructure requires significant staff time and expertise to regularly evaluate, procure, test, deploy, and integrate new equipment. In the cloud, you grow or shrink your cloud infrastructure on demand to accommodate new and changing requirements. Your usage-based payment model automatically adjusts accordingly.
  • Simplified integration. Integrating customers’ preferred communications channels, customer records and care systems, marketing communications platforms, and advanced AI and automation features is a significant IT effort. It can require multifaceted technical expertise, which smaller businesses may not have on staff. Cloud customer engagement solutions automatically integrate these capabilities and can link to your customer relationship management (CRM) software and records for the context needed to optimize each customer interaction.

Q: Why do I need AI, analytics, and automation to manage my customer base?

A: AI-driven analytics and automation accelerate and improve customer interactions with your business while helping you scale quickly and affordably. Integrated chatbots, for example, enable customer transactions when live agents aren’t available. During real-time agent-customer interactions, cloud-based analytics deliver insights to agents based on a customer’s tone, word choice, and other variables and suggest instant course corrections, if needed, to improve outcomes. Automation also enables customers to serve themselves when that’s their preference, allowing them to complete a purchase transaction, submit a query or trouble ticket, or otherwise interact with your company when it’s convenient for them using the channels and devices of their choice.

 

Q: What kinds of cloud customer engagement services does AWS offer?

A: AWS offers a broad range of integrated, AI-based contact center, omnichannel communications, and digital marketing campaign tools you can deploy quickly—often in minutes—and use to create satisfying customer experiences, from acquisition through post-sales support.

  • Virtual contact center: Embedded AI capabilities let you personalize interactions, automate transactions, dynamically gauge customer sentiment, and authenticate callers. Unified customer profiles and recommended answers empower customer care agents to quickly resolve customer issues and track follow-up tasks.
  • Voice and text conversational interfaces: You can build virtual agents and voice assistants into any application and link them to your virtual contact center for customer self-service and automated responses to customer questions. This helps you scale customer service and support while managing customer care headcount.
  • Inbound/outbound marketing communications: Use this tool, with integrated analytics, to connect with customers over their preferred channels, such as email, Short Message Service (SMS) text, other push notification systems, voice, and in-app messaging. Segment your campaign audience and personalize your messages with targeted content based on the customer’s profile and buying history to improve customer loyalty and increase sales. Measure the success of your campaigns, such as message delivery rates and the number of opens and clicks.
  • Integrated in-app email communications. Automate sending immediate purchase confirmations, password resets, and other routine information to customers through existing CRM or other applications.

Q: What can I save by moving to an AWS cloud-based customer care platform?

A: AWS estimates that businesses save up to 80 percent using our customer lifecycle engagement and management services. The reason is that on-premises infrastructure creates scalability challenges that drive up costs and require more staff time and expense to manage. The cloud option delivers savings by reducing investments in hardware and associated maintenance, helping your IT staff operate more efficiently, and automating certain functions where appropriate.

Q: If I don’t control the infrastructure, how do I ensure data security and system uptime?

A: As an AWS customer, you retain control over your own data and who can access it. AWS doesn’t access your data, and you select which AWS services can process, store, and host it. Securing customers' data is a top priority at AWS, with rigorous contractual, technical, and organizational measures in place to protect confidentiality, integrity, and availability of data. AWS provides you with the management tools you need to manage who can access your data in the cloud and decrease your risk of data leaks. To help ensure system uptime and reliability, you can also run your contact center, messaging, and marketing communications servers in two or more diverse locations with redundant, hot failover capabilities between them. That way, resources and data are always available when personnel, customers, and prospects need to access them.

Q: How does AWS support me if something goes wrong?

A: AWS offers a range of plans that provide access to tools and expertise to support your AWS solutions. All support plans provide 24/7 access to customer service, AWS documentation, technical papers, and support forums. For technical support and resources that help you plan, deploy, and improve your AWS environment, choose from several plans to best match your unique needs.

Q: How would I get started using AWS customer engagement cloud services?

A: You can get started with the AWS cloud in one of several ways.

  • Self-start: Create a test account or sign up for an AWS account and request a credit to quickly set up an AWS contact center cloud service with integrated omnichannel messaging, AI, machine learning, and analytics. You can also enlist the guidance of AWS sales for additional assistance or check the AWS Marketplace for pre-integrated customer engagement solutions.
  • Request training: AWS offers seven courses to help customers build their skills in our web-based contact centers. To contact us about training, visit our Training and Certification web site.
  • Meet with an AWS solutions architect: Visit AWS Smart Business to request a complimentary consult with a solutions architect to evaluate your options.
  • Work with a trusted partner: Tap into the expertise of a partner from the AWS Partner Network (APN). AWS Partners can help you deploy a comprehensive customer engagement strategy and integrate your cloud service with customer care systems you may have on site. They can also help you strategize your customer care workflows, intelligent care center agent routing, and use of analytics to optimize experiences with your company throughout each customer’s lifecycle.
  • Team with a managed service provider: If you want to take it a step further, consider a managed service provider who can plan, design, build, migrate, run, and optimize everything for you. While a managed service provider may be more expensive than other options, it typically costs less than hiring your own in-house IT department.

Q: How can I learn more or consult with someone about AWS cloud customer lifecycle management solutions?

A: To talk to an AWS sales rep or solutions architect about getting started. Please contact us.