Mike Clayville, vice-president of worldwide commercial sales and business development, speaks at the AWS summit in Cape Town.

Technological jargon can be tricky for the layman who just wants to press a button to make their lives easier.
But not everyone thinks about what goes on behind the pressing of that button. Those who do, invariably the techies of this world, know that they want a system that enables them to work seamlessly.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a secure cloud services platform, offering computer power, database storage, content delivery and other functionalities to help businesses grow.

At the recent AWS Summit in Cape Town, technology gurus and business representatives came together to find new tools through AWS to make their products provide better services to their customers.

AWS also announced the launch of the Amazon CloudFront edge location in Cape Town that will give customers in South Africa fast content delivery, and higher performance for their websites and applications. One was launched in Joburg last month.

At the summit, business owners shared how they managed to use the services on AWS to strengthen their businesses.

One such business is Aerobotics, an aerial data-analytics company that is changing the way farmers manage their crops. The company uses drones and satellite analytics to help keep farms healthy.

“Technology in agriculture has evolved over the years, allowing us to change the way farming works.

"We started with mechanical tools to plant on some parts of land and can now, through the digital era, use data and technology to gain insights to farm a lot more efficiently, instead of having to spend money on input.”

The company can track each tree on a farm and use drone software to check for pests and diseases in 20 minutes, which previously took the whole day.

This is all thanks to the technology available on the AWS cloud platform.

“It’s useful to know the benefits of products in order to use them efficiently. Using this technology, our goal is to help tree-crop farmers to stay in control of pest and disease management.”

Security, retail and entertainment companies are also using the platform to their benefit. Pick * Pay changed with the times using services on AWS, while Netflix and Airbnb use the system to functionally run their products and services.

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Mike Clayville, vice-president of worldwide commercial sales and business development at AWS, said one of their focuses was to democratise technology, making it easy for everybody to use.

“If there's one thing we're really good at it's making relevant technology available to the broader masses. This is a unique time in history and I feel lucky to be in technology right now at the confluence of such important major trends," he said.

The trend towards cloud computing would be perceived in the fullness of time as the most important technology trend in the history of IT.

"We will recognise how important the things we are doing today are for the transformation of our industry, businesses and changing the human condition.”

Clayville added their customer base ranged from big companies to start-ups.

“It’s really about how you utilise this platform and leverage it in the form of business value.”

Clayville said the teams they have across Africa were available to help people transform their businesses. Their first office opened in Joburg in 2015.

“We created a content delivery network this year, and we are also working with a variety of entrepreneurs and start-ups in mentoring programmes to help them gain crucial business traction. We are investing significantly in South Africa," he said.