Top 5 reasons customers are choosing AWS
Guru Gurushankar, PhD, is the worldwide leader for medical devices within AWS’s healthcare and life science practice and holds over 25 years of healthcare and medical device experience. Having worked for medical device companies such as Cardinal Health, Johnson and Johnson and General Electric in various roles ranging from running P&Ls to product development or global marketing, Dr Gurushankar brings a plethora of pertinent knowledge and experience to the position.
Dr Gurushankar took a moment to share the top reasons he believes customers are choosing AWS.
“AWS lets customers quickly access resources as they need them, deploying hundreds or even thousands of servers in just minutes. This means customers can very quickly develop and roll out new applications, and it means teams can experiment and innovate more quickly and frequently. If an experiment fails, you can always de-provision those resources without risk.”
“If you look at how people end up moving to the cloud, almost always the conversation starter is around cost. AWS allows customers to trade capital expense for variable expense, and they only pay for IT as they consume it. And the variable expense is much lower than what customers can do for themselves because of AWS's economies of scale.”
“Customers used to over-provision to ensure they had the capacity to handle their business operations at peak level of activity. Now they can provision the resources that they actually need, knowing that they can instantly scale up and scale down along with the needs of their business, which reduces the cost.”
“The fourth reason is the speed of innovation. Because customers can focus their IT resources on developing applications that differentiate their business and transform their customers' experiences, instead of spending time on the undifferentiated heavy lifting of managing their infrastructure and data services.”
“AWS allows customers to deploy globally in minutes. AWS has the concepts of a region, which is a physical location around the world where we have a cluster of data centres. AWS customers leverage around 76 availability zones across 24 geographic regions worldwide. And we are continuously adding new regions. We have had more than two, three regions announced very recently, and we don't plan to stop there.”
Summing it up, Dr Gurushankar says, “AWS customers are choosing AWS because it has a lot more functionality, has the largest and most vibrant community of customers, healthcare and non-healthcare, and partners, the most proven operational and security expertise. And the business is innovating at a faster clip, especially in new areas, such as machine learning and artificial intelligence and internet of things.”
One such customer is MTM, a leading non-emergency medical transportation broker based in the United States. Dr Gurushankar shares how the culture and mindset at AWS helps drive successful objectives-based customer partnerships.
“AWS customers have come to appreciate that our culture is really different. We are unusually customer-focused versus competitive focused. In fact, 90% of all the things we build are driven by what customers like MTM tell us and how they matter to them. We're also pioneers, and we hire builders. We're always looking at how they can reinvent flawed customer experiences. And finally, we are unusually long-term oriented. We are trying to build relationships and businesses that will outlast all of us.”
Marketing matters: from IBM to Kyndryl
Prior to joining Kyndryl as Chief Marketing Officer, Maria had a 25-year career at IBM, most recently as the tech giant’s CMO where she oversaw all marketing professionals and activities across North America, Canada and Latin America. She has held senior global marketing positions in a variety of disciplines and business units across IBM, most notably strategic initiatives in Smarter Cities and Watson Customer Engagement, as well as leading teams in services, business analytics, and mobile and industry solutions. She is known for her work with teams to leverage data, analytics and cloud technologies to build deeper engagements with customers and partners.
With a passion for marketing, business and people, and a recognized expert in data-driven marketing and brand engagement, Maria talks to Business Chief about her new role, her leadership style and what success means to her.
You've recently moved from IBM to Kyndryl, joining as CMO. Tell us about this exciting new role?
I’m Chief Marketing Officer for Kyndryl, the independent company that will be created following the separation from IBM of its Managed Infrastructure Services business, expected to occur by the end of 2021. My role is to plan, develop, and execute Kyndryl's marketing and advertising initiatives. This includes building a company culture and brand identity on which we base our marketing and advertising strategy.
We have an amazing opportunity ahead at Kyndryl to create a company brand that will stand apart in the market by leading with our people first. Once we are an independent company, each Kyndryl employee will advance the vital systems that power human progress. Our people are devoted, restless, empathetic, and anticipatory – key qualities needed as we build on existing customer relationships and cultivate new ones. Our people are at the heart of this business and I am deeply hopeful and excited for our future.
What experiences have helped prepare you for this new opportunity?
I’ve had a very rich and diverse career history at IBM that has lasted 25+ years. I started out in sales but landed explored opportunities at IBM in different roles, business units, geographies, and functions. Marketing and business are my passions and I landed on Marketing because it allowed me to utilize both my left and right brain, bringing together art and science. In college, I was no tonly a business major, but an art major. I love marketing because I can leverage my extensive knowledge of business, while also being able to think openly and creatively.
The opportunities I was given during my time at IBM and my natural curiosity have led me to the path I’m on now and there’s no better next career step than a once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity to help launch a company. The core of my role at Kyndryl is to create a culture centered on our people and growing up in my career at IBM has allowed me to see first-hand how to prioritize people and ensure they are at the heart of progress in everything Kyndryl will do.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I believe that people aren't your greatest assets, they are your only assets. My platform and background for leadership has always been grounded in authenticity to who I am and centered on diversity and inclusion. I immigrated to the US from Chile when I was 10 years old and so I know the power and beauty that comes from leaning into what makes you different from other people, and that's what I want every person in my marketing organization to feel – the value in bringing their most authentic self to work every day. The way our employees feel when they show up for themselves authentically is how they will also show up for our customers, and strong relationships drive growth.
I think this is especially true in light of a world forever changed by the pandemic. Living through such an unprecedented time has reinforced that we are all humans. We can't lead or care for one another without empathy and I think leaders everywhere have been reminded of this.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
When I was growing up as an immigrant in North Carolina, I often wanted to be just like everyone else. But my mother always told me: Be unique, be memorable – you have an authentic view and experience of the world that no one else will ever have, so don't try to be anyone else but you.
What does success look like to you?
I think the concept of success is multi-faceted. From a career perspective, being in a job where you're respected and appreciated, and where you can see how your contributions are providing value by motivating your teams to be better – that's success! From a personal perspective, there is no greater accomplishment than investing in the next generation. I love mentoring younger professionals – they are the future. I want my legacy as a leader to include providing value in work culture, but also in leaving a personal impact on the lives of professionals who will carry the workforce forward. Finding a position in life with a job and company that offers me a chance at all of that is what success looks like to me.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
I've always been a naturally curious person and it's easy for me to over-commit to projects that pique my interest. I've learned over years of practice how to manage that, so to my younger self I’d say… prioritize the things that are most important, and then become amazing at those things.