AWS reports record $12.7bn revenues for Q420 at growth of 28%

James is editor in chief of TechForge Media, with a passion for how technologies influence business and several Mobile World Congress events under his belt. James has interviewed a variety of leading figures in his career, from former Mafia boss Michael Franzese, to Steve Wozniak, and Jean Michel Jarre. James can be found tweeting at @James_T_Bourne.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) posted record revenues of $12.742 billion (£9.35bn) for its most recent quarter, at an uptick of 28% year over year.

AWS comprised just under a tenth (9.93%) of overall Amazon revenue, which was another record; $125.6bn for Q420. Full year revenues for AWS were at $45.37bn.

The cloud infrastructure market leader broke the $10bn quarterly revenue mark for the fourth time. While AWS revenues in sheer numbers have grown sequentially over the past two years – with a particular jump over the past four quarters – its percentage of total Amazon revenue dipped.

To put the growth in perspective, AWS’ Q420 revenues were more than double posted in Q218.

The big news from Amazon, however, came outside of the financials. As this publication reported yesterday evening, AWS CEO Andy Jassy is to take over the reins as Amazon chief executive in Q321, with Jeff Bezos stepping aside to the role of executive chair.

Amazon’s earnings calls differ from competitors in that Brian Olsavsky, Amazon chief financial officer, steps up to field questions alone. He said of Jassy’s appointment: “Those of us who know Andy are excited to see him take on this greater responsibility. He is a visionary leader, a great operator, and he understands what makes Amazon such a special, innovative company.”

Olsavsky added the company was ‘working on backfilling the AWS role’, promising updates in the future. “For now, today is about Andy and Jeff Bezos,” he said.

AWS had a busy most recent quarter, headlined by the annual re:Invent conference and its panoply of associated product announcements and updates. These included industry-specific offerings – predictive maintenance, amonaly detection for industrial machinery among others – as well as what this publication has explored as a ‘softening’ on multi-cloud, with ECS Anywhere and EKS Anywhere enabling customers to run container orchestration and managed Kubernetes in their own data centres.

There were also several key customer wins in the quarter – as well as one suspension. Zoom came on board as a ‘preferred’ cloud provider in December, alongside MGM and BMW, and, more internationally, Zalando and Mercado Libre. Twitter said in December it was leveraging AWS infrastructure to run its real-time services globally.

Last month, AWS suspended Parler, the social network popular with supporters of former President Donald Trump. The company took the decision having noted incidents ‘over several weeks’ and concluded it ‘[could not] provide services to a customer that is unable to effectively identify and remove content that encourages or incites violence against others.’

Parler filed a lawsuit against Amazon alleging, among others, that the recent customer win of Twitter was a case of interferce. Amazon’s counter-response argued that suspension was ‘a last resort’, adding Parler’s ‘own failures left AWS little choice but to suspend.’

You can read the full earnings release here.

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