Verizon moves to AWS as preferred public cloud provider

Verizon is moving to Amazon Web Services (AWS) as its preferred public cloud provider – migrating more than 1,000 business critical applications and backend systems in the process.

The announcement, made by AWS, notes that Verizon first started working with the cloud infrastructure behemoth in 2015, with the latest wave of migrations ‘part of a corporate-wide initiative at Verizon to increase agility and reduce costs through the use of cloud computing.’ Among the migrations are a series of production databases to Amazon Aurora.

“We are making the public cloud a core part of our digital transformation, upgrading our database management approach to replace our proprietary solutions with Amazon Aurora,” said Mahmoud El-Assir, Verizon senior vice president of global technology services in a statement. “The agility we’ve gained by moving to the world’s leading public cloud has helped us better serve our customers.

“Working with AWS complements our focus on efficiency, speed, and innovation within our engineering culture, and has enabled us to quickly deliver the best, most efficient customer experiences,” El-Assir added.

The move to AWS is an interesting one – and it’s worth noting here the distinction between having a ‘preferred’ provider and going all-in, as in the recent case with Ryanair. At Google Next last year, Alin D’Silva, VP and CTO of Verizon’s digital workplace initiative, explained to attendees how the company was rolling out G Suite to more than 150,000 employees.

Verizon’s history in the space is also worth mentioning. The telco acquired Terremark back in 2011, with a press release at the time noting the move would ‘clear the way for Verizon to lead the rapidly evolving global managed IT infrastructure and cloud services market.’

Alas, history did not quite turn out that way. Verizon’s cloud service was launched at the back of 2013, with Terremark’s technology at the forefront, and despite making a fair amount of noise and putting partnerships in place – one with Oracle for database software and middleware stands out – the ship had long since sailed. In February 2016, Verizon shut down part of its public cloud service, and a year later it sold up to IBM.

The companies described the move as a ‘unique cooperation between two tech leaders’ – a description which raised a few eyebrows. Speaking to this publication back in 2016, John Dinsdale, a chief analyst at Synergy Research, summed it all up. “Early on in the growth of the cloud market it had seemed like telcos might have a leading part to play – but the speed of cloud market development and the aggressiveness of the leading cloud providers has largely left them behind,” he said.