Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS) has announced that it plans to open an infrastructure region in Sweden in 2018. The new AWS EU (Stockholm) Region will comprise of three Availability Zones at launch. Currently, AWS provides 42 Availability Zones across 16 infrastructure regions worldwide, with another five Availability Zones, across two AWS Regions in France and China, expected to come online this year.
“For over a decade, we’ve had a large number of Nordic customers building their businesses on AWS because we have much broader functionality than any other cloud provider, a significantly larger partner and customer ecosystem, and unmatched maturity, reliability, security, and performance,” said Andy Jassy, CEO, AWS. “The Nordic’s most successful startups, including iZettle, King, Mojang, and Supercell, as well as some of the most respected enterprises in the world, such as IKEA, Nokia, Scania, and Telenor, depend on AWS to run their businesses, enabling them to be more agile and responsive to their customers. An AWS Region in Stockholm enables Swedish and Nordic customers, with local latency or data sovereignty requirements, to move the rest of their applications to AWS and enjoy cost and agility advantages across their entire application portfolio.”
This announcement has been welcomed by Sweden’s Innovation and Enterprise Minister, Mikael Damberg, describing the decision as good news for the country. "I am very happy to welcome AWS to Sweden. Their decision to establish a new region in our country is a recognition of Sweden’s competitive position within the European Union (EU), with the highest levels of renewable energy, in the power grid, in the EU, as well as a world leading digital infrastructure and IT industry,” said Mr Damberg. “The AWS investment in Sweden will strengthen our position in the global digital shift. For us, trade in a modern globalized economy is not only about goods, but also about services, sharing of knowledge, and the free flow of data.”
AWS has been steadily increasing its investment in the Nordics to serve its growing base of customers. In 2011, AWS opened a Point of Presence (PoP) in Stockholm to enable customers to serve content to their end users with low latency. In 2014 and 2015 respectively, AWS opened offices in Stockholm and Espoo, Finland. Today, AWS has teams of account managers, solutions architects, business developers, partner managers, professional services consultants, technology evangelists, start-up community developers, and more, helping customers of all sizes as they move to AWS. When launched, the AWS EU (Stockholm) Region will enable organizations to provide even lower latency to end users across the Nordics. Additionally, local AWS customers with data sovereignty requirements will be able to store their data in Sweden with the assurance that their content will not move unless they move it.
Organizations across the Nordics — Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden — have been increasingly moving their mission-critical applications to AWS. Hot Nordic startups like Bambora, iZettle, Quinyx, Tidal, Tink, Tradeshift, Trustpilot, and Vivino, as well as leading gaming firms like King, Mojang, and Supercell have built their businesses on top of AWS, enabling them to scale rapidly and expand their geographic reach in minutes. Enterprises in the Nordics, like ASSA ABLOY, Finnair, F-Secure, Gelato, Husqvarna, IKEA, Kesko, Modern Times Group, Nokia, Sanoma, Scania, Schibstedt, Telenor, Wärtsilä, WirelessCar (Volvo), WOW Air, and Yleisradio (Yle), are also using AWS to drive cost savings, accelerate innovation, and speed time-to-market.
One Nordic enterprise that is using AWS to innovate is ASSA ABLOY, the global leader in door opening solutions, with over 47,000 employees and annual sales of USD $8.3 billion worldwide. The company’s hospitality division is using AWS to power their Mobile Access solution, allowing hotels to offer their guests the ability to check-in via mobile phone and to use their device as their room key. “AWS has been critical to our ability to innovate and quickly develop new solutions for our customers,” said Jan Hedström, cloud operations manager, ASSA ABLOY. “With AWS, we have been able to develop and test new business ideas the same day they come up, allowing the project teams to build fruitful partnerships with internal stakeholders, such as business owners and project managers. This also allows us to bring new services, such as our Mobile Access solution, to customers worldwide, such as major hotel chains, who are using the solution to enhance their guests’ stay.”
Another well-known Nordic enterprise using AWS to transform their organization is Scania, a world leading manufacturer of heavy vehicles. Scania has a long history of research and development and is bringing advanced technologies to their trucks, buses, coaches, and engines to help them reach their goal of becoming the leader in sustainable transport solutions. Scania is training hundreds of their employees on the latest AWS technologies, enabling them to develop and build reliable, secure, and scalable solutions quickly. Scania is now planning to use AWS for their connected vehicle systems, allowing truck owners to track their vehicles, collect real-time running data, and run diagnostics to understand when maintenance is needed, reducing vehicle downtime. ”In a connected world, a flexible, scalable, and reliable cloud infrastructure, such as what we get from AWS, is critical for our ability to develop, experiment, innovate, and stay ahead of the competition,” said Michael Müller, director infrastructure services, Scania. “For us, cloud is more than a technology, it is a fundamental part of our strategy moving forward. Through connectivity, powered by the cloud, we can enhance vehicle performance and customer profitability. This makes AWS much more than just a service provider, they are an important business partner supporting our future growth.”
WirelessCar, part of the Volvo Group, is a Swedish company using AWS to innovate quickly. WirelessCar connects two million vehicles in more than 35 countries. It moved its delivery engine, a test environment for WirelessCar software, from its on-premises data center to AWS. WirelessCar delivers global, high quality, and secure services, that enable vehicles to respond to remote user commands, intelligently plot routes, and communicate with the manufacturer about service requirements. “We run our entire delivery engine on AWS, from test and development through to deployment,” said Martin Rosell, managing director, WirelessCar. “Using AWS we are able to provide our developers with a more flexible, agile, and scalable platform. Before moving to AWS we added major features only a few times per year. Now, we are able to add features on-demand and in continuous deployment mode. This rapid pace of innovation has allowed us to scale our business according to customer needs and has also brought greater transparency to our operations. With AWS’s pay-as-you go pricing, we will be able to work out the precise cost of each of our services and make better, more informed business decisions as a result.”
As well as innovative enterprises, many of the most well-known and fastest growing startups in the Nordics are using AWS to build and rapidly expand their businesses around the world. One former startup which is now a leading mobile gaming company, Finland-based Supercell, used AWS to run their business from day one. Supercell is ‘all-in’ on AWS and their games — Boom Beach, Clash of Clans, Clash Royale, and Hay Day — make use of almost every service available on AWS and attract more than 100-million players on iOS and Android devices every day. “Using AWS we have been able to focus our resources on improving the gaming experience for our players, instead of wasting time on procuring and maintaining the infrastructure,” said Sami Yliharju, head of IT Infrastructure, Supercell. “Our games generate about five terabytes of log data every day, which we analyze to better understand player behavior and improve the game experience. This would be very hard to maintain with an on-premises setup, especially as we have seen explosive growth. With AWS doing the heavy-lifting, we have been able to iterate faster to quickly and seamlessly deliver new games and features to our millions of users around the world.”
Trustpilot, another Nordic startup, leveraged AWS to expand its business globally. The company provides over 150,000 e-commerce businesses, across 24 countries, with TrustScores. A TrustScore is a consumer rating that is based on more than 27 million online reviews. “Trustpilot chose to go ‘all-in’ on AWS from day one to enable us to support our rapid growth,” said Rudy Martin, VP of Operations, Trustpilot, which serves over 1.6 billion website impressions per month. “Retail is a seasonal business which experiences peaks during the holidays, such as Christmas and Easter, and when there are special events, such as Black Friday sales. These peaks are reflected in the increased demand for reviews to help the consumer make an informed purchasing decision. AWS enables us to easily scale our infrastructure to manage these peaks in traffic, which can sometimes exceed 250% of our usual daily traffic load.”
In addition to established enterprises and rapidly growing start-ups, AWS also has a vibrant ecosystem in the Nordics, including partners that have built cloud practices and innovative technology solutions on AWS. AWS Partner Network (APN) Consulting Partners in the Nordics helping customers to migrate to the cloud include Accenture, Capgemini, Crayon Group, CSC, Cybercom, Dashsoft, Enfo Group, Evry, Jayway, Nordcloud, Proact IT Group, Solita, Tieto, Wipro, and many others. Among the APN Technology Partners and Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) in the Nordics using AWS to deliver their software to customers around the world include Basware, eBuilder, F-Secure, Queue-it, Xstream, and many others.