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Cloud Computing Platforms

Post-Brexit: Business as usual for Amazon in UK

Amazon’s plans and investment in the UK remain unchanged despite the Brexit referendum result, the company reaffirmed this week.

“Our message to the people in this room is to keep calm and carry on innovating,” said Gavin Jackson, the Managing Director of AWS in the UK and Ireland, while speaking at the AWS Summit in London this week.

“In light of the post-Brexit vote, I wanted to reassure all of our customers that we see the UK as a fast innovator, AWS will continue to be an inward investor in the UK.”

Jackson said there is “no change in plans” to open a data centre region within the UK, and this should be live at the end of 2016 or the start of 2017.

“Whether or not Brexit happens, we made that decision [to build a UK data centre] a long time ago,” said David McCann, VP of AWS Marketplace. “We do it because our customers want it, customer need is the biggest thing that drives Amazon. And Britain’s the fifth largest economy in the world, we have to be here.”

Amazon also announced it was planning to hire 1,000 more people in the UK than previously thought. Doug Gurr, Amazon UK’s Country Manager, said everything was “business as usual” post-Brexit and the company is on track to create 3,500 permanent new jobs in the UK this year. 1,000 of these will be “cutting edge Silicon Valley jobs in the heart of Britain” at the company’s three R&D centres in London, Cambridge and Edinburgh. Researchers in the fields of software development, machine learning and data science are currently working on projects such as Alexa, Amazon Prime Air, Video, and recommendation engines at these centres.  

The company also announced updates to its Amazon Web Services Marketplace. Where European companies were previously required to have a US subsidiary to be featured on the AWS software library, those requirements have now been removed. European ISVs of any size will be able to choose which regions their software and services are available, giving them a potentially global reach and access to AWS’ one million customers.

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Dan Swinhoe

Dan is a journalist at CSO Online. Previously he was Senior Staff Writer at IDG Connect.

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