New AWS Europe (Stockholm) Region expands cloud pioneer’s global footprint and enables Nordic customers to run applications and store their content in data centers in Sweden
Tens of thousands of customers and APN partners across the Nordics – Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden – are actively using AWS, including Aktia Bank, Arriva, ASSA ABLOY, Bambora, Bonnier, Cargotec, Den Norske Bank, Finnair, Finnish Rail, Fortum, Husqvarna, Icelandair, IKEA, iZettle, LEO Innovation Lab, Nokia, Rovio, Scania, Schibsted, SOK, Stockmann Oyj, Supercell, Telenor, Telia, Tine SA, TopDanmark, Unibet, Vivino, Volvo, Wärtsilä, and many more
Amazon Web Services has opened the AWS Europe (Stockholm) Region. With this launch, AWS now provides 60 Availability Zones across 20 infrastructure regions globally, with another 12 Availability Zones and four regions in Bahrain, Hong Kong SAR, Italy, and South Africa all coming online by the first half of 2020.
The AWS Europe (Stockholm) Region is AWS’s fifth in Europe, joining existing regions in France, Germany, Ireland, and the UK. Tens of thousands of customers across the Nordics – Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden – already use AWS. Starting today, developers, startups, and enterprises, as well as government, education, and non-profit organizations can leverage the new AWS Europe (Stockholm) Region to run their applications in Sweden, serve end-users across the Nordics with lower latency, and leverage advanced technologies such as analytics, database, mobile services, serverless, and more, to drive innovation.
“Since the early days of AWS, Nordic organizations have been using AWS’s cloud technologies to help reinvent entire industries, such as Supercell and Rovio in gaming, Scania and Volvo in automotive, and Nokia and Telenor in telecommunications,” said Andy Jassy, Chief Executive Officer, Amazon Web Services. “Tens of thousands of Nordic customers have been using AWS from regions around the world, but many have shared that they also wanted an AWS Region in the Nordics so they can easily operate their most latency-sensitive workloads for end-users in the Nordics while meeting any data sovereignty requirements. We’re excited to deliver our AWS Stockholm Region today to meet these customer requests.”
The AWS Europe (Stockholm) Region offers three Availability Zones at launch. AWS Regions are comprised of Availability Zones, which are technology infrastructure in separate and distinct geographic locations with enough distance to significantly reduce the risk of a single event impacting business continuity, yet near enough to provide low latency for high availability applications. Each Availability Zone has independent power, cooling, and physical security and are connected via redundant, ultra-low-latency networks. AWS customers focused on high availability can design their applications to run in multiple Availability Zones to achieve even greater fault-tolerance. Additionally, local AWS customers with data residency requirements can now store their content in Sweden with the assurance that their content will not move without consent, while customers building applications that comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) now have access to another secure AWS infrastructure region in the European Union (EU) that meets the highest levels of security, compliance, and data protection.
Millions of active customers are using AWS each month in over 190 countries around the world, including hundreds of thousands of customers in Europe, and tens of thousands of customers in the Nordics. Organizations across the Nordics are moving their mission-critical workloads to AWS to drive cost savings, accelerate innovation, and speed-up time-to-market, including enterprise customers such as Aktia Bank, Arriva, ASSA ABLOY, Bonnier, Basware, Cargotec, Den Norske Bank, F-Secure, Finnair, Fortum, Gelato, Husqvarna, Icelandair, IKEA, Modern Times Group, Nokia, Scania, Schibsted, SOK, Stockmann Oyj, Telenor Connexion, Telia, Tine SA, TopDanmark, Unibet, Visma, Volvo Group Connected Solutions, Wireless Car, Wärtsilä, and XXL. AWS is also an enabler for the Nordics’ most successful startups and gaming companies such as Bambora, Evolution Gaming, Hemnet, iZettle, KRY, LEO Innovation Lab, Lingit, Lunar Way, Mapillary, Mathem, Mojang, Paradox Interactive, Quinyx, Rovio, Supercell, Tidal, Trustpilot, Tink, and Vivino. Public sector customers, such as VR (Finnish Rail), the government-owned railway in Finland, and Ambita, owned by the Norwegian Ministry of Trade and Industry and Norway’s largest portal for property data, are also moving the majority of their on-premises applications to AWS to take advantage of the increased reliability and security to deliver a better service to citizens.
Volvo Group Connected Solutions, headquartered in Gothenburg, Sweden, is responsible for developing and delivering connected solutions within the Volvo Group – one of the world’s leading manufacturers of trucks, buses, construction equipment, and marine and industrial engines.
The Volvo Group employs approximately 100,000 people, has production facilities in 18 countries, and sells its products in more than 190 nations. AWS is the preferred cloud provider for Volvo Group Connected Solutions, allowing them to connect more than 800,000 assets all over the world, including trucks, busses, and construction equipment. “AWS has transformed how we run as a business, helping us move to a micro service architecture and run infrastructure as code, which has increased automation across the organization,” said Stefan Berggren, VP of Technology at Volvo Group Connected Solutions. “Since moving the development of our applications to AWS, we have increased agility and speed and reduced the amount of time it takes to go from idea to experimentation from weeks to minutes. As you can imagine, latency is also vital when connecting vehicles and delivering a broad range of connected services to our customers. We look forward to using the new AWS Europe (Stockholm) Region because it will bring our services even closer to our customers.”
Fortum is a leading power and utilities provider, headquartered in Finland, with more than 2.5 million customers, 9,000 employees, and operates over 150 power plants across 10 countries. Together with thousands of customers, Fortum has built a one-megawatt Virtual Battery, the largest in the Nordics, which is fully operated on top of AWS. The Virtual Battery aggregates and controls usage of energy assets, like household water heaters and electric vehicles, helping Fortum to better balance energy usage across the grid. “With the elasticity and almost infinite storage capacity that AWS delivers, we are able to analyze more data than the entire Finnish smart metering infrastructure combined, resulting in better understanding how our customers use electricity,” said Per Edoff, Chief Digital Officer, Fortum. “Collecting this data on AWS gives us the ability to efficiently address electricity demand and production, helping us reduce costs, ultimately delivering these savings back to our customers in the form of lower energy bills. Additionally, we have been using the Amazon Elasticsearch Service to securely build a data lake. Using machine learning to get more insights from our data, we will be able to extract better understanding of energy usage, helping our customers to save money and helping us to improve our impact on the environment through more advanced scheduling of when we turn our power plants on and off. Now that the new AWS Europe (Stockholm) Region is open we expect to see this innovation accelerate.”
Financial services customers throughout the Nordics also entrust AWS with mission-critical workloads. Norway’s largest financial services group, Den Norske Bank (DnB), with over three million customers, has chosen AWS as its primary cloud provider, dedicating an entire floor at their Bergen headquarters to work on AWS projects to modernize the banking experience. “We welcome the opening of the new AWS Europe (Stockholm) Region. We really like the benefits of being able to innovate within the cloud because it allows us to scale at a faster pace, while enjoying the security, reliability, and agility that AWS provides,” said Alf Otterstad, Chief Information Officer at DnB. “AWS has been a strategic partner for us and we already have more than 30 development projects in the works dedicated to delivering a better banking experience to customers. One example is how, using AWS, we introduced a chatbot to provide better service to our more than three million customers. Today, 50 percent of all incoming queries are automatically handled by the chatbot, which is managing an average of 30,000 conversations a week. This solution has reduced our costs and given us a stable and scalable solution for customer service, which wouldn’t have been possible without AWS.”
Public sector customer VR (Finnish Rail) is the government-owned railway company in Finland, operating over 250 long distance and 800 commuter rail services every day, across nearly 6,000 kilometers of track. VR is moving its website and all travel applications from its on-premises infrastructure to AWS by the end of 2019, a journey that is already one-third complete. “Using AWS, gives us access to a vast number of features and services, across compute, storage, artificial intelligence, and machine learning, enabling our developers to quickly experiment, develop, test, and deliver personalized services for each one of our customers,” said Annika Nordbo, Data and Analyst Manager at Finnish Rail. “With AWS technologies we have accelerated the speed in which we can experiment and deliver services, reducing the time it takes to get new features into the hands of travelers from days to minutes. This time efficiency has also turned into cost efficiency, as we have reduced costs by more than 50 percent since moving to AWS in 2017. We are looking forward to utilizing the new AWS Region in Stockholm to further improve our customers’ travel experiences by bringing our applications and workloads closer to end users.”
Many Nordic startups are using AWS to rapidly scale, including KRY, which is revolutionizing healthcare by enabling doctors and psychologists to conduct video consultations through users’ smart phones. KRY was able to use the security and compliance capabilities that AWS provides to customers to quickly launch their business, and by using machine learning tools on AWS, they are able to better identify patients’ conditions and connect them to the doctor with the right expertise. “We needed a cloud provider that enabled us to support our rapid expansion so we went all-in on AWS,” said Johannes Schildt, CEO of KRY. “With over 500,000 registered users seeking care, we need the security, reliability, and healthcare compliant services that AWS provides. AWS also helps us to provide better care to our end users. Using AWS Lambda for rapid integration of data and Amazon Redshift for scalable data transformation, we developed and launched a forecasting tool in less than a month. The forecasting tool uses historical customer information and can predict patient demand down to the hour, enabling us to appropriately staff our clinics, and improve operations by at least 20 percent.”
Another startup using AWS to securely and reliably provide confidential services to end users across the Nordics is Danish financial services company, Lunar Way. Lunar Way provides a free mobile banking app which lets users open a bank account, receive a debit card, get real-time transaction feeds of their spending, view transactions by shopping category or retailer, and helps people better set savings goals and pay bills. “Three years ago we set out to change the way people relied on financial institutions, working to meet the need of a generation that has grown up with everything on their mobile – being all-in on AWS allowed us to do that,” said Ken Villum Klausen, CEO of Lunar Way. “With AWS we have been able to quickly scale up or down to meet customer demand, and we have seen a growth rate of 15 to 20 percent month over month. AWS delivers unrivaled security and hardware that is compliant out of the box, which has been paramount for us to quickly launch our business and provide our customers with peace of mind that their finances will be secure with our app. Having an AWS Region in the Nordics will open up the opportunity for us to expand further into Sweden and continue to maintain the highest levels of security for our regulated workloads.”
AWS Partner Network (APN) Partners welcomed the arrival of the AWS Europe (Stockholm) Region. The APN includes tens of thousands of Independent Software Vendors (ISV) and Systems Integrators (SI) around the world with APN participation among Nordic-based entities growing significantly over the past 12 months. APN Partners build innovative solutions and services on AWS and the APN helps by providing business, technical, marketing, and go-to-market support. SI Consulting Partners supporting enterprise and public sector customers in the Nordics to migrate to AWS include Accenture, Atos, Basefarm, Capgemini, CloudPartners, Crayon Group, Cybercom, Deloitte, Digia, DXC, Eficode, Enfo Group, Evry, GoFore, Jayway, Nordcloud, Pearl Consulting, Proact IT Group, Solita, Telia Inmics-Nebula, Tieto, Webscale, Webstep, Wipro, and many others. AWS ISVs in the Nordics including Basware, eBuilder, F-Secure, Queue-it, Xstream, and many others, are already using AWS to deliver their software to customers around the world and will serve their Nordic customers from the AWS Europe (Stockholm) Region at launch. Customers can also easily find, trial, deploy, and buy software solutions for AWS on the AWS Marketplace. For the full list of the members of the AWS Partner Network, please visit: https://aws.amazon.com/partners/.
Cybercom, a longtime AWS consulting partner, also welcomed the opening of the new AWS Europe (Stockholm) Region. Cybercom is dramatically increasing their focus on AWS, launching an AWS Business Group and growing the number of certified AWS consultants from 80 to 500 in the next three years. “We have already seen a rapid increase of customers moving critical workloads to AWS and an AWS Region located in Sweden will only accelerate this growth,” said Niklas Flyborg, CEO of Cybercom in Sweden. “For us, an AWS Region in the Nordics is a game-changer. AWS is our preferred cloud provider and we have already closed down our own data center and moved most of our applications onto the AWS Cloud. Now with an AWS Region on Swedish soil, we don’t see the need for any Swedish companies to own and operate their own server hardware.”
Investing in the Future of the Nordics
As a company, AWS is committed to making a positive impact in the communities where its employees live and work. To support this commitment, AWS is launching an AWS Hackathon for Good program in the Nordics. With this program, AWS will work with organizations across the Nordics to identify societal issues where technology can provide solutions, and organize hackathons in their favor.
The first AWS Hackathon for Good will happen in the first half of 2019 and AWS will collaborate with the Keep Sweden Tidy Foundation during their Nordic Coastal Cleanup Day. Last year, over 40,000 people in Denmark, Finland, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden helped clean up the coasts, removing nearly 2,000 kilograms of litter.
AWS will invite developers across the Nordics for a 24-hour hackathon event where they will be able to connect and collaborate with peers, work on real challenges for Keep Sweden Tidy, get expert help from AWS solution architects, and utilize the broad scope of services and features offered by the AWS Europe (Stockholm) Region, with the aim of providing Keep Sweden Tidy and the Nordic Coastal Cleanup Day with technology solutions that could improve litter removal along the Nordic coastlines.
AWS Hackathon for Good contributions will be graded by AWS and will look at the quality of implementation, the technological choices, and overall execution towards a solution. The winning contribution will get support in terms of AWS technical expertise and AWS Cloud Credits to help implement the solution for Keep Sweden Tidy.
To help grow the next generation of Nordic enterprises, AWS supports startups in cities across the Nordics. In 2013, AWS launched the AWS Activate program to provide Nordic startups access to guidance and one-on-one time with AWS experts as well as web-based training, self-paced labs, customer support, third-party offers, and up to $100,000 in AWS Cloud Credits – all at no charge. In 2018, AWS launched the first Pop-Up Loft in Stockholm, offering a co-working space and access to technology and business experts to support the growth of Nordic startups. This is in addition to the work that AWS already does with the Venture Capital community, startup accelerators, and incubators to help startups grow in the cloud. Across the Nordics, AWS works with Atomico, Creandum, EQT Ventures Nordic Makers, Northzone, and SUP46 in order to support the rapid growth of their portfolio companies.
AWS is also continuing to invest in the upskilling of local developers, students, and the next generation of IT leaders in the Nordics through programs such as AWS Academy and AWS Educate. For students, the AWS Educate program provides access to AWS services and content designed to build knowledge and skills in cloud computing. Dozens of universities and business schools in the Nordics already participating in the program include Swedish institutions Abb Industrigymnasium, Berzeliusskolan, Blekinge Tekniska Högskola, EC Utbildning Malmö, and Jönkoping University; Denmark institutions AARHUS Tech, Mercantec, Roskilde University, and Technical University of Denmark; Finland institutions Åbo Akademi University, Häme University of Applied Sciences (HAMK), JAMK University of Applied Sciences, Tampere University of Applied Sciences, and University of Helsinki; and Norway institutions Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Oslo Metropolitan University, and the University of Tromsø – The Arctic University of Norway. Another program for higher education institutes is AWS Academy, which provides AWS-authorized courses for students to acquire in-demand cloud computing skills. In the Nordics, major institutions taking part include HAMK Häme University of Applied Sciences, MDH – School of Innovation, Design and Engineering, Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, and Uppsala Universitet/Matematiska Institutionen.