AWS opened its first office space in Aotearoa eight years ago with a bold commitment to support the nation’s digital transformation by helping Kiwi businesses harness the benefits of cloud technology. Using AWS Cloud services, local governments and business of all sizes, and across all industries are able to innovate quickly, increase operational efficiencies, and take their ideas to the world.

However, we know that getting the most out of our technology requires us to unlock the possibilities for customers, explore ideas, and help them develop the skills to innovate. That’s why today we are announcing the opening of our new, larger AWS office in the iconic Commercial Bay building in downtown Auckland. Our new office will help us provide better support to the thousands of customers that use AWS in New Zealand each month including Air NZ, BNZ, Ministry of Health, TVNZ, University of Auckland, Xero, Vodafone, Gentrack, Uneeq, Halter, Sharesies, Consegna, Deloitte, and Orion Health.

Another reason for our office expansion is to support our growing workforce. AWS now employs more than 100 people across New Zealand, with 50 of our team members hired in the past year alone. We’ve created new jobs for data scientists, cloud engineers, solutions architects, and sales and account managers, so our teams can continue to drive innovation on behalf of our customers and partners.

Our new office is just one of many investments we’re making in New Zealand. We have also built local infrastructure to support the different needs of our customers. Earlier this year, Vector launched their first AWS Outposts, to run AWS infrastructure and services on-premises. Additionally, Vector and AWS have a strategic alliance, and are building a cloud-based New Energy Platform (NEP) that will enable New Zealand’s energy industry to deliver consumers more affordable, reliable, and cleaner energy options. This alliance will contribute 30 new highly-skilled jobs in New Zealand to support the development of the NEP. And customers like TVNZ are using our new AWS Edge location in Auckland to access our cloud services faster and provide improved user experiences for their customers - so we’ll never miss a Black Caps wicket!

Upskilling Aotearoa

Creating a digitally skilled workforce is critical to accelerating innovation. Our new office space enables us to ramp up our training programs and help ensure that New Zealand gains the talented pool of professionals it needs to unlock the value of the cloud. Our goal is to train more than 29 million people globally by 2025.

We are committed to improving the diversity of New Zealand’s IT workforce by creating opportunities for people from underrepresented communities to forge careers in the industry. Last week, we launched the AWS re/Start digital skills program in New Zealand. People who are unemployed or underemployed, particularly within the Maori and Pacific communities, will gain cloud skills by taking part in a free 12-week full-time skills training program. Delivered in collaboration with Te Pūkenga, a national network of vocational education and training brought together by the New Zealand government, we look forward to providing an update on this program when this first cohort graduates.

Supporting our partners going global

A thriving community of AWS partners in New Zealand are building small and medium-sized cloud businesses. Last April, we opened our AWS Marketplace to New Zealand and Australian Independent Software Vendors (ISV) and consulting partners. This new route to market provides instant access to more than 310,000 monthly active users around the world. Already there’s some great international collaborations forming on the AWS Marketplace. Our local partner, Consegna, found Australian software company Local Measure’s platform so interesting, they decided to bundle it with their own consulting services – and later listed the service offering on AWS Marketplace. This is a great example of how the AWS Marketplace encourages local innovation. We see the potential for these software providers to drive future economic growth in NZ and are proud to support them.

Building the future

New Zealand has a rich community of innovators and entrepreneurs, and we support their tenacity and ambition to build and grow world-leading businesses. That’s why we are continuing to deepen local investments, and work hard to ensure our customers can access the latest technology to expand into global markets, improve their customer experience, and lower operating costs.2020 accelerated our shift to a digital world and highlighted an even more urgent recognition of the problems we need to address together to drive our economy and society forward. We see great opportunity for New Zealand to be a leading nation in the digital economy and are excited to collaborate with our local customers and partners to be a part of that journey.