Our people are customer obsessed; focused on innovating to help customers achieve their goals. Among the many different jobs that make up our local workforce, are people who manage the network of data centres that support hundreds and thousands of customers and partners in Australia and New Zealand, and keep their data safe and secure in our on-shore facilities.
We spoke to some of the people who work in Australian Amazon Web Services (AWS) data centres to learn more about the crucial role they play in supporting our customers, including governments, large companies, charities, public health organisations, small businesses, and startups.
Hailey Page – Senior Security Program Manager
Hailey has worked in security roles for more than 20 years. Five years ago, Hailey joined the AWS data centre team as a Security Program Manager, looking after the physical security of our data centres.
“I’m responsible for the physical security of AWS data centres. We are laser focused on making sure our data centres are built to high security standards, ensuring day-to-day security measures are working to keep the data centres safe, and to ensure our stringent security policies are implemented,” says Hailey.
“We start with a high bar, then set ourselves a goal to continually raise that bar, and we measure this consistently. We are always innovating to ensure that customers are secure, and they have confidence in their security with us.”
One of Hailey’s favourite leadership principles is Customer Obsession. “I feel that having a leadership principle focused on customer obsession, and always working backwards from the customer is why we have such high standards in our security approach,” she says.
Hailey also mentors underprivileged kids in the Eagle Raps program, a program designed to help young people participate in education, employment, and in their community. “I grew up in the areas that these kids are from, and understand the challenges some have to stay in school and seek employment. Because I’m a local, they can see that someone that came from the same area can be in a senior position at AWS, and this can help to break down the barriers to them thinking they can’t be successful.”
Edison Ely - Data Centre Manager
Edison’s history as an AWS customer is one of the reasons he took the job. “We are always challenging the status quo, there’s always something new that’s coming up, or a new procedure or a new technology to investigate. I really enjoy our culture of invention and innovation,” he says.
As an AWS Data Centre Manager, Edison is responsible for managing the IT equipment inside the data centre. It’s a job that he has done in three countries – Japan, Brazil, and now in Australia.
A key part of Edison’s job is managing AWS IT hardware and making sure it’s working properly and securely, and that all the security procedures are in place and are followed.
“We build trust by providing delivering world-class infrastructure and the highest standards of security to customers,” he says.
When AWS opened its first data centres in Brazil in 2011, Edison saw the opportunity to open his own AWS Partner business called Newland, and help local customers accelerate their digital transformation. “At the time I was a customer of AWS, which gave me my first experience of Amazon’s customer obsession. As a customer, then a partner, and now an Amazonian myself, I intimately understand why customer obsession is one of our leadership principles because I have experienced it on both sides,” he says. “Now, I’m intent on using all my experience to continue to deliver innovative solutions to ensure customers are getting their best experience.”
Femi Okondo - Data Centre Operations Lead
Femi is also part of Amazon’s Black employee network for Asia Pacific and Japan. “I have had nothing but support from my colleagues, and I have never felt like I am a minority in my role. Everyone rises to the occasion, and we can all achieve our personal goals, regardless of your background or what you believe in,” he says.
Femi has worked in IT since he left university – starting off as IT centre support, and working his way up to being a Data Centre Manager.
“My career has always been in IT data centre operations. This month, I am celebrating my sixth anniversary of working at AWS,” he says.
In his role, Femi finds himself doing varied tasks like the management of hardware assets, working with teams to provide technical solutions for AWS customers, and overseeing security measures to keep AWS assets secure. His team works hard to understand how they can deliver services to customers. Along with his team, Femi created a mechanism called ‘lessons learned’ sessions where the team share knowledge of technical scenarios so team members can learn from each other.,
Femi’s favourite Amazon Leadership Principles are Dive Deep and Earn Trust. “When you look at my role, Dive Deep makes sense because we are always working with complicated technical scenarios – some you are familiar with, and some you aren’t. We are constantly diving deep on complex issues, finding the problem and providing solutions,” he says.
Femi believes that the security of AWS assets is paramount because while it takes a lot of effort to earn customer trust, it takes a lot more to repair damaged trust. “Ensuring that we have insight on the highest standards of data security helps us to build customer trust - and we are nothing without customer trust,” he says.
Rajita Baniya Khattri – Data Centre Technician
In addition to her day job, Rajita is a contributing member of AWS’s InCommunities program, a program designed to make a positive impact in the regions where we build and operate infrastructure. AWS InCommunities launches long-term, innovative programs that will have a lasting effect in our regions around the world. “I am passionate about seeing more women working in technology roles in data centres, so I try to never miss a chance to share my experiences to empower and motivate more women to consider a role in technology,” she says.
Rajita was born in Nepal, and moved to Sydney to pursue a Masters of Information Technology at the Australian Catholic University campus at North Sydney. Rajita’s early career was working part-time in retail and customer service roles, but once she graduated from her Master’s degree, she started working as a Data Center Operations Trainee at one of AWS’s Sydney data centres. Just six months later, she has progressed to become a Data Centre Technician.
On any given day, Rajita experiences new and different responsibilities, including hardware and data centre maintenance; supporting the management of AWS’s data centres to ensure customer data remains secure.
“I love working at AWS because it challenges me, and I am motivated to move forward and learn something new. My manager always tells me to make time to do continuous study and earn new certification,” she says. Not surprisingly, Rajita’s favourite Amazon Leadership Principle is Learn and be Curious.