Amazon Web Services (AWS) (NASDAQ: AMZN) announced in Bogotá yesterday that it would activate an edge location in Colombia by the end of 2019, making Colombia Amazon AWS’s first Latin American network access point outside of North America or Brazil. The cloud services and retail giant also announced a collaboration with SENA, Colombia’s national community & technical college network, to train over 2,000 students in IT and cloud technology, and a long-term commitment to Colombia as a key location in Amazon’s Latin America growth strategy.
An AWS edge location allows local and regional users high performance access to AWS resources by caching data in the AWS CloudFront Content Distribution Network (CDN), increasing throughput to AWS cloud services such as AWS Web Application Firewall, and increasing performance when accessing AWS hosted resources, such as websites hosted on Amazon EC2 or Lightsail.
The announcement was made at the Amazon AWS Public Sector Summit held in Bogotá’s Agorá convention center during an on-stage discussion between Colombian President Ivan Duque and Amazon AWS Public Sector regional director for Canada, Latin America & The Caribbean Jeffrey Kratz.
Kratz cited contributions by Amazon AWS to Medellín’s ESU high-tech public security monitoring system, Amazon’s opening of a multilingual customer service center in Colombia in 2018, and regional Amazon AWS sales offices in Bogotá.
“Many congratulations on the announcements you just made,” said Colombian President Ivan Duque on stage at the summit. “They make us feel very proud to be Colombians: this work with SENA to train 2,000 new technicians in cloud computing services; The support for infrastructure development, and, above all, for being part of the effort to achieve that massive and important generation of employment to position Colombia as a technology hub, which is the bet we all have made. Thank you very much.”
There have long been rumors that Amazon’s retail operation will at some point open its consumer retail operations in Colombia, as it has done already elsewhere in Latin America, namely Brazil and Mexico. The opening of a 600 seat Amazon customer service center in Colombia to serve retail (Amazon.com as opposed to AWS cloud) customers did nothing to silence these rumors. Still, no new information was forthcoming on Amazon AWS’s retail parent.
On the other hand, opening of an AWS edge location in Colombia may pave the way for increased investment, such as an additional Latin America AWS Region (cluster of data centers). Such expansion would be strategic to AWS Latin America growth, as Colombia is “electronically” (measured by latency) closer to Amazon’s US East regions in Columbus, Ohio and Northern Virginia than it is to Amazon’s Sao Paulo, Brazil region. This is due in part to the fact that Colombia has more extensive undersea fiber connectivity with the US than it does with neighboring Brazil, and connectivity with Brazil is maritime (through the Atlantic Ocean) instead of terrestrial, which would mean cutting through the Colombian and Brazilian Amazon rain forest.
Above photo: Colombian President Ivan Duque With Jeffrey Kratz, Amazon AWS public sector regional director for Canada, Latin America and The Caribbean at the 1st Amazon AWS Public Sector Summit held in Colombia. Photo credit: Efraín Herrera- Presidencia de la República