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October 08, 2015
Numbers game: Record re:Invent attendance tells you something about cloud
By: Chris Wegmann

The numbers don’t lie: This cloud thing is a pretty big deal.

Not to belabor the Las Vegas metaphors, but it’s absolutely true when we’re talking about AWS re:Invent, now in its fourth year.

Approximately 19,000, a record, are physically attending re:Invent 2015, Amazon Web Services confirmed; then there’s the 38,000 or so, on average, who are watching or listening from elsewhere in via live streaming each day.

More eye-opening digits emerged from the Oct. 6 Global Partner Summit, which drew over 4,000 here at the Sands Expo Convention Center. AWS folks told me that back in 2012, when the first re:Invent was being put together, they expected to have fewer than 4,000 people, total, for the entire conference.

It’s astonishing how this event, and the overall cloud computing industry, has taken off in a relatively short period of time. The interest and investment flowing toward the cloud is an obvious testament to where digital business is heading (we’ve got skin in the game, too, with the new Accenture AWS Business Group).

This isn’t just about screens, servers and other inanimate objects. We need living, breathing humans to convert the promise into reality.

We’re hiring people right and left, scouring the expo floor this week for those with the technical knowledge, the energy and the “scars” from past IT battles to help us grow and transform the enterprise.

All of this at essence reflects any rapidly-expanding market hungry for resources, and we’re doing our best to keep up with what our clients want. They’re a demanding lot, as they should be.

Maybe you could lend us a hand?

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