Great IT Talent In Sydney: Amazon Boss

25 Apr 2013


Immigration News

It appears to go against the outsourcing, offshore trend, or maybe it's a result of it.

Amazon Web Services (AWS), a division of Amazon.com and the darling of the cloud computing world, has chosen Sydney to locate a growing tech support team and expand services for clients in Australia and New Zealand.

In addition, the company says it is hiring and expanding Australia wide. It now has sales offices that offer technical implementation assistance in Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth.

“It's just great local IT talent here, it's one of the reasons why we're expanding here,” Adam Selipsky, vice president AWS, told IT Pro.

Many Australian-based banks and companies are offshore technical support and other IT jobs to India and the Philippines in an effort to contain costs, but Selipsky said AWS was happy to stay.

“We do think the talent is here. We also think that economically it will be a strong proposition.”

Selipsky declined to reveal staff numbers, but claimed they would grow in line with customer uptake.

The company announced on Wednesday it had amassed more than 14,000 users since launching its Sydney data centre in November.  Clients include Suncorp, e-commerce platform Bigcommerce, the University of Western Australia and Fairfax, publisher of IT Pro. It has previously listed the Commonwealth Bank and MYOB Atlas (a Google joint-venture) as customers.

Unlike US competitor Rackspace, which has also a data centre in Australia, AWS does not offer fully managed cloud services. Selipsky said the technical support centre would help clients self-manage storage, elastic computing and infrastructure requirements.

Rackspace country manager of Australia/NZ Mark Randall said the company has 35 staff in Australia in total, including sales and tech support.

"We also use the Rackspace University and overseas support teams, but we recognise that for our local customers we have to have local support people," Randall said.

He agreed Australia had the breadth of talent required to service cloud customers in Australia.

"We've had tech support here since 2011. We managed to fill our jobs on time. It's not too difficult to attract people.

"There is strong tech capability in this market. It's the most virtualised market in the world," Randall said.

He said the push towards outsourcing was benefited companies like his.

"Companies that used to have people internally are outsourcing to other countries or to service providers like Rackspace. That really helps us."

Although unlikely to represent large numbers of IT professionals, AWS's move to hire for several roles in Sydney and Melbourne will be a refreshing change to an industry marred by redundancies and offshoring. On Wednesday it was revealed that Monash University was urging dozens of IT staff to take voluntary redundancy, while the union representing them warned of more layoffs to come.

The industry has also been accused of overusing 457 visas to bring cheaper IT workers to jobs in Australia, while IT workers have been told it can take two months to find a new job even with IT companies hiring again. Relocation had been highlighted as the only option for some job seekers last year.

Source: http://www.smh.com.au/it-pro/cloud/great-it-talent-in-sydney-amazon-boss-20130424-2ieln.html


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