AWS Summit Chicago: New AWS Features Announced

Thousands of cloud practitioners descended on Chicago’s McCormick Place West last week to hear the latest updates around Amazon Web Services (AWS). While a typical hot and humid summer made its presence known outside, attendees inside basked in the comfort of air conditioning to hone their skills in hands-on labs, discover the latest best practices at a chalk talk, or network with other industry professionals.

Taking the stage for the keynote in Chicago was Stephen Orban, General Manager at AWS. Orban championed the successes of AWS in various organizations, including the successful cloud migration of over 9,000 workloads at a 140-year old multinational conglomerate. For this specific organization, AWS migration will result in 52% total cost of ownership savings and a reduction to four data centers from 34 over the next three years.

Beyond success stories, Orban and AWS also announced more new features and services. Here is a brief summary:

  • Increased Single-Sign On (SSO) Capabilities: AWS has many pre-integrated business applications available via SSO including Salesforce and Office 365. The most recent update adds new connectors like Trello, SmartSheets, and Expensify so that users can easily access these applications from the AWS SSO user portal. Furthermore, organizations can now configure their AWS Chime SSO needs through Okta. You can learn more about AWS governance in our AWS Governance & Compliance learning path.
  • Improvements in Security: Security is always top of mind for today’s IT professional. During the Summit, AWS announced the general availability of AWS IoT Device Defender, which monitors device behavior and provides alerts around potential security issues. Additionally, organizations were reminded they can always use AWS Key Management Service (KMS) to manage encryption of data stored in the cloud. If you’re interested in brushing up on your AWS security skills, check out AWS Security training material in our Content Library.
  • Advancements in Text to Speech: AWS is investing heavily in text-to-speech technology, transforming how organizations conduct customer service or identify fraud. At the Chicago Summit, AWS announced that Amazon Transcribe now supports a feature called Channel Identification, which processes multi-channel audio and produces a single, merged transcript. Additionally, Hindi language support is now available for Amazon Polly, an AWS service that turns text into lifelike speech.
  • Accelerated Data Streaming: Finally, AWS announced two features for Amazon Kinesis Data Streams. Organizations can now collect streaming data and real-time analytics up to 65% faster with a new HTTP/2 data retrieval API and increased data input. With these new features, customers can run several high-performance, low-latency applications on a single Kinesis data stream at once. Learn the basics in this introductory course on Amazon Kinesis. 

You can read more of the announcements on the AWS announcements website.

With the end of the year and re:Invent 2018 coming up quickly, AWS will no doubt continue to release new updates and innovations in the cloud. Make sure your teams are up to date with their skills through the training we offer on our AWS Content Library.

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