Cloud computing has been around for about two decades and its numerous functionalities have put the technology among the top tools for bringing innovation to companies all over the world. As noted by Dell, companies that invest in big data, cloud, mobility, and security enjoy up to 53% faster revenue growth than their competitors. The statistics highlight the importance of having free access to cloud technologies on a country level by drawing the line between countries that have it and others that, ultimately, fall behind, making us turn our eyes to the interesting development happening in Greece’s sector.
On Friday, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Amazon’s cloud computing division, officially launched its first Greek office. Located in the northern Athens suburb of Halandri, the office will support the growing number of startups, enterprises, and public sector agencies that make the transition to the AWS Cloud. “We have seen increased customer adoption of AWS in the country and decided to open an office in Athens to better support new customers who are looking to use AWS to innovate, lower their IT costs, and grow their organizations on the cloud,” said Przemek Szuder, who is General Manager at AWS for Central and Eastern Europe. Is the country on its way to hosting the most influential data hub in the region?
The long-term partnership agenda
After launching its Edge Locations in four new countries: Sofia, Athens, Budapest, and Bucharest for the first time in January 2020, AWS further expanded its collaboration with the Greek government by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), to resort to cloud computing technologies and foster innovation in the country. In 2020, Greek companies were given the opportunity to use Amazon CloudFront, the fast content delivery network (CDN) service of the company, Lambda@Edge, a service used for web application to enable closer coding to users of one’s application. Greek customers also took advantage of Amazon’s Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) protection service, AWS Shield, and the AWS web application firewall.
An integrated network of services
With the growing number of services, the new office will now offer direct customer support to the list of companies that includes telecoms group Wind Hellas, PAOK FC, one of Greece’s known football clubs, Greece’s taxi, and ride-hailing mobile app Beat, and Spitogatos.gr, Greece’s leading property website. Companies from the tech sector include DeepSea Technologies which specializes in vessel performance through AI-platform optimization. As noted by company officials, the network of services now offered is to improve the secure delivery of content to customers in Greece by over 50 percent.
The things in retrospection
Greece, together with Romania, has been among the most active countries in the Balkans when it comes to governmental initiatives focusing on innovation. Earlier this month, it became clear that the country is taking steps towards creating its first innovation hub – a multipurpose complex that will host research centers and startups. In October 2020, Microsoft and the Greek government announced ambitious plans to accelerate the digitization of the public sector and businesses in Greece while providing digital technology training (both online and physical courses) for 100, 000 locals by 2025, an initiative with a total economic benefit estimated to be around $1B. The activity of the country’s private sector is another factor to influence Greece’s position on the entrepreneurial map. In May 2020, the Greek startup ecosystem witnessed the biggest acquisition in the deep-tech sector when the design and graphics Think Silicon was bought out by the US company, Applied Materials, for €20M. Later in September, Netdata, a Greek startup that has developed a performance and health monitoring solution for systems and applications, completed a new round of financing totaling $14.2M, led by Bessemer Venture Partners, one of the oldest VCs in the Silicon Valley, thus demonstrating the international interest the country is creating. In 2021, the Greek microelectronics startup Adveos was acquired by the Chinese Beken Corp. for $7.5m.