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TelcoDR’s top picks for AWS re:Invent ‘23

The last of the annual Big Three hyperscaler events, Amazon Web Services’ AWS re:Invent, happens next week, following Microsoft Ignite last week and Google Cloud Next back in August. AWS re:Invent is the largest conference of the three, which makes sense given that AWS has the largest market share. This yearly shindig is the best place to learn all about AWS, get to know the latest tech, and rub elbows with the folks who build it.

Telco execs should try to meet up with AWS’ Chivas Nambiar, who was recently named general manager of the telco business unit (and who was a guest on the Telco in 20 podcast this past July). Besides being able to congratulate him in person (YAY!), I’m excited to watch the joint session being hosted with Chivas and Adolfo Hernandez on Tuesday, November 28 at 3:30 pm. Head on over to the Wynn hotel, Level 1, Lafite 4, to hear their take on the state of telco in the public cloud.

As for the rest of re:Invent, I’m sure it’ll be a packed house over at Adam Selipsky’s keynote. I expect artificial intelligence (AI) to be a huge talking point for Adam as AWS recently launched a $100 million program to fund generative AI (GenAI) initiatives. After this weekend’s crazy news out of OpenAI, I’m sure enterprises of all sizes are thinking twice about betting on just one LLM. If you’re Amazon, now’s a great chance to catch up on the AI race.

To find telco-relevant sessions, you can go to the session catalog and filter by Industry > Telecommunications. I’d also check out this blog and announcements-feed app from AWS Hero Luc Von Donkersgoed built to keep up with all the news coming out of re:Invent. AWS has also put together an excellent Telecom Attendee Guide that gives a general orientation to the event, including the lay of the land, the different types of sessions, a few picks for telcos, and where to get more info. 

And don’t forget to have some fun while you’re in Vegas! Pickleball, anyone? If that’s not you schtick, then go check out the tattoos and piercings booth over at the Venetian, where you’ll probably find some Amdocs people getting tatted up (remember this shout out from 2021? Hilarious!).

Below you can find my top picks from the telco-tagged content, as well lots of other interesting stuff that’s applicable to our industry. I’ve grouped it by keynotes, customer stories, AI, cost optimization, tech sessions for developers, migration, and telco-specific topics. Enjoy!


Jump to: Customer stories | AI | Cost optimization | Tech sessions for developers | Telco topics | Migration

Keynotes

If you watch only a few sessions, I recommend making time for the keynotes. You can livestream them at the session times listed below, or watch on-demand some other time.

Adam Selipsky keynote

The Venetian

This is the big one. AWS CEO Adam Selipsky will talk about the big picture, highlight some customers, and then segue into product announcements in data, chips, and definitely AI.

Session time:

  • Tuesday, November 28, 8:30-10:30 AM Pacific Standard Time (PST)
  • Tuesday, November 28, 4:30-6:30 PM Greenwich Mean Time (GMT)
  • Wednesday, November 29, 12:30-2:30 AM Singapore Time (SGT)
TLC203: Building a sustainable, competitive, and smart telco with AWS

It’s not technically a keynote, but I’m including it here because this session is a must-see for telcos. Speakers include Adolfo Hernandez and Chivas Nambiar (mentioned above) as well as Ishwar Parulkar, the CTO, Telecom and Edge Cloud for AWS. The description promises real-world examples of AWS helping telcos monetize investments, use AI to their advantage, transform network core, and more.

Session time:

  • Tuesday, November 28, 3:30 PM – 4:30 PM PST
  • Tuesday, November 28, 11:30 PM – 12:30 AM GMT
  • Wednesday, November 29, 7:30 AM – 8:30 AM SGT
Dr. Swami Sivasubramanian keynote

The Venetian

GenAI has come at us fast from multiple directions in the past year. AWS VP of Data and AI Dr. Sivasubramanian will talk generally about how companies can use AI to increase productivity, and then welcome a few customers onstage to share how they’re using it. Should be inspirational!

Session time:

  • Wednesday, November 29, 8:30-10:30 AM PST
  • Wednesday, November 29, 4:30-6:30 PM GMT
  • Thursday, November 30, 12:30-2:30 AM SGT
Dr. Werner Vogels keynote

The Venetian

Always a fan favorite, Amazon.com’s VP and CTO will talk tech, covering best practices for building in the most resilient and efficient way. He’ll also talk AI, and why we have to consider it when developing new things, and what he sees as the larger impact.

Session time:

  • Thursday, November 30, 8:30-10:30 AM PST
  • Thursday, November 30, 4:30-6:30 PM GMT
  • Friday, December 1, 12:30-2:30 AM SGT

Jump to: Keynotes | AI | Cost optimization | Tech sessions for developers | Telco topics | Migration


Customer stories

Get ready for true tales from the trenches! These sessions are all presented by real AWS customers doing real stuff in the real world. It’s an impressive lineup, IMO.

COP230-S Building a next-gen 5G telecom network

This is a “lighting talk,” which is a 15-minute session hosted by a sponsor. In this case, it’s Mobi, a Hawaii-based mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) and AWS Partner. Presenters will talk about how shifting from a legacy network to being cloud-native helped them achieve all kinds of great things. I had CEO Justen Burdette on my Telco in 20 podcast back in April. It was a great episode! It’s even on the shortlist for Telco in 20’s episode of the year, so check it out!

Session time:

  • Monday, November 27, 4:30-4:50 PM PST
  • Tuesday, November 28, 12:30-12:50 AM GM
  • Tuesday, November 28, 8:30-8:50 AM SGT
TLC305-R: Personalized customer journeys powered by generative AI

Globe Telecom is using real-time analytics to map customer journeys and assess things like churn risk and product affinity. The Philippine telco is also using GenAI to create tailored marketing and services to maximize its own efficiency and offer more value to customers. Customer love, baby!

Session time:

  • Monday, November 27, 1:30-2:30 PM PST
  • Monday, November 27, 9:30-10:30 PM GMT
  • Tuesday, November 28, 5:30-6:30 AM SGT
BIZ217: How DISH scaled contact center and agent success with Amazon Connect

DISH Wireless is on a multi-year journey to build a brand-new, cloud-first 5G network on AWS. (Here’s my podcast with EVP and chief network officer Marc Rouanne.) It’s exactly what I think all telcos should do, so my ears perk up whenever DISH provides dispatches from the front. For this one, presenters will cover how they’re using GenAI and Amazon Connect to improve the contact center experience for agents and customers. If you want to learnmore about Amazon Connect, check out the sessions listed in the AI section, just below.)

Session time:

  • Wednesday, November 29, 1:30-2:30 PM PST
  • Wednesday, November 29, 9:30-10:30 PM GMT
  • Thursday, November 30, 5:30-6:30 AM SGT
Two Netflix sessions

Netflix streams massive volumes of content globally and has a best-in-class personalization engine. Here are two sessions that give you a peek into how it manages it all.

NFX202: How Netflix saved millions in Amazon S3 costs using S3 Storage Lens

Cost-savings, anyone? This is cost-savings at scale, so probably a great one for telco FinOps execs to check out.

Session time:

  • Monday, November 27, 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM PST
  • Monday, November 27, 7:30-8:30 PM GMT
  • Tuesday, November 28, 3:30-4:30 AM SGT
NFX304: How Netflix uses AWS for multi-Region cache replication

Are you in a country with multiple accessible regions? Get ideas on how to use them like Netflix does.

Session time:

  • Wednesday, November 29, 10:30-11:30 AM PST
  • Wednesday, November 29, 6:30-7:30 PM GMT
  • Thursday, November 30, 2:30-3:30 AM SGT
GAM304: Exiting the data center: A League of Legends story

For the uninitiated, League of Legends is a massive multiplayer online game. Developer Riot Games recently moved hundreds of thousands of players from its on-premises data centers to the cloud. As a MMOG provider, latency matters. See how they use the public cloud and keep their gamer happy.

Session time:

  • Wednesday, November 29, 1:30-2:30 PM PST
  • Wednesday, November 29, 9:30-10:30 PM GMT
  • Thursday, November 30, 5:30-6:30 AM SGT

Jump to: Keynotes | Customer stories | Cost optimization | Tech sessions for developers | Telco topics | Migration


AI

It’s all any of us can talk about these days, and like this excellent Bain & Company blog asserts: Telcos, Stop Debating Generative AI and Just Get Going. These sessions can deliver the inspiration you need.

TLC302: At the cutting edge: AI-driven sustainable 5G networks 

Who says telecom can’t innovate? Drop in on this session to hear about cool, new, cloud-based deployments from over 20 countries. Presenters will cover planning and deployment for MVNO, public and private 5G, and AI/ML use cases. Real-world use cases involve AWS Graviton, serverless, AWS IoT Core, AWS Telco Network Builder and Integrated Private Wireless.

Session time:

  • Tuesday, November 28, 5:00-6:00 PM PST
  • Wednesday, November 29, 1:00-2:00 AM GMT
  • Wednesday, November 29, 9:00-10:00 AM SGT
FSI201: How to deliver business value in financial services with generative AI

This session features speakers from three different financial services firms, and they’ll all talk about topics near and dear to 21st-century telcos, like hyper-personalization, GenAI apps to improve employee productivity, and fraud prevention. I like sharing financial services stories as it is a highly regulated industry as well. Maybe listening in will spark an idea for you?

Session time:

  • Tuesday, November 28, 5:00-6:00 PM PST
  • Wednesday, November 29, 1:00-2:00 AM GMT
  • Wednesday, November 29, 9:00-10:00 AM SGT
AIM224: Boost agent productivity with real-time transcription and insights 

This one is all about AWS Contact Center Intelligence—now with AI! The service could already automatically transcribe and analyze conversations, measure call sentiment, suggest next-best actions, etc. Now, it uses GenAI for Q&A and call summarization, and has enhanced analytics. Great way to add immediate impact to your call center.

Session time:

  • Monday, November 27, 11:30 AM-12:30 PM PST
  • Monday, November 27, 7:30-8:30 PM GMT
  • Tuesday, November 28, 3:30-4:30 AM SGT
Amazon Connect: An AI-powered solution for contact centers

Customer service is the no-brainer application for GenAI. Amazon Connect is one of AWS’s cloud-based contact center services that uses AI and machine learning (ML) to boost productivity and provide better service. Check out these six sessions where you can learn about it from various angles.

BIZ216: What’s next in contact centers with Amazon Connect and generative AI

This should be a good orientation to what’s new in the service, along with good examples of current customers doing cool things.

Session time:

  • Wednesday, November 29, 10:00-11:00 AM PST
  • Wednesday, November 29, 6:00-7:00 PM GMT
  • Thursday, November 30, 2:00-3:00 AM SGT
BIZ218: Personalize omnichannel customer experience with Amazon Connect and AI

This is where it gets exciting. Public cloud technology and recent advancements in AI are making all kinds of personalization not only possible, but accessible and affordable for more companies. Hear about how leading contact centers are using GenAI to deliver WAY better customer experiences.

Session time:

  • Wednesday, November 29, 11:30 AM-12:30 PM PST
  • Wednesday, November 29, 7:30-8:30 PM GMT
  • Thursday, November 30, 3:30-4:30 AM SGT
BIZ226: Transform self-service experience with AI and Amazon Connect

Here, the focus is on conversational AI and customer data to personalize contacts, predict customer needs and automate actions to improve agent productivity.

Session time:

  • Thursday, November 30, 3:30-4:30 PM PST
  • Thursday, November 30, 11:30 PM-12:30 AM GMT
  • Friday, December 1, 7:30-8:30 AM SGT
BIZ308: Empower your contact center agents with Amazon Connect & generative AI 

This expert-led chalk talk (interactive whiteboard session) provides some live demos of the AI-powered features.

Session time:

  • Wednesday, November 29, 3:00-4:00 PM PST
  • Wednesday, November 29, 11:00 PM-12:00 AM GMT
  • Thursday, November 30, 7:00-8:00 AM SGT
BIZ311: Automate agent evaluations with Amazon Connect and generative AI

Amazon Connect Contact Lens streamlines and automates the agent evaluation process. Drop in to this interactive talk to learn about recent AI-powered improvements.

Session time:

  • Thursday, November 30, 1:00-2:00 PM PST
  • Thursday, November 30, 9:00-10:00 PM GMT
  • Friday, December 1, 5:00-6:00 AM SGT
BIZ312: Supercharge customer service with Amazon Connect and AWS Supply Chain

This chalk talk discusses how to use AWS Supply Chain to give customers real-time insight into product availability and other info.

Session time:

  • Tuesday, November 28, 3:30-4:30 PM PST
  • Tuesday, November 28, 11:30 PM-12:30 AM GMT
  • Wednesday, November 29, 7:30-8:30 AM SGT

Jump to: Keynotes | Customer stories | AI | Tech sessions for developers | Telco topics | Migration


Cost optimization

Don’t let the fear of cost overruns keep you up at night. Instead, educate yourself about how to find total-cost-of-ownership (TCO) savings with public cloud technologies.My no-brainer starting point: using CloudFix, which is a partner of TelcoDR and a leading provider of cloud cost optimization solutions that help reduce AWS costs easily and automatically. When you buy it through TelcoDR, you get telco-specific add-ons that target your largest spend: compute.

CloudFix sessions

We love CloudFix so much we partnered with them to bring extra discounts to TelcoDR customers. Check out these two sessions to learn more:

COP218-S: Saving on AWS? If not, what are you waiting for?

CloudFix CEO Rahul Subramaniam talks about what holds companies back from the massive savings available in the public cloud.

Session times:

  • Wednesday, November 29, 2:30-3:30 PM PST
  • Wednesday, November 29, 10:30-11:30 PM GMT
  • Thursday, November 30, 6:30-7:30 AM SGT
COP219-S: A cloud cost savings spectacular

For this one, Stephen Barr and Rahul Subramaniam from CloudFix get together with two people from AWS to share “next-level tips” for saving, optimizing, and avoiding pitfalls. Sounds like my cup of tea!

Session times:

  • Wednesday, November 29, 11:30 AM-12:30 PM PST
  • Wednesday, November 29, 7:30-8:30 PM GMT
  • Thursday, November 30, 3:30-4:30 AM SGT
CMP315: Migrating critical business applications to AWS Graviton with ease

AWS Graviton chips are the fastest chips around—and they’re more efficient, too. Use Graviton to get better performance and save on compute; it’s one of my top ideas for telcos using AWS to save money.

Session time:

  • Thursday, November 30, 4:00-5:00 PM PST
  • Friday, December 1, 12:00-1:00 AM GMT
  • Friday, December 1, 8:00-9:00 AM SGT
CON326-S: Reinvent your cloud strategy: Optimize performance & cut cloud costs

Sponsored by Intel, this session gives a mic to folks from social media company Snap (fka Snapchat), so they can share how they used application performance optimization to scale their Kubernetes workloads. Remember: Kubernetes isn’t the goal, but it might be a helpful stepping stone on the journey.

Session time:

  • Tuesday, November 28, 2:00-3:00 PM PST
  • Tuesday, November 28, 10:00-11:00 PM GMT
  • Wednesday, November 29, 6:00-7:00 AM SGT

Jump to: Keynotes | Customer stories | AI | Cost optimization | Telco topics | Migration


Tech sessions for developers

Not for execs, these technical sessions are where developers can talk shop with AWS experts and get hands-on experience with AWS tools. Send your devs and tell them to bring their laptops, as they are hands-on coding sessions with AWS tools.

ENT232-S: Modernizing apps and eliminating 200M+ lines of legacy code

Eliminating 200 MILLION lines of legacy code? SIGN ME UP. Sponsored by AWS Partner StackSpot, this session shares the story of how Itaú Bank, with a customer base over 70 million, is modernizing its mission-critical applications. With millions of lines of code inside telco IT departments, this is a great session to listen in on. Less code means not only needing less people to support it, but also less opportunities for undiscovered bugs to be lurking. Reduce!

Session time:

  • Tuesday, November 28, 5:30-6:30 PM PST
  • Wednesday, November 29, 1:30-2:30 AM GMT
  • Wednesday, November 29, 9:30-10:30 AM SGT
TLC303: AWS AI/ML and generative AI workshop for telcos

Bring your laptop to this workshop, where you’ll use AWS tools to explore promising AI and ML use cases for telco. We’re talking customer experience, network installation and management, and business analytics. Great way to get hands on with AI and ML.

Session time:

  • Monday, November 27, 5:00-7:00 PM PST
  • Tuesday, November 28, 1:00-3:00 AM GMT
  • Tuesday, November 28, 9:00-11:00 AM SGT
DOP207: Build and run it, streamline DevOps on with machine learning on AWS 

Developers: are you ready to get on the AI bandwagon? Attend this session to learn about how Amazon CodeWhisperer and DevOps Guru can help you write software faster, boosting productivity and your entire team’s capacity. Embrace the future!

Session time:

  • Monday, November 27, 1:30-2:30 PM PST
  • Monday, November 27, 9:30-10:30 PM GMT
  • Tuesday, November 28, 5:30-6:30 AM SGT

Jump to: Keynotes | Customer stories | AI | Cost optimization | Tech sessions for developers | Migration


Telco topics

Oh, and not everything is AI. Check out these telco topics, too!

TCL204: Integration of telecom APIs with AWS

Network APIs are a hot topic in telco these days, what with Open Gateway and Whoosh! In a 15-minute “lightning talk,” AWS CTO for Telecom and Edge Cloud, Ishwar Parulkar, will share how AWS can help.

Session time:

  • Wednesday, November 29, 3:00-3:20 PM PST
  • Wednesday, November 29, 11:00-11:20 PM GMT
  • Thursday, November 30, 7:00-7:20 AM SGT
TLC301: 5G intelligent apps and networks with thousands of edge locations

This is an advanced-level “builders session,” where your technologists can learn how to plan to build a 5G network and deploy service-aware applications using a bunch of different AWS services. It’s repeated four times over three days, which should make it easy for your team to find time to attend. Laptop required!

Session times :

Option 1

  • Monday, November 27, 12:00-1:00 PM PST
  • Monday, November 27, 8:00-9:00 PM GMT
  • Tuesday, November 28, 4:00-5:00 AM SGT

Option 2

  • Tuesday, November 28, 11:00 AM-12:00 PM PST
  • Tuesday, November 28, 7:00-8:00 PM GMT
  • Wednesday, November 29, 3:00-4:00 AM SGT

Option 3

  • Tuesday, November 28, 5:00-6:00 PM PST
  • Wednesday, November 29, 1:00-2:00 AM GMT
  • Wednesday, November 29, 9:00-10:00 AM SGT

Option 4

  • Wednesday, November 29, 10:00-11:00 AM PST
  • Wednesday, November 29, 6:00-7:00 PM GMT
  • Thursday, November 30, 2:00-3:00 AM SGT
TLC401: Expanding telco 5G networks to the cloud

Here’s an interactive chalk talk where AWS experts will walk through how to build a cost-efficient network for various telco use cases (burst traffic, disaster resilience, low-latency roaming services), covering best practices and real-life examples of telcos using AWS services. Expect many mentions of DISH!

Session time:

  • Wednesday, November 29, 8:30-9:30 AM PST
  • Wednesday, November 29, 4:30-5:30 PM GMT
  • Thursday, November 30, 12:30-1:30 AM SGT

Jump to: Keynotes | Customer stories | AI | Cost optimization | Tech sessions for developers | Telco topics


Migration

What, you STILL haven’t moved to the cloud?!?! I picked some baby intro sessions for you, too.

NTA202: Cloud migration strategy

Still need to make a business case to migrate to AWS? This session will help provide a framework.

Session time:

  • Wednesday, November 29, 12:00-2:00 PM PST
  • Wednesday, November 29, 8:00-10:00 PM GMT
  • Thursday, November 30, 4:00-6:00 AM SGT
ENT215: Completing a large-scale migration and modernization with AWS

Hear from other enterprises who have migrated and modernized their on-prem workloads with AWS and how AWS Professional Services and AWS Partners (like Totogi!) can help.

Session time:

  • Monday, November 27, 11:30 AM-12:30 PM PST
  • Monday, November 27, 7:30-8:30 PM GMT
  • Tuesday, November 28, 3:30-4:30 AM SGT
ENT220: AWS MAP: A proven methodology for cloud migration and modernization

Learn about the AWS Migration Acceleration Program, which can support your organization’s public cloud transformation.

Session time:

  • Tuesday, November 28, 2:30-3:30 PM PST
  • Tuesday, November 28, 10:30-11:30 PM GMT 
  • Wednesday, November 29, 6:30-7:30 AM SGT
HYB203: A migration strategy for edge and on-premises workloads

Yes, you can even migrate legacy and business-critical applications! This session shares stories from telco migrations, as well as those from healthcare, life sciences, and financial services.

Session time:

  • Monday, November 27, 3:00-4:00 PM PST
  • Monday, November 27, 11:00 PM-12:00 AM GMT
  • Tuesday, November 28, 7:00-8:00 AM SGT
HYB313: Real-world analysis of successful hybrid cloud migrations

Here’s a technical chalk talk that’ll discuss and whiteboard scenarios for how hybrid and edge services can help your migration.

Session time:

  • Thursday, November 30, 12:30-1:30 PM PST
  • Thursday, November 30, 8:30-9:30 PM GMT
  • Friday, December 1, 4:30-5:30 AM SGT

Whew! Did you read all the way to the end? Thanks for your dedication, and watch this space for a wrap-up of all the best news from this year’s re:Invent.

Jump to: Keynotes | Customer stories | AI | Cost optimization | Tech sessions for developers | Telco topics | Migration


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