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Bank Brings AWS Training In-House to Support Digital Transformation

Australian bank brings AWS cloud training in-house; HPE makes acquisition to bolster cloud consulting; and more news.

An Australian bank is working with AWS to bring cloud training in-house, helping more than 2,000 employees develop cloud skills.

NAB said the training will be accessible for all skill levels, from beginners to professionals, in any position. All employees must do is apply and show a basic level of understanding around technology.

Like many organizations, banks have significant investments in legacy infrastructure, but are engaging in data center modernization projects and cloud computing as part of digital transformation. A new survey by Accenture found that 48 percent of operations leaders at North American banks already use cloud-based applications, with another 27 percent planning to do so in the next year.

One of the common best practices cited around successful digital transformation is ensuring that there is buy-in from all roles, not just technical ones, so opening the training to employees without technical titles should be beneficial to NAB.

The training provides the building blocks to receive an AWS Cloud practitioner certification if an employee chooses that path. From there, they can continue training to become an Associate Developer, an Associate Systems Operator or an Associate Architect.

While the training sessions will only run for three and five days, tailored to skill level, employees will follow up with hands-on experience with AWS over a three to six-month period so they can continue their development.

Amazon Web Services Managing Director, Australia and New Zealand, Paul Migliorini, said: “AWS is the world’s most comprehensive and broadly adopted cloud platform and we are pleased to be working with NAB to deliver one of the most significant AWS Cloud training programs in Australia or New Zealand. “Demand for skills in cloud technologies is increasing. We are delighted to see that through this program, NAB is taking a real leadership position in technical skills development.”

HPE Acquires RedPixie for Enterprise Cloud Consulting

HPE is building out its cloud consulting business with the acquisition of RedPixie, a UK-based provider of cloud consulting, application development and migration services.

HPE said RedPixie has strength among financial services, insurance and healthcare companies.

“At HPE Pointnext, we always begin by understanding our customers’ digital transformation ambitions and organizing ourselves around their desired outcomes,” HPE said in a blog post. “With this acquisition, we will continue to expand our comprehensive hybrid IT portfolio and will be even better positioned to help our customers build new digital experiences and drive better business outcomes now and into the future.”

The acquisition comes after HPE acquired Cloud Technology Partners (CTP) in September. Both CTP and RedPixie are under HPE Pointnext division, which has 25,000 employees.

In HPE’s Q1 2018 earnings, Pointnext revenue was up two percent, flat when adjusted for currency, with revenue of $1.8 billion.

Google Buys More Renewable Energy than AWS, Microsoft

Google has made good on a promise to use more renewable energy, buying a kilowatt hour of renewable energy from a wind or solar farm built specifically for Google for every kilowatt hour of electricity consumed.

Google SVP of technical infrastructure Urs Hölzle said that for the first time, its total purchase of energy from sources like wind and solar exceeded the amount of electricity used by its offices and data centers around the world.

“This makes us the first public Cloud, and company of our size, to have achieved this feat,” Hölzle said.

“We say that we ‘matched’ our energy usage because it’s not yet possible to ‘power’ a company of our scale by 100 percent renewable energy,” he said. “It’s true that for every kilowatt-hour of energy we consume, we add a matching kilowatt-hour of renewable energy to a power grid somewhere. But that renewable energy may be produced in a different place, or at a different time, from where we’re running our data centers and offices. What’s important to us is that we are adding new clean energy sources to the electrical system, and that we’re buying that renewable energy in the same amount as what we’re consuming, globally and on an annual basis.”

Data center operators that can secure long-term power purchase agreements (PPAs) with wind or solar plant developers at rates that are locked in for the duration of the contracts protect themselves from energy market volatility, per Data Center Knowledge, which makes renewable energy more cost effective than even a few years ago.

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