Amazon holds an exclusive meeting at its cloud conference to give ‘XXL’ customers like Salesforce a forum to air grievances

  • During its annual re:Invent conference, Amazon hosted a meeting for its largest cloud customers.
  • The “XXL” or “extra-extra-large” customer meeting was not on the official conference agenda.
  • Customers such as Salesforce talked about cost-cutting and AI ethics this year.

The largest Amazon Web Services conference of the year features an overwhelming number of customer meetings. One in particular is restricted to the most important cloud customers: an AWS “XXL” or “extra-extra-large” user meeting.

The ability to see and be seen is a big draw for AWS re:Invent. The annual event, which took place in Las Vegas from November 27 to December 1, allows customers to meet with AWS sales teams in person.

Many of this year’s re:Invent attendees spent the majority of the week zipping between the fourth and fifth floors of the Venetian Convention and Expo Center, where customer meetings were held and non-customers were barred from even walking the hallways.

According to two attendees who asked to remain anonymous so they could speak freely, the gathering of XXL or “Extra-Extra-Large” customers, which was not listed on the official re:Invent schedule, is an annual meeting of some of AWS’s biggest customers. Business Insider is aware of their identities.

According to them, about 50 people attended the meeting, including a dozen AWS representatives and employees from eight large AWS customers, including Salesforce and Adobe. The meeting did not include all of AWS’s largest customers.

According to the sources, the meeting will provide an opportunity for AWS customers with the highest consumption rates to meet with the company and discuss specific issues.

According to the people, some of this year’s conversation revolved around cost-cutting. Customers discussed AWS’s recent decision to join the FinOps Foundation, which already included Microsoft and Google Cloud. According to one source, the decision indicated that AWS is taking cost-cutting more seriously, despite the fact that it has the dominant market position and “doesn’t really have to” help its customers cut costs.

The customers also talked about ethical AI. Following the meeting, both people said they felt more confident in AWS’s commitment to AI ethics, but neither would share specifics.

Despite the fact that the meeting was for important customers, AWS CEO Adam Selipsky did not attend, according to the sources.

One person described the meeting’s content as “narrow and administrative,” with a “large cloud provider meeting with large customers to talk about problems only they have.”

AWS did not respond to requests for comment for this story.

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