"It's been one of the real innovators around managed services," Walton said. "If you look at modern managed services of the kind that Rackspace delivers, it’s a pretty compelling proposition to lots of customers."
Its service was different from the kind of manual, labour-intensive managed services that were both expensive and inflexible, he said.
"I look at what Rackspace can do and it has a very different look about it – very agile, flexible and cost effective. It’s good they see what we see – an exciting opportunity to support NZ customers."
One particular product that had gained traction during the pandemic was Amazon Connect, its virtual call centre, being used at local corporates such as Trustpower, deploying it in a matter of days to stand up a distributed call centre service and allow agents to work from home.
"Connect has been a key technology that we have seen rapid adoption both in smaller companies and in more enterprise companies as well," Walton said.
Emerging from lockdown, companies will face other challenges, he said.
"We are seeing a large number of companies needing to answer some questions in a post lockdown world – do we have the right business model, the right size and shape, do we scale up or scale down, how do we engage new customers and innovate at a pace to find where opportunities exist and we are able to adjust to a very different business landscape?"
The companies most prepared to adapt are the ones that have already embraced digital and cloud technologies, according to Walton.
"To me one of the things that underpins the success of those effort has been companies that have invested appropriately to develop culture and skills," Walton said. "BNZ is a great example of that. It embarked on a programme to train 1200 staff, technical and not technical, on how the cloud can be used to innovate on behalf of customers at a pace they never thought possible before."
Because companies need to run efficiently, every dollar spent counted, Walton said. AWS can help companies to achieve that agility and cost savings.
However, some local companies needing to process heavy and steady workloads have done their sums and opted not to participate.
Walton insists the cost savings are there to be reaped.
"You should be able to run more efficiently leveraging AWS for those workloads," he said.
"We see business cases that map that out. To answer your question, there are cost savings at that level, but it is also the agility that you are getting and the ability to scale up things like development and test environments.
"We see very compelling cost savings for steady-state workloads by leveraging the scale and efficiency of AWS."
Walton, following AWS policy, was not prepared to comment on Microsoft's announcement last week that it was establishing a cloud region in New Zealand.
Pressed on the data sovereignty issues of concern to some users, he said he understood those concerns but the vast majority of workloads could be run outside of New Zealand.
"We have 76 cloud availability zones around the world today across 24 geographic regions – and by the way we are not even close to being done," he said.
"We see a very large opportunity for cloud computing internationally and you can expect we are going to continue to build new regions."
Walton said tens of thousands of customers were on the AWS platform today running all kids of different workloads.
"Security is our number one priority," he said. "We work with customers to meet and exceed their security and privacy requirements."