Amazon Web Services' Seattle campus was on Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's whirlwind US tour yesterday.
Taking the message that New Zealand was open for business after the end of COVID-19 lockdowns and other restrictions, the PM met with AWS CEO Adam Selipsky.
"It was a pleasure welcoming New Zealand’s Prime Minster, Jacinda Ardern, to our Seattle campus today," Selipsky posted on LinkedIn.
"We had a great discussion about digital transformation, skills development, sustainability, and how we are helping organizations across Aotearoa, New Zealand scale and grow internationally."
Selipsky noted that AWS was investing NZ$7.5 billion over ten years to build a cloud region in New Zealand, adding that the company was aiming for it to be 100 per cent powered by renewable energy at launch.
"We will be adding over 200 staff to our AWS Kiwi team over the next few years to help our customers and partners in Aotearoa achieve amazing things," Selipsky said.
Earlier this week Ardern met with Microsoft President Brad Smith and Hayley Horan, Microsoft NZ SaaS partner lead and former NZ trade commissioner for Singapore.
"On Friday we will welcome the Prime Minister and NZ - USA trade mission business delegates to Microsoft, and I couldn't be more excited," Horan posted on LinkedIn.
"Partnerships are the key to scale for New Zealand, and we are excited to be launching our new Scaling SaaS Exports initiative as we continue to grow our support for NZ SaaS companies."
Under the new programme, the global tech giant will effectively become a channel to market for local SaaS developers.
The Scaling SaaS Exports programme delivers help in three areas: assistance to build applications at scale from day one, getting market-ready via the Azure Marketplace and transacting around the world with Microsoft as the reseller and providing sales support to co-sell in new markets.
"We want to see Microsoft become an international sales agent for Kiwi SaaS companies who are in the right place to scale into global markets," Horan said in a post.
"Through this initiative we’ll bring together all the different tools Microsoft has available to help Aotearoa’s SaaS companies build their product for global scale and sell their solutions to millions of Microsoft customers around the world."
Auror, LawVu and Volpara were the first three SaaS companies in New Zealand to join the initiative.
LawVu, Ubco, Straker Translations, Animation Research and Auror were also reportedly represented the Seattle event.
Microsoft is also building a local cloud region in New Zealand which it hopes to open next year.