Slalom at re:Invent 2022

AWS re:Invent 2022

This much learning deserves a second look

Slalom at re:Invent 2022

We’ve gathered key news and takeaways from each day of AWS re:Invent, the annual learning conference hosted by Amazon Web Services (AWS). Navigate to a day above, or scroll and explore. 

Day 1

One big announcement for Slalom and no more traditional tradeoffs for engineers 

Slalom, AWS, and thousands of in-person attendees brought a metric ton of energy to the first day of re:Invent. One of the day’s biggest announcements was that AWS has pledged to become “water positive” by 2030, meaning the company plans to return more water to communities than it uses in direct operations, primarily for cooling data centers around the world. Water scarcity is a major issue around the world, and Slalom’s excited to work as closely as we do with a leader in water efficiency.

We’re also excited about our own announcement from Day One: AWS has recognized Slalom as SI Partner of the Year in North America and global Education Partner of the Year for 2022! We’re honored to receive both awards, and especially proud to earn an award that acknowledges both our AWS expertise and industry acumen as Education Partner of the Year.

And in case you missed it, the customary evening keynote did not disappoint. Peter DeSantis, Senior Vice President of AWS Utility Computing, took the stage to dive deep into how AWS refuses to compromise in the tug of war between low cost, high performance, and security. Key product and service announcements from the keynote include the launch of AWS Graviton3E, a new version of AWS’ Graviton chips that is designed specifically to power high-performance computing workloads. As an AWS Graviton Ready Partner, Slalom’s looking forward to implementing Graviton3E with our customers to help them optimize their cloud spend while improving performance and security.

Industry Spotlight: Resources

Many of the events of Day One seemed to shine a light on one industry in particular: resources. While it started with AWS’ announcement of its water-positive commitment—which you can learn more about on Amazon’s website—the day’s sessions focused on energy as well. If you’re looking for examples of advances in energy production, remote monitoring, and innovation across a wide variety of renewable energies, we recommend you watch one of Day One’s sessions on demand: Innovation and reinvention across the energy value chain.

P.S.: Winning awards is not all that Slalom’s been up to recently. The week before re:Invent, Slalom announced a joint offering with AWS to accelerate the migration of customers’ mainframe architectures to the cloud. The offering combines proven methodologies, tools, and approaches from Slalom and AWS to tackle customers’ challenges with mainframe modernization.

Slalom a 2022 AWS Partner of the Year

Gretchen Peri and Elizabeth Lounsbury accept the Education Partner of the Year award on behalf of Slalom at re:Invent 2022.

Graviton Announcement at re:Invent

We’re proud to earn this award that acknowledges both Slalom’s industry acumen and our AWS expertise.

Day 2

Creating a better future with AWS and helping reinvent the advertising & marketing industry  

The second day of re:Invent featured plenty of buzzworthy announcements as well as a Slalom “sighting” on the keynote stage. To start, AWS CEO Adam Selipsky presented a keynote exploring innovations in data, security, infrastructure, and specialized solutions that are helping customers achieve their goals faster, take advantage of untapped potential, and create a better future with AWS. One of these customers is Lyell Immunopharma, a fully integrated company developing next-generation T-cell reprogramming technologies to help fight cancer. During the keynote, Selipsky welcomed Lyell CEO Liz Homans to the stage to discuss how the company is working with AWS—and Slalom—to implement digital technologies and cloud infrastructure that formed what Homans called the “backbone” of Lyell’s new manufacturing facility.

Selipsky shared his own highlights from the keynote on LinkedIn. Our favorite of these is the announcement of AWS Supply Chain, a cloud-based application (now available in preview) that helps supply chain leaders mitigate risks and lower costs to increase supply chain resilience. We’re serious about supply chain innovation at Slalom and earned the AWS Supply Chain Competency, Slalom’s fifteenth and most recent AWS Competency, in August. If you’re curious about our approach and the outlooks of other supply chain leaders, look no further than our ongoing Supply Chain Fireside Chat series with Harshad Kanvinde, who leads Slalom’s global supply chain practice.

Industry Spotlight: Advertising & Marketing

On Day Two, AWS also introduced AWS for Advertising & Marketing, an initiative that features new and existing capabilities from AWS and AWS Partners used by thousands of customers globally for their advertising and marketing technology workloads. Slalom is proud to be one of the AWS for Advertising & Marketing Partners supporting this initiative and helping customers reinvent the industry. One specific AWS service we’re using to do this is AWS Clean Rooms, also announced during Day Two’s keynote. The service helps customers and their partners more easily and securely match, analyze, and collaborate on their combined datasets without sharing or revealing underlying data.

The best person to describe our excitement about AWS Clean Rooms is Rio Longacre, Managing Director of Slalom’s Global Experience Team. “With AWS Clean Rooms' built-in privacy enhancing data access controls, the industry has a powerful data collaboration tool enabling them to derive deeper insights and ultimately deliver more personalized experiences to consumers,” says Rio in a quote on the Partners for AWS Clean Rooms page.

Serverless Session Serverless Session

Through the expansion of our AWS practice, we will be better equipped to help our customers find new ways to use AWS technologies to dream bigger, move faster, and build better tomorrows for all.

Day 3

Better insights by day, better tomorrows by night, and faster kickoffs in between  

Day Three brought with it two keynotes—one on data and one on AWS Partners—Slalom’s party with Matillion and Databricks, and our own session on how we’re speeding up serverless project kickoffs.

The first keynote came from Swami Sivasubramanian, Vice President of Data and Machine Learning (ML) at AWS. He introduced five new capabilities across AWS’s database and analytics portfolios as well as eight new capabilities for Amazon SageMaker, including enhanced geospatial capabilities for use cases like optimizing harvest yield, urban development, and strategic business expansion. The second keynote came from Ruba Borno, Vice President of AWS Worldwide Channels and Alliances. As an AWS Partner Award winner (see Day 1!), Slalom was tickled to see our name up on the big screen along with the 81 other AWS Partners chosen out of more than 1,200 award nominations this year.

But let’s not forget about Slalom’s own session from Day Three, Accelerators: Streamline development in serverless and beyond. Slalom’s Michael J. Smith and Stephen Nichols stepped up to one of the Lightning Theater stages at the re:Invent Expo to discuss the lessons that Slalom’s learned from building 20+ accelerators and reusable assets, starting with a serverless accelerator. We build accelerators to speed up project kickoffs so our consultants and customers can focus on high-value work from the beginning—and we’re just getting started. As part of our expanded Strategic Collaboration Agreement with AWS announced on Day Three, we’re planning to develop industry-specific solutions and accelerators on AWS for customers in the energy, financial services, healthcare, life sciences, public sector, and media and entertainment industries.

Slalom was also named an AWS Service Delivery Partner for two different services on the third day of re:Invent: AWS Glue and AWS Graviton. Our AWS Glue specialization recognizes our expertise and proven success helping customers use AWS Glue for data integration, data pipeline, and data catalog use cases. Our AWS Graviton specialization recognizes our ability to help customers achieve better workload performance and cost savings with AWS Graviton-based instances in Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2). “We're extremely proud to be recognized by AWS as a launch partner for AWS Graviton delivery,” said Rob Flesher, Director for Global AWS Advisory and Delivery at Slalom. “Our teams leverage every tool at our disposal to achieve extraordinary cost optimization for our clients and we've already seen very impressive results using Graviton."

Industry Spotlight: Education

We love how much Sivasubramanian discussed the importance of data literacy in his keynote and were inspired to hear about the new program from AWS Machine Learning University (MLU) to help community colleges, minority-serving institutions, and historically Black colleges and universities teach database, artificial intelligence, and ML concepts. It reminded us of the value of education and training across all industries. That said, we have a unique passion for working with customers in the education industry itself, as you might have guessed from our AWS Education Partner of the Year win (see Day 1!). To learn more about how education and technology can intersect, check out our recent whitepaper about using data to improve the higher education experience for students.

A Tale of Two Troys

A tale of two Troys: Slalom consultant & AWS Ambassador Troy Dieter and Slalom co-founder and Chief Growth Officer Troy Johnson are all smiles at our Better Tomorrows Tonight party

re:Invent Booth
Day 4

Dr. Werner Vogels on how to build the unimaginable with emerging technology 

The fourth day of re:Invent might be quieter if not for the keynote of Dr. Werner Vogels, Vice President and Chief Technology Officer. What is typically the last keynote of re:Invent and one of the most highly anticipated began this year with a screening of a short film inspired by The Matrix and starring Vogels. Much of the film takes place in a dystopian restaurant where Vogels is the only customer and the establishment’s sole worker is a server and chef who does not multitask. They even cook Vogels’ french fries one by one. After the film, Vogels came onstage to describe what he had portrayed: a world without asynchrony, which is one of the core design principles Amazon first used to create Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3).

“We wanted to make sure that the system would make progress under all circumstances,” Vogels said of Amazon S3. “No matter what the load is, no matter what is failing, no matter what new functionality we are introducing in the system, it should always make progress.” He explained that while the classic synchrony he portrayed can seem simpler and even more beautiful, it often leads to a “throughput of one.” On the other hand, asynchrony is more like real life, where a commercial restaurant has multiple chefs at their own kitchen stations, all working on different tickets submitted by multiple different servers. Vogels went on to emphasize the benefits of building asynchronous, loosely coupled systems using cloud services.

A few notable product and service announcements from the keynote include:

  • The availability of a distributed map for AWS Step Functions, which extends support for orchestrating large-scale parallel workloads such as the on-demand processing of semi-structured data.
  • The launch of AWS Application Composer, which helps developers simplify and accelerate architecting, configuring, and building serverless applications.

In Slalom-related news, we released a statement on our support for the new AWS for Advertising and Marketing initiative (see Day 2!) on Day Four.

Industry Spotlight: Financial Services

AWS curated an excellent playlist of industry-specific breakout sessions from re:Invent 2022 and a popular industry within is financial services. Featured customers include Nasdaq, Moody’s, Chase International, Bridgewater Associates, Fidelity Investments, Resolution Life, and Global Payments. Also, anyone who visited Slalom’s booth during re:Invent may have noticed that both case studies we incorporated into our booth design were about customers in financial services. For a closer look at these stories, view Securian Financial’s story on and view Beem’s story on