Amazon To Break Out AWS Financials Starting In 2015


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Amazon plans to start breaking out its Amazon Web Services financial results starting in the first quarter of 2015.

Brian Olsavsky, vice president of finance for Amazon's global consumer business, announced the change during the Thursday financial analyst call following Amazon's release of its fourth-quarter and full-year 2014 financial results.

The move is a significant change for Amazon, which until the end of the full year 2014 had lumped the AWS financials together with advertising services and co-branded credit-card agreements in its North American market, making it hard to gauge Amazon's public cloud business.

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Thomas Szkutak, senior vice president and CFO, who is expected to retire in June and be replaced by Olsavsky, said in response to an analyst question at the conference call that the time is right to break out the AWS numbers.

"We just think it's an appropriate way to look at our business in 2015," Szkutak said.

When asked about the outlook for AWS' pricing in 2015, Szkutak replied that lowering the price for the service has been a big focus since it was launched, and that Amazon has done so well over 40 times so far. "It's hard to make predictions," he said.

Another analyst asked whether Amazon's decision to break out AWS financial information is part of a move to increase AWS' SaaS offerings, to which Szkutak said the company declined to talk about future offerings. "The team has done an incredible job in innovation," he said.

Jeff Juszczak, director of information technology at Tampa Bay Tech Solutions, a Tampa, Fla.-based managed services provider and AWS partner, said that as a consumer and provider of AWS, it would be helpful to see the specific financials of AWS.

"I just want to see that the lights stay on at Amazon," Juszczak told CRN. "It will be interesting academically to see the future growth, especially since Amazon now has real competition from Microsoft Azure, but not so much from Google."

Juszczak, however, admitted that while the idea of Amazon breaking out its AWS numbers may not be a big deal now, that could change. "It may be a big story three months from now," he said.

For the fourth quarter of 2014, Amazon's North American "other" revenue, which includes AWS, reached $1.7 billion, up about 43 percent from the $1.2 billion reported for the fourth quarter of 2013. Full year 2014 "other" revenue reached $5.4 billion, up about 45 percent over the $3.7 billion reported for 2013.

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