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Amazon Web Services Expands Free Support and Lowers Prices on Premium Tiers

Introduces Multiple New Features Including Alerts When Opportunities Exist to Cut Cost or Improve Application Performance, Chat Functionality, and Anytime Access to Customer Service Based on Automatic System Health Checks

SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jun. 14, 2012-- Amazon Web Services LLC (AWS), an Amazon.com Company (NASDAQ: AMZN), today announced expanded free support for all AWS customers, reduced pricing on premium support plans and multiple new features to help customers better interact with and improve their use of AWS, including chat functionality and proactive alerts when opportunities exist to save money, improve system performance, or close security gaps. AWS Support is a fast-response support channel that is staffed around the clock with experienced and technical support engineers. For more information on the pricing and the new options, visit http://aws.amazon.com/premiumsupport/.

As part of today’s announcement of the new support features, the broad selection of support offerings offered by AWS have been renamed to better align with the customer’s need or use case. All plans include support for an unlimited number of cases, are available worldwide, have no long term contracts, and can be cancelled at any time.

  • Basic (Expanded free tier): Upon signup for AWS, all customers are automatically enrolled in Basic support for free. Added features in this tier include immediate, around-the-clock access to customer service by email or phone for billing and account issues, and technical support for system health issues. Customers continue to have access to technical FAQs, best practices guides, the AWS Service Health Dashboard, and the AWS Developer Forums, which are monitored and responded to by AWS support engineers.
  • Developer ($49/month and 1:1 customer support): Previously called the Bronze tier, the Developer tier includes all components of the Basic tier, plus the following: 12-hour response time to support cases submitted, 1:1 customer support for any AWS-related question, and access to AWS Technical Support Engineers via email through the AWS online support center during local business hours to help configure, operate, and maintain core AWS services and features. The Developer plan is $49 per month.
  • Business (Access to AWS Trusted Advisor): Previously called the Gold tier, the Business tier includes all components of the Basic and Developer tiers, plus the following: one-hour response time to support cases submitted and support engineers available 24/7 via phone, chat or email. In addition to chat capabilities, new features include access to AWS Trusted Advisor, a program that monitors AWS infrastructure services, identifies customers’ usage patterns, and notifies customers when opportunities exist to save money, improve system performance, or close security gaps. Customers also receive support for the most common third-party software running on AWS. The Business tier minimum pricing has been reduced from $400 to $100 per month and a 3% usage-based pricing tier has been added to the existing pricing tiers of 10%, 7%, and 5%.
  • Enterprise (New pricing based on usage vs. flat fee): Previously called the Platinum tier, the Enterprise tier provides customers with all of the features of the Business tier, plus 15-minute response time for mission-critical issues, and a dedicated Technical Account Manager who is intimately familiar with the customer’s specific AWS architecture. Technical Account Managers will also conduct periodic business reviews for infrastructure planning, report metrics, collaborate on launches, and connect customers to AWS Solutions Architects as needed. The Trusted Advisor program is also available to all Enterprise tier customers. The Enterprise tier minimum pricing has been reduced from a flat 10% usage fee to usage-based pricing tiers of 10%, 7%, 5% and 3%.

"Amazon has been passionate about customer service since we started the company 17 years ago,” said Brent Jaye, General Manager of AWS Support. “Putting customers first is part of our DNA. We not only employ talented support engineers all over the world, but also build technology that enables them to provide proactive and helpful information to our customers. Our new Trusted Advisor program is a good example of that -- we use technology to determine if customers have security adjustments they should make, or if they’re not architected as fault tolerant as they might want to be, or if they have under-utilized instances that they can terminate and save money. We then use both technology and support professionals to surface this information to customers.”

Customers are using AWS Support for various purposes, ranging from technical support for new product launches, to taking advantage of a Technical Account Manager to architect optimally on AWS, to identifying areas where they can use AWS more efficiently.

“We have used AWS Platinum Support since we began our cloud migration process 18 months ago," said Lex Crosett, Vice President Product Development and CIO, Earth Networks. “During this process, we consolidated four colocation data centers with 750 servers and built a development, QA, and production facility on AWS. With our Technical Account Manager, we had quick access to the service teams resulting in rapid access to useful new features in DynamoDB and Cloudfront, among others, that continue to improve our scalability and cost economics. AWS Support is without a doubt our highest functioning, most customer success oriented vendor team. They are much more than a support team, they function as a strategic partner and trusted advisor to us.”

“Given the extent of our use of AWS, Netflix really benefitted from the AWS Enterprise Support model,” said Yury Izrailevsky, VP, Cloud Computing and Platform Engineering at Netflix. “AWS Support and our dedicated Technical Account Manager continuously work with our teams to ensure the availability, cost effectiveness and security of our infrastructure running on AWS. This translates to providing a great experience for our customers. We’ve been pleased with the technical skills of the support team, but also their ability to act as a central point of contact to engage resources throughout AWS as needed.”

This year’s Super Bowl was interactive and viewers used the Shazam App to engage with all aspects of the event – from the game, to the ads and the half-time show starring Madonna. To ensure that the application provided an ideal customer experience, Shazam used AWS Enterprise Support. “A large contributor to the success of Shazam’s Super Bowl event was the work done beforehand with the help of AWS Enterprise Support,” said Jason Titus, CTO, Shazam. “Working hand in hand with a dedicated Technical Account Manager, the support team provided real-time assistance, ensuring our application would scale to meet the anticipated demand of the event. In addition to the upfront support, the AWS Enterprise Support team also provided around the clock monitoring and assistance from the US and Europe during the event, and had AWS engineering resources on standby should their assistance be required.”

As part of our AWS Business Support we’ve been able to take advantage of AWS Trusted Advisor,” said Spencer Colson, Program Manager at Smartronix. “The system provides us reports of our usage and has been a great way to identify opportunities to optimize our infrastructure and help us make changes accordingly. By using the information supplied by AWS Trusted Advisor, we are taking steps to reduce our overall costs by optimizing the use of Reserved Instances and right-sizing systems based on utilization trends. We are excited to now have access to a self-service interface where we can review updated Trusted Advisor recommendations at any time.”

For more information on AWS Support pricing and options, visit http://aws.amazon.com/premiumsupport/

About Amazon Web Services

Launched in 2006, Amazon Web Services (AWS) began exposing key infrastructure services to businesses in the form of web services -- now widely known as cloud computing. The ultimate benefit of cloud computing, and AWS, is the ability to leverage a new business model and turn capital infrastructure expenses into variable costs. Businesses no longer need to plan and procure servers and other IT resources weeks or months in advance. Using AWS, businesses can take advantage of Amazon's expertise and economies of scale to access resources when their business needs them, delivering results faster and at a lower cost. Today, Amazon Web Services provides a highly reliable, scalable, low-cost infrastructure platform in the cloud that powers hundreds of thousands of enterprise, government and startup customers businesses in 190 countries around the world. AWS offers over 28 different services, including Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) and Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS). AWS services are available to customers from data center locations in the U.S., Brazil, Europe, Japan and Singapore.

About Amazon.com

Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN), a Fortune 500 company based in Seattle, opened on the World Wide Web in July 1995 and today offers Earth's Biggest Selection. Amazon.com, Inc. seeks to be Earth's most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online, and endeavors to offer its customers the lowest possible prices. Amazon.com and other sellers offer millions of unique new, refurbished and used items in categories such as Books; Movies, Music & Games; Digital Downloads; Electronics & Computers; Home & Garden; Toys, Kids & Baby; Grocery; Apparel, Shoes & Jewelry; Health & Beauty; Sports & Outdoors; and Tools, Auto & Industrial. Amazon Web Services provides Amazon's developer customers with access to in-the-cloud infrastructure services based on Amazon's own back-end technology platform, which developers can use to enable virtually any type of business. The new latest generation Kindle is the lightest, most compact Kindle ever and features the same 6-inch, most advanced electronic ink display that reads like real paper even in bright sunlight. Kindle Touch is a new addition to the Kindle family with an easy-to-use touch screen that makes it easier than ever to turn pages, search, shop, and take notes - still with all the benefits of the most advanced electronic ink display. Kindle Touch 3G is the top of the line e-reader and offers the same new design and features of Kindle Touch, with the unparalleled added convenience of free 3G. Kindle Fire is the Kindle for movies, TV shows, music, books, magazines, apps, games and web browsing with all the content, free storage in the Amazon Cloud, Whispersync, Amazon Silk (Amazon's new revolutionary cloud-accelerated web browser), vibrant color touch screen, and powerful dual-core processor.

Amazon and its affiliates operate websites, including www.amazon.com, www.amazon.co.uk, www.amazon.de, www.amazon.co.jp, www.amazon.fr, www.amazon.ca, www.amazon.cn, www.amazon.it, and www.amazon.es. As used herein, "Amazon.com," "we," "our" and similar terms include Amazon.com, Inc., and its subsidiaries, unless the context indicates otherwise.

Forward-Looking Statements

This announcement contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Actual results may differ significantly from management's expectations. These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that include, among others, risks related to competition, management of growth, new products, services and technologies, potential fluctuations in operating results, international expansion, outcomes of legal proceedings and claims, fulfillment center optimization, seasonality, commercial agreements, acquisitions and strategic transactions, foreign exchange rates, system interruption, inventory, government regulation and taxation, payments and fraud. More information about factors that potentially could affect Amazon.com's financial results is included in Amazon.com's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and subsequent filings.

Source: Amazon.com, Inc.

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