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Brick-and-Mortar Showroom Drives Demand for Amazon’s AWS Cloud-Computing Business


Amazon Web Services’ opening of its Builder Studio in New York City earlier this fall reportedly signals a shift in the traditional enterprise software sales process.

Located in the iconic Lord & Taylor building, the showroom offers chief information officers an opportunity to experience firsthand prototypes of cutting-edge cloud-based technologies, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday (Nov. 10).

The Builder Studio allows visitors to experience a range of solutions, such as prototypes of digital twins, a virtual try-on demo featuring shoes sold on Amazon, and an advertising mood board creator powered by generative artificial intelligence, according to the report.

The in-person aspect of the experience is crucial, as it allows CIOs to grasp the capabilities of AWS cloud services, the report said. Shaown Nandi, director of technology and strategic industries at AWS, said the tangible nature of the demos bridges the gap between theory and reality.

What sets the AWS Builder Studio apart from similar labs is its focus on customization, per the report. The studio works closely with engineers from customer companies to develop prototypes tailored to their specific needs. However, once the prototypes are complete, they are typically handed over to partners, systems integrators or other divisions of AWS to bring the technology to production.

Cloud providers have only recently begun to establish prototyping labs, R “Ray” Wang, founder and principal analyst of IT consulting firm Constellation Research, said in the report. While systems integrators have operated similar labs for years, cloud providers are now recognizing the demand.

The Builder Studio plans to rotate 80% of its demos every three to eight months, with a particular focus on industries prevalent in New York City, such as financial services, media and retail, according to the report.

One startup that has benefited from partnering with AWS in the Builder Studio is Proto, the report said. The opportunity to showcase the company’s hologram technology face-to-face with customers has proven more effective than videos. Proto is in talks with a fashion brand that became interested in its technology after visiting the studio.

The opening of the Builder Studio comes at a time when cloud-computing providers see AI as a business driver, with Amazon, Microsoft and Google putting the technology front and center in their sales pitches since OpenAI’s ChatGPT became a sensation.