– Hi Bill, Welcome to Upstream Tech Talk series, I’m Fay from Upstream Security. First cloud-based cybersecurity solution that’s purpose built to protect connected vehicles and smart mobility services from cyber threats and misuse through the use of data. So I just wanna welcome you to the tech talk and handing it over if you’d introduce yourself.
– Yeah Fay, appreciate it. I’m Bill Foy, So I lead the AWS automotive segment globally. And what my team does is we get the opportunity to work with basically every customer globally, and to really understand what are the problems that they need to solve, and then we bring the solutions for them to be able to solve them on a cloud-based platform.
– So you’re really at the forefront of the future of connected mobility, it seems you and your team. So obviously, along with that, with the growth that that brings, there’s a lot of monetary opportunities for OEMs and other partners. Could you touch a little bit upon that? how can you monetize data? What does that mean for your customers? What does that mean for you and for the ecosystem?
– Yeah, I think when we talk about monetization, I think that we really need to talk about two perspectives. And the first one is really what I call, “Internal monetization.” So when you have 100% of the vehicles that are connected, which is where we’re headed, you have such a vast amount of data available to yourself. And internal monetization really means being able to take the data from the vehicle. But now think about it, many vehicles feeding into a data lake, and now being able to do analytics on that type of data. So on the internal side, you can begin to do things that you could never do before to really influence design, manufacturing, quality, marketing, with that type of information. For example, you could know how often a power middle, sorry, a power motor window is used. So for example, the spec for the driver side might be different from the other parts of the vehicle. or from a quality perspective, you can really understand very early when there’s a quality problem in the field. So early detection and early resolution, you can work on both sides of that.
– And by internal you mean OEMs can be using or you’re predominantly focused on the OEMs that can be using the data from their connected vehicles?
– Well, OEMs can use it, but they could also take that data and provide it to their suppliers as well. So it becomes a vast amount of really rich information for the whole ecosystem. And then on the second part of monetization is really to the end user. And we see a lot of that that’s already happening in the types of services that you can bring. I think a lot of those today are what I would call, “Simple services.” And what can really happen in the future is a more dynamic aspect where you can begin to enrich the data, combine it together, and then be able to bring more dynamic services for the future. And we’ll see a lot more of this coming up.
– What kind of services? Do you wanna elaborate on some of those things that you see maybe trending some of the services that the drivers or the users are looking for from their connected vehicle?
– Yeah. So if you begin to think about a more intelligent vehicle, so for example, if the vehicle knows that you are making a maneuver, that’s maybe more difficult, and it’s raining, and you’re coming up to a curve in the road, it can suppress the phone call. So things like this, that you can begin to do that impact safety or convenience. So personalization is a very big one as well. So when the vehicle gets to know you personally, or you have your own identity, where even when you transfer from one vehicle to another, it can really support you to understand what is your favorite radio station, seat position, things like that.
– Wow. And it seems there’s a lot of benefits again, in for both of those spaces from the OEM perspective, and from the user perspective as well. What are some of the complexities? It can’t all be good, there’s gotta be some sort of issues that OEMs are facing or some users are facing when it comes to the connected data. What are some of these complexities that you might be saying, let’s say, GDPR related to the use of that data. How do you deal with those issues?
– Yeah, I think when we talk about data like and looking at data for the use of internal monetization, that type of aspect. You don’t need to know anything about the customer. You just need to know about that certain vehicle or that VIN number that exists to identify that vehicle. I think GPDR comes into play more when you start talking about personalization. And that’s where we have to be very careful, we have to have people who opt into that, who are agreeing to it. And we just can’t use data in any way that violates that. At AWS, we definitely respect that. And we work towards that. And that’s very important for us to keep data privacy.
– Right. And are there other… What does that process look like? Like the process of taking the data and utilizing it? What are the hurdles you might see? Or you might face when it comes to that, whether it’s the multi cloud complexity, whether it’s coming from so many different, you might need to normalize that data use that entire process? I know that with your connected mobility platform, there’s a lot of that process being done. How does that data go? And what does mean, I guess you can we can learn from when that data is being, all the data from the vehicle and from the vehicle services or from the mobile application to then be used? Can you explain a little bit what that process looks like?
– Yeah. And maybe it’s maybe I’ll talk about a little bit different issue as well. I don’t think the problem that we face with our customers so much is about the data itself, or how to transform the data, or how to put the data into a structure that is searchable, that is usable across the organization. I think the real big challenge is for companies to know really what it is they really want to be able to do, and then what data to pull. So our business model is always about a flywheel to reduce costs for customers, to minimize their cloud storage. And the big thing is really, what is the data that you’re pulling out, and what is the reason for it? If companies just decide to pull all of the data out of the vehicle, it’s just going to sit in a data lake and not get used, and the bills go up, and then people start asking, “Why are we paying so much?” So I think that’s really the very first part, is identifying the use cases for the data, and then all the infrastructure side or all the backend side. That’s really not the challenge for us. The challenge is making sure that customers understand what they want to do with the data before they pull the data.
– Right. And I know from Upstream perspective, one of the used cases of that data is cyber security is being able to analyze the data and recognize what are the cyber threats facing this vehicle? Can you touch a little bit on that, you’re an automotive veteran, you’ve seen the cargo go from the old school, let’s say cars to what it is today in that connected ecosystem. So how do you see that use case of using that data, as you said, choosing that, this is what we want to use this data for, to then use it for cybersecurity and with vendors, like Upstream. How do you see that working?
– Well, it’s very important in the work that Upstream is doing, is critical. And even if you look, when you read any material on AWS, Andy Jassy, our CEO always says,”Security is job one,” it’s the very first thing that we have to be… It’s what our existence is based around. It’s fundamental and foundational, it’s the same thing for the data that’s coming out of the vehicle. And the really good thing about Upstream is, that you’re looking at the data that’s already coming out of the vehicle, you’re not in the vehicle, there’s no risk of you introducing a cyber attack. And by analyzing that real time streaming data, you’re able to really understand and use your algorithms to determine, “Is there a cyber attack occurring?” Or what that may be? what that looks like, across the whole fleet of vehicles, and as well as the industry. As well, based on the customers you have. So I would say that’s critically important, and I think it’s really clear from your business model, what data you need and why and how often you need it. And customers definitely, absolutely require. So every OEM will tell you the same thing too, that safety is really the most important aspect for them. Whether that’s safety of the individual or safety of the data, It all comes together. So it’s very critical in the overall ecosystem.
– Yeah, for sure. Now, AWS and this is from your your website of the idea of enabling the digital transformation of the automotive industry. Do you have any last words about that, just to kind of close this off? What does that mean? What does that look like? What do you have words for the future?
– in that space?
– Well, maybe I’ll start off why I came to AWS. So I’ve worked in the automotive industry for 30 years, and I have this great passion for the industry. And when I started working with AWS, as well as many other companies, what I really realized is that, we really need to enable the industry overall to be much stronger. And by working with AWS from my old role, I really began to realize the power of machine learning in the cloud, and what you can begin to do and types of data that you can pull and what it really means. So for the industry, digital transformation has many opportunities, but it’s really about how do you save cost? And how do you innovate faster. For me are the two real key big aspects for the automotive industry. And when I when I look at that, what I see because as I mentioned earlier, I get the opportunity to work with so many customers. And basically, my philosophy is to meet them where they’re at. Because some customers are ready to go, they wanna go all in, they wanna do data center buyouts, and other customers are still a little hesitant. And really, my role in my company’s role is really just meet them where they’re at, let them understand what that cloud journey looks like, and then moving to whether it’s from this just re platforming, some aspect, or migrating or re platforming, or completely going digital native, where you can really begin to innovate and reduce your cost dramatically. So again, it’s really about meeting them where they’re at. And then taking them on that journey, because it really is a journey.
– And do you think the end of that journey is that the entire world will be connected, everything will be smart, mobility will as well as smart cities, everything will be shifting towards that knowing you for that personal use and that really very much integrated connectivity. Do you think that that’s where we’re going?
– I do. I think it’s going to be very seamless. And I think it’s going to be something that greatly benefits society. And it’s just a really great opportunity, it’s a really great time right now to be in this industry. But it’s not just this industry, it’s everywhere. So when you expand beyond just automotive, and you think about bigger ecosystems, such as healthcare. Healthcare is going to be in our lives everywhere, whether it’s in our home, or whether it’s in our vehicle. So it’s the it’s not just one industry, it’s all of them doing at once, which I think really offers that seamless opportunity for all of us to enjoy.
– Yeah, and this is a nice place to end. But I do have another question. And with COVID, and everything moving kind of online into the cloud, do you see anyone, in our industry, and in our space, we do see a lot of people moving towards the cloud, and that remote type of world, do you see that the space differences, a change a growth? What does that look like? From your perspective?
– I would say every company that I deal with, it has really challenged them to rethink their digital strategy. And every one of them is looking at how to be more aggressive, and how to really embrace the cloud and embrace digital. So it’s been definitely a catalyst to really allow these types of discussions to happen. And I think it’s something that needs to really happen at the CEO level, or the C-level, is where that transformation and that desire really needs to come. And that’s what COVID has really done is, it’s really created a lot of attention at that C-level for them to start asking the right questions about their own company, and their future and to get very curious around it. So the discussions now are very engaging and interesting.
– That’s great. Well, I guess we’ve got one positive outcome of this global pandemic.
– Well, thank you so much for joining me today. I enjoyed this very quick. I think we went pretty deep for a pretty quick chat, and I appreciate your time and you joining me.
– Yeah, Fay I really appreciate the opportunity. Thank you very much.