New generation of small businesses serving the big hitters


The chances of a large business working with a technology startup would once have been extremely low. However, since the introduction of cloud computing, startups and small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) have used it as a launchpad to offer specialised services to a wide range of companies.

This is where Amazon Web Services (AWS) differentiates itself as a cloud leader. The AWS Marketplace is an online software store that helps customers find, buy and immediately start using software and services on AWS. Large enterprises can easily call upon specialised startups and SMBs to help them manage, integrate and use their cloud technology more effectively.

Companies on the AWS Marketplace are instantly recognised as being able to meet the demands of customers.

Take the example of Matillion, a Manchester-based SMB that specialises in helping businesses to bring their siloed data together. Matillion’s software was born in the cloud and built to work in cloud data warehouses, specifically Amazon Redshift. The company strived to be able to offer its services to the biggest companies in the world.

An opportunity came as a result of the AWS Marketplace, when global publishing company Elsevier wanted to make better use of its data to provide it with a competitive edge.

Elsevier used Amazon Redshift, which was an easy, cost-efficient choice that integrated smoothly with the company’s existing AWS systems. However, Elsevier’s old system for extracting usable data from this warehouse, known as ETL (extract, transform, load), was buckling under the weight of growing demand.

It needed support from a company that specialised in Amazon Redshift and used the AWS Marketplace to identify potential partners. It was here that Elsevier found Matillion’s ETL for Redshift product.

“AWS provides the cloud platform and Amazon Redshift provides the data warehouse and analytics engine. But that’s not the end of the project,” says Matthew Scullion, founder and chief executive of Matillion. “Organisations need to get the data onto the engine, and they need to join that data together and turn it from raw material to information that can be acted upon by the business.”

Matillion tackled Elsevier’s problem by streamlining its data pipeline and creating a simple graphical user interface, making the data digestible and accessible to people across the business, regardless of role or background.

The outcome has removed technical glitches, giving a better service to customers, while also freeing up developers and analysts to focus on innovation elsewhere. As a result, Elsevier has benefited from being able to make better decisions using data.

“The cloud offers a disruptive software company like ours a huge market of customers to sell to. Matillion was filling a gap where Elsevier wanted to innovate with data, at an accelerated rate,” says Scullion.

The cloud offers a disruptive software company like ours a huge market of customers to potentially sell to

Matillion is a good example of how the AWS Marketplace offers SMBs an opportunity to work with and improve large, established businesses.

Matillion is part of the AWS Partner Network (APN), which means it is provided with business, technical and marketing support from AWS. It has continued to create products purpose-built to work with AWS and the majority of its annual revenue now comes from collaborating with the company, with more than 80 per cent of its work on systems like Amazon Redshift.

In nine years, Matillion has gone from 12 employees to over 200 and has more than 800 global customers, including several with revenues of over £500 million and some exceeding £1 billion.

“AWS Marketplace has made it a lot easier for us to build commercial relationships with those customers,” says Scullion.

It’s in areas like ETL where AWS is helping cloud-native startups and SMBs to gain business from large enterprises, as they can specialise in a specific area that supports existing AWS customers.

To find out how AWS is powering Britain’s fastest-growing companies, please visit our website. To read a full report into the impact of AWS, click here.