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Amazon cut our web services credits, nonprofits say • The Register

Exclusive Amazon has halved the amount of credit it offers charities to access IT services operated by Amazon Web Services, sources said. The Reg.

The megacorporation’s cloud wing has for several years offered a $2,000 grant in AWS promotional credits to qualifying nonprofits, brokered through a nonprofit network called TechSoup Global in the United States and through an organization called Charity. Digital in the UK.

Through this AWS credit program, nonprofit organizations had access to certain cloud-based AWS services, such as Amazon WorkDocs, Amazon WorkMail, and Amazon WorkSpaces.

However, when some UK charities came to renew their credits this time around, they found that the AWS grant they were eligible for had been reduced from $2,000 to $1,000 at some point during the past year, leaving them to recover the rest. of the bill for the services they now rely on.

We were alerted by Reg reader John Pipal, an IT freelancer who says he has been supporting London’s NGOs and charities for 20 years. Pipal told us that two London-based charities he currently works with have both taken advantage of the AWS credit system to run EC2 Windows server instances for operating remote desktop sessions, which apparently went wrong. proved to be very useful during the pandemic.

One of the charity customers moved his remote desktop server to AWS and decided to use Amazon’s cloud storage as well, since his bills for all of this were fully covered by the AWS credit program.

Short notice

Amazon is fully within its rights to change the terms of any credit program it offers to nonprofit organizations, as these are provided at the company’s sole discretion. However, it appears that at least some charities were unaware of the changes, only finding out about them when renewing their grant.

It also means that these organizations may now have to spend more of the money they accept from donations on running costs.

“My particular gripe is that the organizations that took up this offer could have reasonably expected it to continue, given the juggernaut’s recent success, and that it will cost them now, whatever they do – leave. or stay,” Pipal mentioned.

A Charity Digital spokesperson said The register that AWS had changed its nonprofit credit program to help more charities by providing more licenses to more customers.

Credits had apparently been oversubscribed in the past, often running out quickly. To address this issue, AWS decided to reduce the value of credits to make more credits available. Administration fees paid by non-profit organizations have also been reduced.

In other words, it looks like the cloud giant wants to extend the benefits of its charity program to a wider audience. A good idea, but difficult if you’re a small charity and suddenly find you don’t have as much to spend on IT services as you expected.

Amazon reported operating profit for AWS in the fourth calendar quarter of 2021 of $5.293 billion, which saw its cloud services division end 2021 with total operating profit of $18.532 billion, up from nearly 37% over one year.

We asked Amazon for an explanation of the changes to the AWS Credit Program, and the company sent us the following statement:

“Globally, the number of AWS Credits we’ve provided to nonprofits has increased over the past year. We offer a variety of programs to help nonprofit clients access and experience the latest cloud technology. This includes grants and funding to spur modernization and innovation. , as well as free training to help employees improve their skills.

“We review and evolve these programs constantly to ensure the right mix of offerings is in place to support our customers.”

The company did not disclose the amount of the increase in the total funding pot. ®