At the purely digital Shopware Community Day 2020, we presented our solution for the easiest path to your online business: Shopware Cloud. To help make it even easier for you to start an online business, we are working closely with Amazon Web Services (AWS) as our exclusive hosting partner for our SaaS (Software as a Service) offering. AWS is the most popular cloud service provider in the world with customers such as Siemens, Zalando, Expedia and SAP trusting in their services.
In this blog post, you will learn about how you benefit as a merchant using Shopware Cloud hosted on AWS. In cooperation with Michael Hanisch, Head of Technology at Amazon Web Services (AWS), we have dealt with various questions on the topics of security in the cloud, GDPR, Privacy Shield and global scalability, which are frequently asked by Shopware merchants and end customers.
What are the advantages for merchants, who are using the new cloud solution on Amazon Web Services?
Amazon Web Services is the most popular cloud service provider in the world and offers 15 years of experience within the retail sector, which they have also gained by running Amazon.com on AWS. It has been delivering cloud services to millions of customers around the world running a wide variety of use cases. What does this mean in connection to Shopware Cloud? Due to their extensive experience, AWS has made it possible for many retailers to easily enter online commerce – and therefore matches perfectly with the Shopware Cloud product.
When you also decide to use Shopware Cloud and AWS, you don’t have to search for another service provider, because everything you need is available in one solution:
1.) You don’t need to search for a third-party hosting provider – AWS has you covered.
2.) As a merchant, you no longer have to face CapEx (capital expenditure) costs: you can immediately use the SaaS offering after opening an account within a few clicks.
3.) The symbiosis of both systems is extremely powerful and scalable.
4.) You can benefit from frequent updates and easy access to new features and functionalities of Shopware as well as AWS.
5.) With the help of the extensions from the App Store in the Shopware Cloud, you can customize your shop to meet your needs.
Why is it relevant for merchants to use a cloud solution in times of Covid-19?
The year 2020 was a tough one for all of us. But if 2020 and the Corona crisis taught us one thing: we must be creative with challenges and be open to entering new paths. At this time, many merchants have decided to set up an online business. For a large proportion of them, it was a big step, as it was new territory. Therefore, it was and is still important that you as a merchant can trust the ecommerce solution you choose.
By choosing Shopware Cloud, merchants can reduce risk, as they don’t have to make a long-term software investment. Instead, they can use free trials, benefit from shorter contract periods, and react flexibly to market needs. Getting started with Shopware Cloud is free of charge. You only pay when you first start making sales – in the form of a small revenue share. Furthermore, you have the freedom to upgrade or cancel your plan on a monthly basis. Due to the standardized SaaS cloud-based platform and the reliable AWS hosting platform, new merchants can start their ecommerce business easily.
Why is AWS the preferred hosting provider for Shopware Cloud and how can merchants benefit from this partnership?
After the selection process, Shopware concluded that Amazon Web Services is the right service to host the Shopware Cloud Shops on.
The customer is at the focus of Shopware’s decisions. Therefore, it was important that users across the globe could set up an online shop within minutes – which is now possible with a reliable partner like AWS. The AWS Global Cloud Infrastructure is the most secure, extensive, and reliable cloud platform, offering over 200 fully featured services from data centers globally. It was also very important that the data of Shopware’s merchants is secure. Be assured that customer data security is key for Amazon Web Services: AWS does not have access to customer data and never shares any data stored on AWS with the mother company, Amazon, or any other third party.
Amazon Web Services has been leading the cloud market for more than 10 years by offering the broadest set of services and features to customers, which enables Shopware to innovate faster and enrich their platform with enhanced services like forecasting or recommendation. Shopware is now in the position to create an even more user-friendly platform for merchants to grow their business online.
Speaking of experience, all retail AWS customers benefit from innovation driven by Amazon, since new features (e. g. new machine learning services such as personalized recommendation and forecasting) are based on research carried out for Amazon, and are then made available to all AWS customers. These innovations are constantly driven forward by customer feedback. (You can learn more about how AWS innovates with retail customers and partners here.)
Moreover, for the tenth year in a row, AWS was recognized as a leader in the 2020 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure and Platform Services. Among the top 7 vendors named in the report, Amazon placed highest on both axes of measurement: Ability to Execute and Completeness of Vision. By the way, Shopware itself was also included in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce 2020.
Another value that AWS and Shopware have in common is the importance of sustainability:
- Amazon Web Services is committed to operating in the most environmentally friendly way possible and is on their way to run their global cloud infrastructure on 100% renewable energy by 2025.
- In December 2020, Amazon and AWS announced 26 new renewable energy projects that further support Amazon’s commitment to reach 80% renewable energy by 2024 and 100% renewable energy by 2030 (and potentially as early as 2025), as well as to reach net zero carbon by 2040.
How is security and GDPR handled by AWS and Shopware for the Shopware Cloud?
As you’re likely aware, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a regulation that stipulates the rules for processing personal data by most data processors, both private and public, across the European Union. Even if a company is not based in the EU but does business there, it must comply with it.
As an AWS customer, Shopware maintains full control of the merchants' content and responsibility for configuring access to AWS services and resources. This means Amazon Web Services is unable to access any end-customers data or data for other third-party purposes – they have no insights into how shops are deployed or how customers operate. All AWS services meet GDPR requirements and AWS has 500+ features and services focused on security and compliance. An important component of the partnership is that AWS supports Shopware with expert knowledge and best practices on how to secure and encrypt data to create a highly secure, scalable, and GDPR-compliant platform on AWS for the EU and international markets.
AWS uses the shared responsibility model: software vendors like Shopware are responsible for data security in the cloud and AWS is responsible for data security of the cloud. For further information, you can refer to the Shared Responsibility Model or read the Data Privacy FAQ, which details how AWS handles data security in the cloud.
What is AWS’ answer on Privacy Shield?
At AWS, the highest priority is securing the customers’ data, and AWS implements rigorous technical and organizational measures to protect its confidentiality, integrity, and availability, regardless of which AWS region a customer has selected. Additionally, AWS has industry leading encryption services that give customers a range of options to encrypt data in-transit and at rest.
Since the Court of Justice of the European Union has validated the use of Standard Contractual Clauses (SCCs) as a mechanism for transferring data outside the European Union, AWS customers can continue to rely on the SCCs included in the AWS GDPR Data Processing Addendum if they choose to transfer their data outside the European Union in compliance with GDPR. Since the so-called Schrems II ruling, AWS has even extended its contractual commitments regarding processing of customers’ GDPR data, ensuring it offers protection for all data under GDPR, whether it is transferred outside the EU or not. (Customers can find more information in this blog post by AWS’ CISO and read the additional text for the AWS GDPR Data Processing Addendum here.)
For Shopware, it is crucially important that AWS not only offers contractual commitments but also provides very fine-grained control over how and where the data is stored in the AWS cloud. Amazon Web Services assists their customers, like Shopware, directly with teams of solutions architects, account managers, consultants, trainers, and other experts in cloud security, achieve high levels of security and compliance in the cloud. With the help of AWS, it is possible to build a sustainable and secure Shopware Cloud platform.
How can Shopware benefit from new platforms like GAIA-X?
Have you already heard of GAIA-X? The project was started by several European companies to build a powerful, competitive, secure, and trustworthy European cloud and data infrastructure. It aims to build an open ecosystem where data and services can be made available and shared in an environment of trust.
AWS is a “Day 1 Member” of the GAIA-X association and has been involved with the GAIA-X project from the start, contributing expertise around cloud security and data management, among other topics. The goal is to offer AWS’ partners, like Shopware, the best foundation of infrastructure and advanced cloud services on which they can build new, innovative service offerings that can participate in the GAIA-X ecosystem. This, in turn, will allow Shopware and its customers to more easily take part in the GAIA-X ecosystem themselves, whether they want to enrich their offerings with services provided by other parties or whether they are looking to offer their own services to other GAIA-X participants.
What is the future vision for AWS and Shopware?
The second quarter of the year has just started and there are great milestones that lie ahead. First, Shopware Cloud is designed to make it as easy as possible for merchants around the world to build their own online shop. Shopware found the right partner to fulfill this mission with AWS. Another future vision is to create one product experience across every edition and distribution form. Shopware wants to make it possible for merchants to easily change their solution – no matter if a cloud or self-hosted version is used, merchants have the option of switching to a solution that meets their current requirements.
We look forward to an exciting and successful 2021 together with Amazon Web Services.