What’s next for Amazon Scout?

Over the last few months, Amazon Scout has delivered thousands of smiles to customers just outside of Amazon’s headquarters in Washington state. All the while, the devices have safely and autonomously navigated the many obstacles you find in residential neighborhoods—trashcans, skateboards, lawn chairs, the occasional snow blower, and more. Scout has even made a handful of furry neighborhood friends, like Winter the cat and the excitable Irish terrier Mickey.

We’re constantly thinking through how our Scout devices will integrate into the neighborhood and delight customers. It’s the reason we developed Scout from the ground-up with safety and convenience in mind. From the design of the robotic hardware to the development of the back-end tech that operates the device.

To kick-start our journey, we created dedicated hardware and software labs in Seattle. These labs give engineers, scientists, and our operations staff the opportunity to quickly build and test the delivery devices. We don’t need to wait on external parts or software updates; we can rapidly prototype hardware components and write new code, and are able to validate our efforts in real-time.

While in the Pacific Northwest, Scout has experienced all of the region’s weather—from the expected rain shower, to the infrequent sun, and even the biggest snowstorm the area’s seen in the last decade. It’s now time for Scout to experience a little more sunshine. I’m thrilled to report that, starting today, Scout will begin to deliver packages to customers in Southern California.

We’ll start with a small number of Amazon Scout devices, delivering Monday through Friday, during daylight hours. Customers in the Irvine area will order just as they normally would and their Amazon packages will be delivered either by one of our trusted carrier partners or by Amazon Scout. The same delivery options are available via Scout including fast, FREE Same-Day, One-Day and Two-Day shipping for Prime members. The devices will autonomously follow their delivery route, and initially be accompanied by an Amazon Scout Ambassador.


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One of our favorite parts of this journey so far has been witnessing how excited customers are when they see the delivery device for the first time and how they’ve welcomed Scout into their neighborhood. In the span of a week, our Ambassadors witnessed a child ask her dad for a Scout for Christmas, and another customer ask if he could hitch his two dachshunds to Scout and use it as a dog walker. While the intent of our “adora-bots” is and will remain delivery, we couldn’t help but chuckle at these reactions. We have a lot of pride packed inside these cooler-sized devices and love to see such a positive reaction from the community.

We’re still in field test mode and our expansion to the Irvine area is just another in the many steps forward for this new delivery system. The future is right around the corner, and we couldn’t be more excited.

5,000 reasons why Nashville and Amazon are a perfect match

Riffing on his guitar, Rivers Rutherford muses about how Amazon’s investment in Nashville is like a country song. “Nashville and Amazon have been in a long courtship, one where I don’t think either realized they were courting,” he said. “I think that Nashville and Amazon have been friendly with each other, and one day they woke up and the arrow struck.”

Rutherford knows a thing or two about songwriting. His credits include multiple GRAMMYs and eight number-one songs, including the Brad Paisley and Dolly Parton duet “When I Get Where I’m Going” and “Ain’t Nothing ‘Bout You” for Brooks and Dunn. Rutherford also knows Nashville.

“We’re just now finding our feet as a city. Nashville has a very educated and motivated populace who are incredibly creative and talented,” he said. “The missing piece was a high-tech presence.”

Nighttime street scene with many neon signs featuring country music imagery.

Nashville nightlife on Lower Broadway, a historic stretch of bars that feature live country music performance.Photo By JORDAN STEAD

A man with an acousitc guitar stands in a wooded area.

Singer-songwriter Rivers Rutherford calls Amazon and Nashville “an unlikely match that turns out to be exactly perfect.”Photo By JORDAN STEAD

A man in a suit and tie stands in gentle light in front of a large decorative window.

David Ewing is a ninth generation Nashvillian and resident historian.Photo By JORDAN STEAD

Railroad tracks in the foreground and a building under construction in the background.

The redevelopment of Nashville Yards will include the future home of Amazon’s Operations Center of Excellence.Photo By JORDAN STEAD

A distant view of the Nashville skyline with a woman in the foreground and trees in the middleground.

Nashville, Tennessee.Photo By JORDAN STEAD

A man in a cowboy hat photographed trhough a window that's dominated by a neon sign.

A country music singer performs at a Nashville honky tonk.Photo By JORDAN STEAD

A man stands on a large metal bridge and plays an acoustic guitar with a city skyline behind him.

Singer-songwriter Rivers Rutherford plays his guitar on a pedestrian bridge overlooking downtown Nashville.Photo By JORDAN STEAD

A seated man plays an acoustic guitar.

Rivers Rutherford, GRAMMY award-winning singer-songwriter and Tennessee native.Photo By JORDAN STEAD

Architectural rendering of Nashville Yards development to be built to house future Amazon Center of Operational Excellence.

Rendering of the Amazon Operations Center of Excellence to be built in Nashville.

Architectural rendering of Nashville Yards development to be built to house future Amazon Center of Operational Excellence.

Rendering of the Amazon Operations Center of Excellence to be built in Nashville.1 / 10

In November 2018, Amazon announced it had selected Nashville for a new hub for its Operations business, which is responsible for the company’s customer fulfillment, transportation, and supply chain. In downtown Nashville, the company will create more than 5,000 new jobs for a variety of roles in fields such as software development, engineering, finance, legal, and human resources.

“Amazon will find that Nashville is not all boots and rhinestones. Tech is going to be a great addition,” said Rutherford.

Construction noise is its own kind of music as new Amazonian Michelle Brown walks past the company’s future office at Nashville Yards, contemplating what the investment will mean for the city that she loves. “This is an opportunity for growth and change. I get to champion Nashville, a place I’ve watched grow since the ’90s.”

David Ewing is a ninth-generation Nashvillian and historian. As a lawyer and civic leader, Ewing is passionate about documenting Nashville past and present. “It’s not just country music. It’s healthcare. It’s hospitality, it’s manufacturing. And it’s going to another level with Amazon coming in.”

Ewing also points to Amazon’s history of supporting communities where it operates. “It means jobs, it means more great companies coming to Nashville, and it also means a partner in our system of education, our not-for-profits here in town, and more industry,” he said.

Nashville’s entrepreneurial spirit struck a chord with Amazon. The city possesses a robust talent base and a history of expertise in logistics and supply chain operations with companies like Dollar General and Tractor Supply.

“Coming up with the best ideas and operating this incredibly diverse network means we need the best and brightest of people,” said Dave Clark, Amazon’s senior vice president of worldwide operations. “When we started looking around for places to open an Operations Center of Excellence, we looked at Nashville, the quality of the city, and the talent that lives in this area, and it just clicked.”

In addition to the jobs Amazon will create directly, the construction of the Nashville site and the ongoing operation of it will create thousands more jobs in building services, hospitality, and retail, generating hundreds of millions of dollars in investment in the surrounding community on top of Amazon’s $230 million direct investment.

“The thousands of people who graduate every year here in Nashville, seeking to stay in Nashville, will have another place that they can work and have their skills utilized,” said Ewing.


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With his name on number one songs by Tim McGraw, Brad Paisley, Kenny Chesney and others, Rutherford knows that the key to a good country song is the story. “If I was asked to write a song about the relationship between Nashville and Amazon, maybe it would be called, ‘The Missing Piece,’ an unlikely match that turns out to be exactly perfect.”

6 things that make Amazon a “Best Workplace for Innovators”

In support of our mission to be Earth’s most customer-centric company, Amazonians work to create products and services that help make life easier for customers. From the Kindle and Amazon Go, to Alexa and Prime, we are dedicated to providing customers with the best experiences possible. How do we make it happen? By fostering a culture of innovation among our global employees. At Amazon, innovation doesn’t take place during a moment in time—like a hackathon or an incubator—it takes place as part of everyday work.

Our guiding principles lead us in innovating for customers.

Customer obsession is where we get our energy from… wanting to do the best for our customers. At every meeting and in the midst of every decision we make, one important person is not present: our customer. We have to vigorously advocate for him/her and earn their trust—and this drives our ambition to constantly improve the customer’s experience.

A passion for invention is what drives us. We love to invent for our customers. We are externally aware, looking for new ideas from everywhere, and are not limited by “not invented here.” As we do new things, we accept that we may be misunderstood for long periods of time and may not always succeed the first time.

Long-term thinking is a core value cemented in Amazon’s history since our inception. We invest for the long term and continually refine and improve our offerings based on customer feedback. Our business today is evidence of this—some of our most successful business areas like Amazon Prime and Amazon Web Services launched many years ago. We always keep our focus on the long term value we can provide customers.

To mark our inclusion on Fast Company’s inaugural “Best Workplaces for Innovators” list, we’re taking a look at some of reasons Amazon is a great workplace for inventors.

  1. 1Empowering innovators from every level and every teamAmazonians aren’t just encouraged to come up with the next big idea; they are empowered to seek out problems and build new solutions. This shows up everywhere from our customer service centers to the halls of our corporate offices. For example, when an Amazonian, at any level of the company, has a big idea, they start by writing a working backwards plan—called a “PRFAQ” with a press release that outlines the vision for a product at launch, an FAQ that explains the customer benefits, and answers theoretical customer questions. Our teams continually evaluate the idea throughout the concept’s evolution by sharing the PRFAQ with other innovators at Amazon. Once “baked,” many of these ideas get funding and launch, and some have become programs that our customers love—including Prime NowAmazon Go, and Alexa. Anyone can write a working backwards plan, whether it’s related to their job or not.
  2. 2Thinking long term and embracing failureTo be truly focused on innovation, a company has to think long-term, and be comfortable taking calculated risks—which sometimes fail. Amazonians pilot, test, and try new products and services regularly—some succeed to great degrees, others fail and fold—but lessons learned set the stage for the next big idea. We consider Amazon “the best place in the world to fail.” Amazonians understand that if they aren’t pushing boundaries and taking risks, they aren’t innovating. To invent you have to experiment, and if you know in advance that it’s going to work, it’s not an experiment. Most large organizations embrace the idea of invention, but are not willing to suffer the string of failed experiments necessary to get there.
  3. 3Making decisions based on “one-way doors” and “two-way doors”Most companies make high-quality decisions, but do so at the cost of speed. Amazonians focus on making both high-quality and high-velocity decisions. To encourage this, Amazon talks about the importance of recognizing the difference between one- and two-way doors—or the difference between a reversible and an irreversible decision. Understanding this distinction fosters a culture of experimentation. Amazonians are comfortable trying new things, if they can agree that, in the case it doesn’t work out, the decision can be scaled back without a negative customer impact. At Amazon, we believe that most decisions are in fact two-way doors—they are changeable, reversible. If something doesn’t quite work, you don’t have to live with the consequences for that long. You can reopen the door and go back through.
  4. 4Supporting internal mobilityAmazon is a company of many startups, with teams and businesses diving into new customer creations around every corner—and we encourage employees to take advantage of the career opportunities this provides. Our Leadership Principle “Hire and Develop the Best” reminds managers to recognize exceptional talent and move them throughout the organization. Investing in broadening employee skill sets fundamentally breeds big thinking and best practice sharing. In fact, in 2018, more than 10,000 Amazonians moved internally to different businesses. Employees are empowered to chase their big ideas, sometimes by taking on, or even creating, a new role.
  5. 5Fostering creativityTo keep thinking big and bringing new ideas to the table, Amazon recognizes that creativity and innovation go hand in hand. From the company’s Expressions Lab, which provides employees with opportunities to attend art workshops and creative classes, to the Amazon Symphony Orchestra, a nearly 100 member symphony orchestra comprised of employees who perform multiple times a year for the community, Amazonians have endless opportunities to keep their creative juices flowing. And, for Seattle employees (as well as locals and visitors), The Spheres provide a one-of-a kind opportunity to be in an urban center while keeping a direct link to nature. Employees can work or have meetings among more than 40,000 plants from over 30 countries, fostering creative thinking through connections with nature.
  6. 6Cultivating the next generation of innovatorsHaving a focus on innovation means thinking beyond today. That’s why Amazon is working to help children and young adults have access to the resources and skills they need to be tomorrow’s inventors. With the Amazon Future Engineer program, the company is committed to expanding computer science education access for more than 10 million students from the start of their academic careers all the way through college, each year. The goal is to ensure more students have the chance to pursue some of the great opportunities that an understanding of computer science affords, so they can grow up to be the future generation of innovators within the healthcare field, arts, education, tech, and beyond.

Learn more about the list, and what makes Amazon such an innovative workplace.

Innovation is in our DNA, so we’re excited to be named a Best Workplace for Innovators by @FastCompany. Thanks to all the builders at Amazon who create great experiences for customers! #FCBestWorkplaces https://t.co/ySwCBlNBLV pic.twitter.com/vX4Msg7nMs

What a longtime Amazonian told his daughter before her Amazon interview

Four summers ago, Tina Barr visited her parents leading up to her day of job interviews at Amazon. “She was asking ‘So what are the secrets? What do I need to do to get ready?'” said Tina’s father, Jeff Barr, who’s been an Amazonian since 2002. “I just said to study the Leadership Principles. And my wife said, ‘Well, no, no, no. She’s your daughter. Give her the secret stuff.'”

Jeff and Tina laugh about the moment now — partly because Tina’s career path since then has made her an expert on how true her dad’s next words to her mom were. “I said there really isn’t any secret,” Jeff said. “You need to be sure you can express yourself in terms of the Leadership Principles. If they resonate with you, and if you can express yourself in those terms, you’re probably going to have a pretty good day of interviews here.”

A woman with long brown hair.

Tina Barr has been an Amazonian since August 2015.Photo By JORDAN STEAD

A man with short gray hair.

AWS Chief Evangelist Jeff Barr has been an Amazonian since 2002.Photo By JORDAN STEAD

A man and a woman sit at a conference room table. A golden retriever climbs up and greets the man.

Thanks to Amazon’s dog-friendly culture, Tina is able to bring her dog, Carlos, to work with her.Photo By JORDAN STEAD

A woman leads a dog through a metal gate. A man follows.

The Barrs lead Carlos inside the dog park.Photo By JORDAN STEAD

A child's drawing shows a man working at a computer. Speech bubbles show someone saying "Dad tuck me in!" and the man saying "One second Tina."

A Tina Barr original from the Barr family archives. Tina grew up knowing Jeff found his work interesting — and that she could count on him to come tuck her in at bedtime.1 / 5

Growing up, even though her dad’s passion for his work was obvious to her, Tina hadn’t ever pictured herself wanting a job at Amazon. “I never was interested in tech,” she said. “I originally went to school for journalism, and then I ended up switching to community health.”

She joined AmeriCorps after college and was working for a non-profit north of Seattle when she realized that the pace was all wrong for her. It felt like she was in the same meeting every week and that nothing ever changed. It was pretty much the opposite of what she knew of Amazon, where a bias-for-action culture drives progress. She wondered for the first time if she might enjoy working there. Not long after, she applied for a job on Amazon’s recruiting team.

Tina had seen her dad offer advice and encouragement to job-seekers curious about Amazon, even literal strangers who knew his face from his highly visible work as the chief evangelist for Amazon Web Services (AWS) and approached him on the street. Now that she was the one hoping for a job at Amazon, she did what the gregarious strangers had done, picked her dad’s brain, and got his standard-issue advice on how crucial the Leadership Principles would be to her day of job interviews.

“I had a piece of paper with every LP,” Tina said. “And I would do the STAR method – Situation Task Action Results. It’s just a way to share stories so it’s easy to understand. I wrote out all of my stories that I could think of from school and from work.”

A few days after her interviews, she was driving home from her non-profit job when she got a call from Amazon. She listened, said thank you, said goodbye, hung up, and screamed. Then she called to tell her dad that she, too, was going to be an Amazonian. “I remember him saying he had tears in his eyes. He was just so excited.”

“It was mostly knowing that there was a lot in store for her,” Jeff said. “There are so many ways to make a good career here, just so many different options.”

Tina is now a recruiter for AWS, and like her dad, she talks to job candidates a lot.

“I prep them for their interviews, and I always say, ‘The Leadership Principles are the most important thing. Make sure you read through them. They’re not just something that’s up on our website. You actually live them at work.'”

Amazon Leadership Principles

Customer Obsession

Leaders start with the customer and work backwards. They work vigorously to earn and keep customer trust. Although leaders pay attention to competitors, they obsess over customers.

Ownership

Leaders are owners. They think long term and don’t sacrifice long-term value for short-term results. They act on behalf of the entire company, beyond just their own team. They never say “that’s not my job.”

Invent and Simplify

Leaders expect and require innovation and invention from their teams and always find ways to simplify. They are externally aware, look for new ideas from everywhere, and are not limited by “not invented here.” As we do new things, we accept that we may be misunderstood for long periods of time.

Are Right, A Lot

Leaders are right a lot. They have strong judgment and good instincts. They seek diverse perspectives and work to disconfirm their beliefs.

Learn and Be Curious

Leaders are never done learning and always seek to improve themselves. They are curious about new possibilities and act to explore them.

Hire and Develop the Best

Leaders raise the performance bar with every hire and promotion. They recognize exceptional talent, and willingly move them throughout the organization. Leaders develop leaders and take seriously their role in coaching others. We work on behalf of our people to invent mechanisms for development like Career Choice.

Insist on the Highest Standards

Leaders have relentlessly high standards — many people may think these standards are unreasonably high. Leaders are continually raising the bar and drive their teams to deliver high quality products, services, and processes. Leaders ensure that defects do not get sent down the line and that problems are fixed so they stay fixed.

Think Big

Thinking small is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Leaders create and communicate a bold direction that inspires results. They think differently and look around corners for ways to serve customers.

Bias for Action

Speed matters in business. Many decisions and actions are reversible and do not need extensive study. We value calculated risk taking.

Frugality

Accomplish more with less. Constraints breed resourcefulness, self-sufficiency and invention. There are no extra points for growing headcount, budget size, or fixed expense.

Earn Trust

Leaders listen attentively, speak candidly, and treat others respectfully. They are vocally self-critical, even when doing so is awkward or embarrassing. Leaders do not believe their or their team’s body odor smells of perfume. They benchmark themselves and their teams against the best.

Dive Deep

Leaders operate at all levels, stay connected to the details, audit frequently, and are skeptical when metrics and anecdote differ. No task is beneath them.

Have Backbone; Disagree and Commit


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Leaders are obligated to respectfully challenge decisions when they disagree, even when doing so is uncomfortable or exhausting. Leaders have conviction and are tenacious. They do not compromise for the sake of social cohesion. Once a decision is determined, they commit wholly.

Deliver Results

Leaders focus on the key inputs for their business and deliver them with the right quality and in a timely fashion. Despite setbacks, they rise to the occasion and never settle.

Amazon responds to Hurricane Dorian disaster

Update: Amazon has completed the first of its two Amazon Air flights to the Bahamas. To date, Amazon and its customers donated cash and over 300,000 relief items – a combined worth of $1 million – to Hurricane Dorian relief efforts in the Bahamas and the US. Donated items included clean up kits, personal hygiene products (toothbrushes, toothpaste, wipes), clothing and undergarments, food items, and recovery materials (tarps, ropes, solar lanterns, water supply).

In response to Hurricane Dorian’s devastation of the Bahamas, the Disaster Relief by Amazon team is mobilizing two Amazon Air flights, full of tens of thousands of relief items such as tarps, buckets, and water containers, for upcoming departures.

Amazon associates prepare items to distribute in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian.

Amazon associates pack requested supplies for those devastated by Hurricane Dorian.Photo By JORDAN STEAD

Amazon associates prepare tarps and other products for those impacted by Hurricane Dorian.

Amazon associates pack requested supplies for those devastated by Hurricane Dorian.Photo By JORDAN STEAD

Amazon associates prepare items to distribute in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian.

Amazon associates pack requested supplies for those devastated by Hurricane Dorian.Photo By JORDAN STEAD

Amazon associates prepare items to distribute in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian.

Amazon associates pack requested supplies for those devastated by Hurricane Dorian.Photo By JORDAN STEAD

Amazon associates prepare items to distribute in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian.

Amazon associates pack requested supplies for those devastated by Hurricane Dorian.Photo By JORDAN STEAD1 / 5

Hurricane Dorian hit the Bahamas as a Category 5 hurricane with winds reaching 185mph, which matched the highest-ever recorded at landfall, and stayed over affected areas for two days. In the country of about 400,000 people, local officials estimate that more than 70,000 are homeless and in need of food, water, and shelter.

Amazon is shipping relief items donated by Amazon and its customers from its fulfillment centers (warehouses) around the country to an Amazon Fulfillment Center in Tampa where they will be packed, transported to the Tampa air gateway, and loaded onto the Amazon Air planes for Nassau. Amazon’s nonprofit partners—the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Mercy Corps, and the Grand Bahama Disaster Relief Foundation—will distribute the supplies to those in need.

“We form relationships with disaster-relief nonprofits, and we ask them, ‘What do you need? What’s the challenge or gap?'” says Trang-Thien Tran, principal product manager for Amazon disaster relief. “We look at how we can uniquely help; how can we apply what Amazon has already built for our regular business, but use it for disaster relief? We are able to leverage all of Amazon’s products and services.”

In addition, Amazon launched new Wish List campaigns, specifically curated by its nonprofit partners for customers who want to purchase items and support the relief efforts. Customers may also make cash donations, donate supplies directly to nonprofits for the Bahamas and Carolinas, or just say, “Alexa, donate to Hurricane Dorian relief at American Red Cross.”

Recently, Amazon fulfilled a request from the Florida State Emergency Response Team and sent products that provide sensory aid and support for displaced individuals who are in unfamiliar and uncomfortable environments. Amazon also provided 60,000 bottles of water to two Florida food banks. In addition, Amazon donated items like mosquito nets, sunscreen, and insect repellent to International Medical Corps to outfit their medical teams supporting communities affected by the storm. Amazon has also hosted cash and Wish List campaigns for customers over the last week.

Through its Disaster Relief by Amazon team, Amazon has supported 10 natural disasters in 2019 so far. And since 2017, Amazon, its employees and customers donated an equivalent of more than $15 million in product and cash for 25 disasters around the world.

GST: What it means for the Common Man?

With the Rajya Sabha passing all the four GST bills in the parliament a week back, the nation’s biggest and revolutionary tax regime GST (Goods and Services Tax) is all set to become a reality soon. Boasted as the most subversive tax reform in the country after independence, GST is expected to curb transactional costs by introducing a unified tax system stirring economic growth in the long run.

With the prospects that GST would improve the GDP by a couple of percentages, the reform in its entirety might come with a mixed bag of surprises for the common man.

Talking about its long-term impact, GST should mark a positive impact on most sectors. Based on the GST implementation experience derived from other nations, India might experience an inflationary impact especially during the transition stage, which is expected to fade with the rollout of measures such as anti-profiteering.

Yes, with the inclusion of anti-profiteering along with other counteractive measures, GST should lead to reduced cost for most of the supplies to the end-users in the long-run.

Here’s a quick look at what the GST could mean for the common man:

Services that are likely to become expensive include:

  • Mobile phone bills
  • Premiums for life insurance plans
  • Investment management and banking services
  • Online ticket booking services
  • Basic luxuries such as DTH services

Prices of the following essential services are also likely to go up:

  • Healthcare
  • Residential rentals
  • School and educational fees
  • Rail/metro commute
  • Courier services

Services that might see a price drop in most of the states are as follows:

  • As the GST council has decided to include entertainment taxes in GST, movie tickets might turn cheaper in most of the states across the country.
  • Dining out in restaurants/hotels may turn pocket-friendly in several states.

Vehicles and certain essential goods to witness price drop:

Under the GST tax system and the current supply chain ecosystem, the following might get cheaper:

  • Two wheelers
  • Luxury and SUV or premium cars
  • Entry level sedans excluding small cars

Minimal impact:

Basis of the current supply chain landscape and other associated indirect taxes, the common man can expect marginal impact on white goods such as:

  • Stoves
  • Washing machines
  • Televisions
  • Shampoos
  • Toothpastes
  • Soaps

Prices of sin goods and aerated drinks to go up:

The government with its determined outlook towards injurious/sin goods, proposed a high tax rates on ‘sin goods’ that include cigarettes, aerated drinks and tobacco products. With a higher tax rate of around 40%, these goods may witness steep rise in their prices.

Here’s the four-tier GST tax rates

Positive impact lurking around the corner, expected in long-term!

Whilst the afore-mentioned forecasts are based on the statements/data released by government officials and authorities, it would be good to wait for the final verdict on the fitment that the GST council and government will release for a wide range of supplies and services. Nevertheless, with the enablement of anti-profiteering and other counteractive measures, GST is expected to curb costs for most.

Disclaimer: All the opinions, views and information conveyed in this blog are those of the author and its sources and in no way reflect the principles, views or objectives of Sage Software Solutions (P) Ltd.

GST Network Safe from Ransomware Threat, says GSTN CEO

Amidst the ongoing ransomware hoopla that has inflicted more than 150 nations all over the world including Russia and UK, the GSTN or the Goods and Services Tax Network that offers IT infra for GST tax regime is safe, said Prakash Kumar, CEO for GSTN. This is because the Goods and Services Tax Network does not run on the vulnerable operating system.

Post the historic decision from Rajya Sabha when it approved all the four GST bills earlier this year in April, the Goods and Services Tax Network is all geared up for handling approx. 2+ billion invoices every month under the revolutionary tax system.

The ransomware has mostly inflicted computers and systems running on older version of Microsoft OS like XP.

Clarifying further, Mr. Kumar said to PTI, “Our network doesn’t run on Microsoft operating system and thus, we are safe from the malware. GSTN runs on Linux operating system, which is not inflicted by the ransomware threat.”

The Goods and Services Tax Network further assured its stakeholders that all the information/data will be securely stored in encrypted form and that access would be strictly limited to assessing officers and taxpayers only.

Around 60 lakh VAT, service tax and excise assessees have already enrolled onto the Goods and Services Tax Network’s portal between November 2016 to April 2017. At present, there are an estimated 80 lakh such assessees.

Coming on to Good and Services Tax regime, the GST council expects the inflation rates to drop as the new tax system is expected to bring down production and transportation costs. Talking of its impact, GST would not only benefit big players, but will also make it easy for small and medium –sized enterprises to do business in a smooth way. Post GST rollout, taxation will become easy and direct, thus boosting investment.

Statistics suggest that more than 2 lakh computers and systems could have been inflicted by the malicious ransomware, but for GSTN, there seems to be no threat as of yet.

Disclaimer: All the information, views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the authors and their respective web sources and in no way reflect the principles, views or objectives of Sage Software Solutions (P) Ltd.