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AWS plots reseller partner programme revamp in 2018

Cloud giant plans to offer reseller partners more incentives and support through revamped channel programme next year

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is planning a New-Year revamp of its channel partner programme, with improved incentives promised for resellers who commit to specialising in its core cloud technologies.

Terry Wise, vice president of worldwide alliances, channels and ecosystems at AWS, confirmed the news during the AWS Partner Summit keynote at the cloud giant’s annual user and partner conference, Re:Invent, in Las Vegas.

The AWS Channel Reseller Programme is to be subjected to a full rebrand in 2018, when it will be renamed the AWS Solutions Provider Programme, and will feature beefed-up benefits and support for partners, Wise said.

“What customers are telling us is they want [AWS] to actually recognise and incentivise a set of partners that provide more of the specialised services [we offer],” he said.

As such, the company is planning to adopt a tiered incentive structure for its new-look partner programme, with resellers specialising in managed services, cloud migrations, DevOps and other areas set to reap bigger rewards.

“[There will be] further incentives and investments in partners working with us on the front end to bring net new opportunities to the AWS cloud,” Wise continued.

Furthermore, resellers who go above and beyond from a customer support perspective will also have their efforts recognised via the programme, he added.

“We’re going to make changes in the support model by recognising our reseller partners (who provide a great high-quality support experience) with a different economic model, and a much more flexible way in which you can offer support to our mutual customers,” Wise said.

“Collectively, these areas are going to give our channel partners the opportunity to substantially improve the profitability of their business.”

Full details about what will feature in the programme will be provided to partners, under non-disclosure agreements, in early 2018, he confirmed.

The benefits of specialisation

The benefits of pursuing specialisms in various parts of the AWS cloud services portfolio emerged as a recurring theme during the keynote, with Amazon CEO Andy Jassy claiming partners who commit to gaining accreditations in its technology tend to have better-performing businesses.

“The partners we work most closely with and having the most success with are the ones where up and down the organisation we are fully committed to building a business together,” said Jassy.

“What you need for those kind of partnerships is the right types of commitments and relationships at the senior most levels of the company, and [from] the people who are doing the [day-to-day] work. “

Accreditations and specialisations in AWS technologies have a role to play here, with Jassy flagging to partners the opportunities that exist to help enterprises with large Oracle relational database deployments move to AWS Aurora.

Launched at Re:Invent 2014, Aurora is pitched as a faster and cheaper-to-run alternative to the proprietary relational database technologies offered by the likes of IBM and Oracle, and is regularly cited by AWS as being one of its fastest-growing services.

“I don’t meet an enterprise customer who isn’t looking to flee from the old guard commercial database provider they’re using today. I don’t have one meeting where they’re using one of those providers and they aren’t looking to change,” he said.

For this reason, he said partners have to decide whether it will be worthwhile long-term for them to devote so much resource to the business units and practices they run today that are tasked with propping up these proprietary database deployments.

“Many people have these business practices, Oracle practices as an example, and I’m sure those business are good businesses, but they are not what customers want, and I challenge you to find a lot of customers using Oracle who are happy about it,” he said.

 “So you have to decide whose side are you going to be on: Are you going to be on the side of customers or are you going to be on the side of pushing an existing business that is frankly going to change regardless  of whether we want it to change or not.”

“Customers want an alternative. Help customers make that shift. Not only [to secure] huge business value for you, but to win the hearts and minds of customers. They need this shift and they want to make this shift.”

Microscope contacted Oracle for a response to Jassy’s comments, but none had been forthcoming at the time of publication.

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