AWS: The channel really matters

The public cloud giant has been expanding its channel base and is keen to work with more resellers and ISVs

Amazon Web Services has talked up the importance of working with the channel as it continues to expand its reseller base.

The public cloud giant has a long track record with ISVs, which contribute solutions to its marketplace, but it has also been increasing the number of resellers and consultancies it works with to reach enterprise customers.

Barry Russell, general manager, AWS Marketplace and Service Catalog at AWS, said that the channel had grown in importance to AWS.

"If you look at what AWS and the Amazon Partner Network (APN) team have built around the consulting partner and the channel community they have thousands of partners now that fall into all sorts of different disciplines. In 2017 they added something like 10,000 new partners to the APN," he said.

Russell added that it had been breaking things down into competencies like security and yesterday launched its latest one, machine learning.

"Those channel partners are helping the AWS field and the pro cert team to migrate and help customers and even build new applications on top of AWS," he said.

Many of the software vendors in the AWS marketplace have their own mature channels and Russell said that it was important that customers buying through that process had the channel to work with.

"We have done things like enabling channel programmes and incentive programmes and enabling the channel partner to receive

Enterprise contract and private offers

AWS has taken steps to try to make life easier for partners and customers and has introduced a couple of initiatives over the past six months.

Private offers provides vendors selling services on AWS with the option through their partners to give users special pricing.

The latest step is to simplify SLAs by bringing out an enterprise contract that has a core of standardised legal terms that should cut down by months the time it takes for a deal to be finalised.

the approriate compensation from the ISV for the opportunity that they bring," he said.

"What we find when we talk to customers, public sector and enterprise, is that they want a partner. Not only to sell them the software product as a reseller but also help them with configuration, implementation and integration into hybrid environments," he added.

Russell said that its channel business was growing and it was recruiting both resellers and ISVs but it was also looking to ensure that those currently signed up were given the chance to sell a wide range of products.

One of the other efforts the firm is making is to encourage some of the large software vendors it works with to make their full portfolio available on AWS.

"If you are a channel partner selling to a customer that is going to be operating on AWS you want that full suite of product in the catalog. You don't want to have to say no to the customer that the product is not available in the cloud today," he said.

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