AWS heralds growth of channel involvement with its Marketplace

Public cloud player has seen channel numbers grow over the last three years following its move to make it easier for them to connect with customers

AWS is marking close to a decade of running its Marketplace and has used its re:Invent event to underline the progress it has made, particularly over the last few years with channel partners.

The public cloud giant kicked off its channel element to the Marketplace in 2018 and followed that up with a move to allow partners to charge for a greater range of services last year. The whole thing started with about 12 partners and AWS now works with more than 1,000.

The firm has added more support for data exchange and containers at its event this week but also discussed the importance of feedback to the progress of its Marketplace from partners and customers.

Stephen Orban, general manager of AWS Marketplace and Control Services at AWS, said the business worked back from the needs of partners to make sure it was delivering the right innovations.

“To get from 12 to over 1,000 partners, we have had to do a lot of work, that is working backwards directly from the channel partner,” he said.

Orban added that AWS continues to invest in making things easier for the channel at the back end: “Over the last couple of years, we’ve driven an unmatched amount of offer automation into that supply chain, to the point where most of our large channel partners now are doing large books of business with us.”

He said the pandemic had fuelled greater adoption of cloud, but the market had already been heading in that direction before the coronavirus arrived and many customers understood the sales pitch and the agility and speed that was on offer from an AWS environment.

A big part of that agility was the Marketplace and the partnerships the firm had forged with the channel and software-as-a-service (SaaS) communities, said Orban.

“We work with more than 2,000 sellers, who have now listed more than 12,000 offerings that more than 325,000 customers buy, either direct from the seller or from one of the more than 1,000 consulting partners of their choice,” he said.

“When you sum all that up, we’ve seen billions of dollars of products and services sold through AWS Marketplace this year alone. And it’s not just the new workloads. Many of our partners are telling us that they’re able to land and expand larger contracts faster when going to market with AWS.

“I feel fortunate, as the leader of the marketplace business, that so many customers see the value in moving to the cloud and are asking us for more and more features and capabilities to help them get there faster with the partners that they want to use.”

The development of Marketplace

2012: AWS launches its Marketplace to give customers self-service access to AWS machine instances that they can deploy on their own accounts running open source and OS software.

2014: AWS launches an annual subscription option so users can get a year or more usage at a discounted rate.

2016: AWS metering service gives SaaS partners the chance to list and price their software on dimensions other than time, including number of hosts, data scanned or number of endpoints.

2017: Private offers made available so customers can negotiate directly with partners.

2018: Channel partner private offers made available so customers can deal with resellers and MSPs.

2019: Data Exchange gives customers the chance to have the same experience as buying software applied to licensing data.

2020: Professional services offerings give the option to pay for professional services in the same way as software is paid for.

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