Published: December 9th, 2016

LAS VEGAS – After releasing more than a 1,000 offerings in 2016, AWS announced three different channel programs. The three plans are called AWS Service Delivery Program, the APN Public Sector Partner Program, and the VMware Cloud on AWS Partner Program. APN is AWS’s designation for AWS Partner Network, the Seattle-based cloud giant’s umbrella channel program.

To support these three channel programs AWS also unveiled two brand new competencies that target solution providers with expertise in the Financial Services sector and with Internet of Things (IoT). And, inside the AWS portal site for partners, there will be an APN Partner Solutions Finder, where customers can search for and connect with authorized AWS channel partners.

Dorothy Copeland, the AWS Channel Chief, told CDN these three plans are designed to provide value back to the customer. “When I look at this it’s about how will the customer be impacted by things when they go through a channel partner,” she said.

The AWS Service Delivery Program is meant for consulting and technology partners who have passed technical specifications and have a validated track record of customer success with a specific AWS service. This program has more than 150 partner created solutions and practices currently across 15 categories, including Amazon Alexa, Amazon API Gateway and Amazon Aurora.

Dorothy Copeland
Dorothy Copeland

Copeland is also taking a non-traditional way of authorizing channel partners by not using revenue requirements. Instead AWS is basing its tier on technical requirements. AWS does have traditional channel program offering such as deal registration.

“We like to encourage partners to add their own value beyond just reselling,” she added.

The second program, AWS Public Sector Partner Program is designed for solution providers who cater to government business along with the education sector and non-profit organizations. This area has about 350 partners.

Finally, the VMware Cloud on AWS Partner Program builds on the new strategic alliance between AWS and VMware. For more on this read CDN story on AWS unveils its on premise strategy; sort of

Copeland, who describes herself as a non-traditional channel chief, said partner expansion is a focus for the company this year going into next year.

Profitability for partners is also one of her focuses running the main global channel program. Copeland said AWS runs profitability studies for its channel and found, with SaaS, partners can achieve the same types of margins as with on premise solutions, but while margins stall with on premise solutions they can surge with SaaS and in some instances can reach a 70 per cent.

One strategy she has seen partners use to increase margins is by adding services along with migration in a managed service.

“We are creating a program and an ecosystem at the speed of the cloud. The interesting thing about the partners is that 60 per cent of them are located outside the U.S. The growth of our partners are now headquartered outside the U.S. and the consulting partner revenue has increased by 90 per cent in terms of the AWS spend,” she said.

Copeland also pointed out that not all the AWS channel ecosystem is made up of born in the cloud partners. There are several of those such as CloudReach, 2nd Watch and Vancouver’s own TriNimbus. But, Copeland said there are about as many partners who are re-born in the cloud such as DataPipe, LogicWorks. CloudReach is headquarter in London, but has an office in Vancouver.

In Canada, Toronto’s IT Methods is one of those re-born in the cloud solution providers.

“Many partners and MPS have pivoted over to AWS rather than creating their own data centre,” she said.

Jarrod Levitan, the chief cloud officer of TriNimbus, said the company makes money in three ways including the one Copeland suggested. TriNimbus works to inject professional services or project work that helps customers take advantage of the AWS Cloud. Most of the time it involves a high-level migration or full on implementation services including DevOps. They also resell AWS services.

“We do managed services in a modern way. If you look at traditional MPSs they just manage up to the OS. AWS takes that away and enables us to focus on what the customer cares about. That to me is modern,” Lavitan said.