Amazon Web Services Tightens Partner Program

Called the AWS Partner Network (APN), the program, now in beta, invites partners to qualify for "Standard" or "Advanced" tiers when the beta closes later this year.

An Amazon spokesperson said the APN program builds on the existing program. "AWS has been working with partners for years, but as our business has grown to working with thousands of partners around the world, we've restructured to establish a standard global set of partner tiers," the spokesperson said.

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The program includes independent software vendors (ISVs), SaaS and PaaS providers, developers and security vendors, as well as professional services firms that help customers design, architect, migrate, or build new applications on AWS, the company said.

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One partner said that with the changes, Amazon is creating a more focused partner network as it expands its cloud services.

"This is a way Amazon is sort of weeding out their partners, separating those who really take an interest in Amazon, rather than partners that just want to have marquee status without having a lot of business with them," said Kevin Chu, director of systems and infrastructure with digital marketing and technology company, Digitaria, based in San Diego, Calif.

"It's their way of assuring all their partner are committed to the partnership and are knowledgeable, can speak to the partnership and can implement (services)," Chu said.

Previously, requirements for registering as an ASW partner were less stringent, he said.