AWS Launches Migration Competency

Amazon Web Services on Wednesday launched a competency around cloud migrations, splitting the program into several categories that recognize the distinctions between various types of consulting and technology partners.

The competency for the first time certifies partners of the world's largest cloud provider to execute migrations to the cloud for enterprise customers, a practice that should only ramp up as cloud adoption scales in coming years, partners told CRN.

The program kicks off with an inaugural group of 23 systems integrators and nine software developers.

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Last October, Terry Wise, AWS' vice president of alliances and channels, first mentioned the competency in a keynote for the Global Partner Summit -- the opening event for the fourth AWS re:Invent conference. At the time, he said the credential for consulting and technology partners would be similar to what AWS had already done with DevOps and managed services.

Jeff Barr, chief evangelist for AWS, noted in a blog published Wednesday that Amazon already provided its partners with migration tools like the AWS Database Migration Service and the AWS Professional Services Cloud Adoption Framework.

But the AWS Migration Competency was intended to make it easier for enterprise customers to find partners that have proven their technical proficiency in conducting cloud migrations with those tools.

"Migration Competency Partners provide solutions or have deep experience helping businesses move successfully to AWS, through all phases of complex migration projects, discovery, planning, migration and operations,’ Barr said.

The competency is split into several categories.

On the implementation side, Amazon announced 17 Migration Delivery Partners, certified to help customers with every stage of the migration. That list includes many of AWS' largest partners, such as 2nd Watch, Accenture, Cognizant Technology Solutions, CSC, Cloud Technology Partners and Logicworks.

Another group of six channel partners falls into the category of Migration Consulting Partners, those who provide expertise and training to enterprises around specific outcomes and capabilities, like adoption of DevOps practices, but don't conduct the entire migration.

AWS also introduced three classes of technology partners -- those for Discovery & Planning, Workload Mobility and Application Profiling.

Flux7, a systems integrator based in Austin, Texas, that specializes in delivering DevOps and Internet of Things solutions on the backbone of Amazon's cloud, is one of the initial six Migration Consulting Partners.

CEO Aater Suleman told CRN he and his colleagues particularly like how Amazon drew a line between delivery and consulting expertise.

"It draws an important distinction between companies who provide the day-to-day services of actually taking the VM contents and migrating them, versus companies like Flux7 who choose to focus more on the automation and building a 'migration factory' for the customer to do the migrations on their own terms," Suleman said.

Delivery Partners are good for customers who prefer to have a seamless migration managed by a third party. Consulting Partners are a better fit, Suleman explained, for those "who want to learn how to fish and plan to take control of their infrastructure and also improve their environments along the way."

The competency overall is extremely important as public cloud adoption becomes more widespread and more organizations plan large-scale migrations.

"Flux7 has seen more and more of these requests this year and have fashioned solutions specifically to such requests," Suleman said.

AWS, seeing the same demand in the market, launched tools including AWS Service Discovery and AWS Data Migration to facilitate migrations, he said.

"This migration competency is the next logical step in that direction, where AWS has recognized partners with specific skills and technologies that can act as the go-to partners for enterprises looking to migrate," Suleman said.