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AWS Rebrands Partner Program, Unveils New Competencies As Cloud Giant Deepens Its Commitment To The Channel

At re:Invent, AWS channel chief Terry Wise revealed brand-new resources, as well as a rebranded reseller partner program that acknowledges the evolution of channel partners who are looking to expand their profitability with Amazon.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is calling the channel to action with a slew of new resources, as well as a rebranded partner program.

"Collectively, these new areas are going to give our channel partners the opportunity to substantially expand their profitability of their businesses … It's some very exciting program changes that you have been asking for, for a few years now," Terry Wise, vice president of worldwide alliances, channels and ecosystem at AWS told the packed audience of channel partners during the Global Partner Summit at AWS re:Invent 2017 on Tuesday.

Customers are moving to AWS faster than ever before, but not without highly-skilled help. That's where the AWS' partner community is leading the way. AWS is doing its part by giving solution providers the resources they need to be successful in not only selling, but building, migrating, and managing AWS environments for their customers, Wise explained.

[Related: AWS re: Invent: Cloud Migration Services A 'Massive' Opportunity For Solution Providers]

At the same time, the channel reseller model is evolving. As such, Wise announced that the popular AWS Channel Reseller Program would be known as the AWS Solution Provider Program in 2018.

AWS wants to improve its program to incentivize partners to participate, have more access to support and make it easier to contract with AWS.

"We're going to recognize our reseller partners who are providing great, high-quality support experiences with a different economic model, and a much more flexible way you can offer support to our mutual customers," Wise said.

AWS also introduced a new, tiered incentive structure within the program to target and highlight partners with specific competencies, such as DevOps and migration.

The AWS Partner Network (APN) has added more than 10,000 new consulting and technology partners in 2017. AWS is taking notice, and wants to give partners resources to go deeper with customers, Wise said.

"This has been an area of massive investment across AWS and is growing for us," Wise said. "We have tens of thousands of certified solutions architects within the partner community, and over 100,000 accredited people within the community. It should be no surprise that the partners who are committed to training and certifications are growing their businesses disproportionately faster than those who aren't."

Specifically, partners participating in the AWS Competency program are seeing 100 percent year-over-year growth in their businesses on average compared to solution providers who are not taking advantage of the certifications, Wise said.


Telos, a cybersecurity solution provider, is taking advantage of many of the certifications that AWS offers the partner community today to become a stronger subject matter expert in the eyes of its customers, said Stephen Horvath, vice president of strategy for Telos.

"It's really hard to just dip a toe in cloud and become successful," he said. "You have a build a strong organization of experts."

AWS is investing in partners that invest equally in mastering its technology, added Richard Tracy, chief security officer for Telos.

"As AWS sees us making investments in their technology, you get more of their attention. You get the might of AWS working with you to expand your company," Tracy said.

According to Amazon, the AWS Competency Program highlights APN Partners that have demonstrated technical proficiency and proven customer success in specialized solution areas.

AWS in 2018 will be launching new competencies based on partner feedback, AWS' Wise revealed, including a blockchain, container, and end-user computing competency. As of Tuesday, the cloud giant also rolled out a new "network" competency.

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