Amazon Web Services CEO Jassy: The Most Committed Partners Will Have The Biggest Cloud Opportunities

AWS CEO Andy Jassy took the stage Tuesday during the AWS re:Invent Global Partner Summit keynote to describe the traits of partners enjoying the most success, share how AWS would further enable their practices, and take some swipes at Oracle for good measure.

Jassy told partners that commitment to developing competencies and specializations was the key to seizing the enormous opportunity the cloud has created for the channel.

"The time is now," Jassy said. "This is the time where a lot of the landscape is going to get carved up."

[Related: 10 Red-Hot Products From AWS re: Invent2017]

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The customers he talks to see the shift to cloud as an opportunity to rethink their existing applications. They're going to engage in that process with partners they see as committed to presenting them with deep knowledge of technologies and industries.

"Don’t dip your toe in the water," Jassy advised the thousands of partners who gathered in Las Vegas. The largest technological shift of their lifetimes was happening, he told them, before asking, "do you want to play a big part or do you want to play a little part?"

The opportunity created by the cloud is largest for firms offering expertise around specific solutions, especially machine learning, the Internet of Things, and databases, Jassy said.

"The vast majority of the world is not using machine learning the way they want to," Jassy told partners. "A lot of it has to do with the tools that we're giving customers to do machine learning are much harder than they need to be."

To make adoption of that technology "explode," Jassy said, AWS and its partners have to make tools accessible and easy to use for everyday developers and scientists.

IoT is another massive opportunity as billions of connected devices proliferate around the world.

Jassy said he sees hybrid cloud ultimately not involving private servers, but those edge devices, which disproportionately need cloud because of their limited CPU capacity and storage.

AWS will keep delivering tools to enable connecting more devices to the cloud and allowing them to scale.

"When I think of net new opportunities, the conversation starts with being able to get data from assets in the field and to be able to analytics on it," he said.

On the database side, Jassy said, "I don’t meet an enterprise who isn't looking to flee from the old-guard commercial database provider that they're using today."

If there was any doubt as to who he was talking about, he elaborated.

"I challenge you to find a lot of customers using Oracle who are actually happy about it," Jassy told partners.

Maybe solution providers have good Oracle practices, but that is not the solution that customers want, he said, returning some of the trash talk Oracle founder and CTO Larry Ellison lobbed toward AWS at his company's recent conference.

"You have to decide who's side you want to be on," Jassy told partners.

AWS allows them to build practices around Amazon Aurora, a MySQL and PostGreSQL compatible database that's grown faster than any other AWS service.

Jassy shared the cloud leader's vision for partners

"From the very start of when we imagined the business, we always felt the partner ecosystem was going to be incredibly strategic to our business," he said.

Enterprises moving to a new medium like cloud want trusted partners who can help them do it safely, and they want to use the same software they were running on-premises. Amazon will keep making substantial investments in the business to enable those partners, he said.

AWS will close 2017 having added some 1,300 new services and features.

"The gap in functionality is continuing to widen" between AWS and other cloud providers, he said.

AWS' 42 percent growth rate is deceiving. While competitors are growing faster, AWS now boasts an $18 billion run rate, which means the actual dollar growth in revenue far surpasses other providers.

Moreover, the company is experimenting with new ways to drive business, including broad-scale advertising on television and displays in public venues. That is good for partners as well, Jassy said.

The industry is still in the early stages of enterprise and public-sector adoption, he said, "but it's moving very quickly."

Regional integrators and born-in-the-cloud solution providers have impressed him in driving that surge, Jassy said, giving a shout out to a few channel partners, including 2nd Watch, Relus Cloud and Slalom Consulting.

Partners like those that are enjoying the most success have wholeheartedly committed to "building a business with AWS and helping customers change how they operate their IT," Jassy said.

Those commitments and relationships need to span the organization, from senior management to field engineers, he said.