AWS Life Sciences Star PTP: ‘Everyone’ Is Moving ‘Science Into AWS’

“Life science organizations are saying, ‘How do I take all this data that I’ve collected from instrumentation from the lab, get it in AWS, and then how do I apply those AWS services around Data Lake, analytics and AI/ML? How do I leverage those AWS services to do my research faster?’” says Ethan Simmons, managing partner at Pinnacle Technology Partners.


As cloud opportunities in the red-hot life sciences market heat-up, Pinnacle Technology Partners is reaping the benefits as businesses are flocking to AWS for their science needs.

“Everyone is trying to move their science into AWS,” said Ethan Simmons, managing partner of cloud consultancy and AWS services superstar Pinnacle Technology Partners. “Life science organizations are saying, ‘How do I take all this data that I’ve collected from instrumentation from the lab, get it in AWS, and then how do I apply those AWS services around data lake, analytics and AI/ML? How do I leverage those AWS services to do my research faster?’ That’s what’s really driving our conversation. It’s all about increasing the pace of innovation or increasing the pace of research so they can come up with and develop drugs or therapies faster.”

Norwood, Mass.-based Pinnacle Technology Partners (PTP) earned its AWS Life Sciences Competency from the public cloud giant and is unlocking the potential of the cloud for some of today’s most innovative life sciences companies.

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Although achieving the prestigious AWS competency wasn’t easy, the rewards have been worth it thanks to some big life science deal wins with AWS engaging with PTP on many opportunities.

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PTP’s Winning Strategy With Customers And Employees

PTP is able to “meld the IT and science pieces” together for life sciences companies thanks to its expertise in AWS, cloud security and having not only IT staff on hand, but science experts as well.

“We have people on our team that know the science. So our conversations are with the chief scientists, not with the IT director. So when say, ‘Hey, Mr. Scientist, you’re doing this type of research. You probably want to run X, Y, Z applications to do your research. We have expertise in helping run those applications in AWS.’ That’s where we’re gaining credibility,” said Simmons (pictured above). “It’s not at the IT level, it’s at the application level, at the science level.”

Another key strategy to the success of PTP was “morphing” its internal staff from being traditional networking professionals to true AWS architects.

With its all-star AWS skilled staff, the solution provider is winning more deals than ever.

One of PTP’s special sauces to winning deals and keeping customers is its focus on cloud security, cloud cost optimization and improving a businesses’ ability to compete against larger competitors via AWS access.

“It’s about how do we do this in a way that’s secure, and cost optimized, and well governed for these research companies that have limited staff? They’re leveraging the same resources that a Pfizer or Moderna or Johnson & Johnson have because they have access to AWS. They’re trying to take advantage of that to play with the big boys by leveraging those capabilities,” said Simmons, who has three decades of experience in the channel and IT space.

PTP is providing a slew of services to customers including compliance requirements around regulations and HIPAA in a cloud-based environment.

Moving HPC To AWS

A channel partner that achieves an AWS Life Sciences Competency must prove the company’s ability to drive innovation and improve efficiency across the pharma value chain, including cost-effective storage and compute capabilities, advanced analytics and patient personalization mechanisms.

PTP does just that—and more.

The life sciences industry has been on the rise over the past several years thanks to a surge in new products and technology, along with an influx of capital from both public and private investors. One key trend PTP is witnessing is life science customers looking at moving high-performance computing (HPC) to AWS.

“People are moving high-performance computing to AWS. For us, it’s more around life sciences and research, but taking advantage of those capabilities to do HPC-type level computing at a cost that these smaller life science companies can handle and consume,” said Simmons. “From an opportunity standpoint, it’s been great because there’s just so much opportunity out there with AWS for HPC.”

AWS has been investing in HPC over the years in order better enable customers to run large, complex simulations and deep learning workloads in the cloud via its suite of HPC products and services—from analytics to machine learning—on AWS. Notable services include Amazon EC2, Elastic Fabric Adapter, AWS ParallelCluster and AWS Batch, to name a few.

Advice For AWS Channel Partners

Simmons is bullish about AWS’ innovation engine and maturing partner program and channel strategy.

His advice for fellow AWS partners is not to simply resell AWS, but to add value on top with differentiated professional and managed services.

“We really had to go out and expand our AWS capabilities. For example, there’s only around 12 or 13 of us in North America that have Life Sciences Competencies, which was a grueling process, but worth it,” said Simmons. “That has brought far more value than just a regular AWS partnership. So you really have to do something within the program that makes yourself stick out to win business.”