AWS re:Invent Wrap-up: 15 Huge Products And Partner Launches
From new AWS hardware and AI products to new partner tools and channel incentives, here are the 15 most important launches at AWS re:Invent that you need to know.
AWS launched dozens of new hardware, software and partner-focused products last week at AWS re:Invent 2023 as the $92 billion company looks to shake up the cloud computing, artificial intelligence and channel industries.
Not only did AWS unveil new processors and cloud storage products, but the $92 billion cloud giant introduced a slew of AWS partner new tools, reseller benefits and channel incentives. There were also several new generative AI-focused launches, including Amazon Q and new features to Amazon Bedrock.
“GenAI is the next step in artificial intelligence,” said AWS CEO Adam Selipsky during his re:Invent keynote. “And it’s going to reinvent every application that we interact with at work and at home.”
At AWS re:Invent 2023, AWS’ global channel chief Ruba Borno unveiled new partner competencies, offerings and tools aimed at helping customers realized their business transformation dreams.
“The trick to maintaining a sense of wonder is to always be curious,” said Borno, vice president of worldwide Channel and Alliances, during her keynote. “And the key to accomplishing your dreams is to have the best team behind you. And I’m talking about the best partner network supporting you every step of the way. AWS is here for you, to help our customers and your customers, realize those dreams.”
CRN breaks down the 15 most important new product launches and AWS partner news at re:Invent 2023 that every solution provider needs to know about.
AWS Graviton4 Processors
In one of the biggest announcements at re:Invent 2023, AWS unveiled its new Graviton4 chip.
“Graviton4 is the most energy-efficient chip that we have ever built,” said AWS CEO Adam Selipsky.
Compared to Graviton3 chips, the new Graviton4 has 50 percent more cores and 75 percent more memory. AWS said 96 Neoverse V2 cores, 2 MB of L2 cache per core and 12 DDR5-5600 channels work together to make the Graviton4 up to 40 percent faster for databases, 30 percent faster for web applications and 45 percent faster for large Java applications than the Graviton3.
AWS created a new Amazon EC2 instance powered by Graviton4 processors, dubbed R8G instances, aiming to provide the best price/ performance for memory-optimized workloads. R8G instances are ideal for memory-intensive workloads such as databases, in-memory caches and real-time big data analytics. The new Graviton4 AWS processors also support all of the security features from the previous generations and includes some important new ones, including encrypted high-speed hardware interfaces and Branch Target Identification (BTI).
New AWS Reseller And Distributor Incentives And Benefits
AWS introduced new benefits to help AWS resellers and distributors to up-level their resell capabilities, including a new Foundational Technical Review to help new partners adopt AWS best practices when reselling AWS services.
Additionally, AWS unveiled a new Customer Engagement Incentive (CEI) with the addition of growth discounts to improve reseller profitability and reward AWS revenue growth from end customers in the early stages of AWS adoption.
Other new reseller benefits include a Public Sector Discount when reselling against government end-customer opportunities, as well as a simplified incentive structure by transitioning the Partner Growth Rebate from credits to discounts for partners and distributors.
These new reseller and distributor benefits aim to simplify discount payments and improved profitability. They will be implemented into the AWS Solution Provider Program during the first quarter of 2024.
Click through to read the 13 other new AWS products and partner launches.
In a major artificial intelligence announcement at re:Invent 2023, AWS launched Amazon Q, a new generative AI-powered assistant designed for work.
Customers can use Amazon Q to have conversations, solve problems, generate content, gain insight and take action by connecting to their company’s information repositories, code, data and enterprise systems. The new GenAI collaborative assistant helps business users complete tasks using simple natural language prompts.
Amazon Q provides access controls that restrict responses to only using data or acting based on the employee’s level of access and provides citations and references to the original sources for fact-checking and traceability. Customers can choose from among more than 40 built-in connectors for popular data sources and enterprise systems, including Salesforce, Amazon S3, Google Drive, Microsoft SharePoint, ServiceNow and Slack.
Amazon Q is currently available for Amazon Connect and will soon be integrated into other AWS services.
New Partner Dashboard And Planning Tool To Drive Scale And Efficiency
AWS launched two new tools for partners in a move to provide a more seamless experience that helps them engage be more efficient, including the new Up-levelling Partner Analytics Dashboard.
The new dashboard tool provides a single pane of glass that tracks performance across a partners’ AWS business, including sales pipeline health and insights, AWS Marketplace engagement score, insights on new investments, soon-to-expire cash fund requests, and marketing campaign effectiveness.
AWS also launched a new Business Planning tool to accelerate collaboration and co-selling with AWS.
The planning tool will centralize and standardize business planning process and template to track it digitally in the AWS Partner Central experience. This removes the need to have multiple conversations with different AWS teams or access multiple systems. AWS is releasing the Business Planning tool in phases for partners with mature AWS businesses and will continue to scale it across different business models throughout 2024.
Amazon One Enterprise
AWS last week launched Amazon One Enterprise, which is a new managed service that provides accurate and secure access control through an biometric identification device.
Amazon One Enterprise enables organizations to provide a contactless experience for employees and other authorized users to gain access to physical locations—like data centers, offices and buildings—as well as digital assets such as restricted software resources such as financial data and HR records.
AWS said Amazon One Enterprise eliminates operational overhead associated with the management of traditional authentication methods like badges and PINs. IT administrators can easily install the Amazon One devices and manage users, devices and software updates in the AWS Management Console.
Security is built into every stage of the service, from multi-layered security controls in the Amazon One device to protection of data in transit and in the cloud. Amazon One Enterprise combines palm and vein imagery for biometric matching and delivers an accuracy rate of 99.9999 percent. The new service’s palm-recognition technology uses AI and ML to create a palm signature that is associated with identification credentials.
IT and security administrators can install Amazon One devices on-site and activate them in the AWS Management Console. Administrators can also manage all aspects of user authentications in the console, including monitoring the status of installed devices, managing software updates, and getting analytics on user enrollment and usage.
AWS Marketplace 3 Percent Fee; New Marketplace Tools
To help partners build self-service revenue streams in AWS Marketplace and drive profitability, AWS is reducing listing fees to three percent for partners selling on the online marketplace.
“We’re announcing a flat fee structure of 3 percent,” said Ruba Borno, AWS global channel chief. “In some cases, if the customer or the partner has a large private pricing agreement with AWS, it’s even lower.”
The AWS Marketplace pricing change goes into effect Jan. 1, 2024.
Additionally, AWS launched a new AWS Partner CRM Connector that allows partners to manage both ACE and AWS Marketplace Private Offers and resale authorizations from within a single Salesforce app.
Also unveiled at AWS re:Invent, partners can now set up the SaaS Quick Launch feature to help reduce time-to-value for customers buying SaaS products in AWS Marketplace. This enables customers to buy, configure, and launch SaaS products on AWS in minutes.
AWS Built-In Competency For Partners
At AWS re:Invent 2023, AWS introduced the AWS Built-In Competency which helps customers find partners solutions that automatically deploy AWS foundational services together with the partner software to simplify and streamline the deployment experience.
The Built-In Competency integrates partner software with AWS services. By streamlining the integration process, AWS enables a unified and cohesive experience for customers which can eliminate the complexity of combining different software and data sources.
AWS Built-in Competency partners install, configure, and integrate with key foundational AWS services using a Modular Code Repository in an automated deployment package validated by AWS experts, increasing time to value. This automated integration is independently verified by AWS and saves hours, days, or even weeks of vendor integration testing, AWS said.
Available in the AWS Marketplace, AWS Built-in Partner solutions are designed to automate, configure, and scale across multi-account environments following AWS best practices.
Guardrails For Amazon Bedrock
In terms of new AI security, AWS launched Guardrails for Amazon Bedrock in a move to implement safeguards customized to a business’ application requirements. AWS touts it Bedrock platform as the easiest way for businesses to build and scale generative AI-based applications.
The new Guardrails offering evaluates user inputs and foundational models (FM) responses based on use-case-specific policies and provides an additional layer of safeguards regardless of the underlying FM.
“It has capabilities to safeguard your generative AI applications with more responsible AI policies. So now you have a consistent level of protection across all of your GenAI development activities,” said Selipsky.
Guardrails can be applied across FMs, including Anthropic Claude, Meta Llama 2, Cohere Command, AI21 Labs Jurassic and Amazon Titan Text, as well as fine-tuned models. Customers can create multiple guardrails, each configured with a different combination of controls, and use these guardrails across different applications and use cases.
Guardrails can also be integrated with Agents for Amazon Bedrock to build generative AI applications aligned with responsible AI policies.
AWS PartnerEquip Series
AWS launched a virtual and live events series set for early 2024, dubbed the AWS PartnerEquip series, that will help partners enhance their technical capabilities and build a co-sell strategy with AWS experts.
AWS PartnerEquip is an event series designed for AWS Specialization Partners to gain access to strategic and confidential content, including product roadmaps, feature release previews, and demos. The series aims to help partners deepen and standardize their engagement with AWS go-to-market teams.
AWS said PartnerEquip consolidates and simplifies the four benefits provided to Specialization Partners: APN Immersion Days, Roadmap transparency, SMB Cloud Academy, and Deeper Learning virtual events.
The series will include virtual and live events starting early 2024. PartnerEquip Live will have 13 tracks spanning three regions. Partners across the globe can attend live events in their region or tune in virtually for onDemand content and live Q&As.
Amazon WorkSpaces Thin Client
AWS debuted its new Amazon WorkSpaces Thin Client device for virtual desktop access for a price tag starting at $195 per device.
The workspace hardware has purpose-built firmware and software, an operating system engineered for employees who need simple and secure access to applications in the cloud, and software that allows IT to remotely manage it.
Amazon WorkSpaces Thin Client is optimized for the AWS Cloud. For the first time, AWS adapted a consumer device, the Fire TV Cube, into an external hardware product for AWS customers.
“At first glance, it may look like a Fire TV Cube,” said Amazon in a blog post. “For a significant portion of the workforce, some form of remote and hybrid work is here to stay, particularly in industries such as customer service, technical support and health care. … Employees need quick, reliable access to a variety of business applications and data—regardless of where they are working. Enter the Amazon WorkSpaces Thin Client.
The devices are sold through Amazon Business, the company’s B2B marketplace, with customers being able to order preconfigured hardware.
Enhanced Migration Acceleration Program For Partners
AWS is enhancing its Migration Acceleration Program (MAP) to help partners elevate their customer migration projects and scale investments to large deals, AWS said. The standard MAP construct is available to services partners with the Migration Competency or relevant workload specialization.
At AWS re:Invent, the company said it is simplifying the experience for partners with a cash and/or credit combination investment. Additionally, AWS is streamlining the approval process in the Partner Funding Portal as part of MAP.
Lastly, AWS is introducing additional incentives where additional funding is needed above the lift-and-shift, including greenfield and modernization projects. This means partners can make more margins on deals.
These MAP changes will be in the Partner Funding Portal in AWS Partner Central by the middle of 2024.
Amazon S3 Express One Zone
On the cloud storage front, AWS unleashed Amazon S3 Express One Zone, a high-performance, single-Availability Zone storage class purpose-built to deliver consistent single-digit millisecond data access for customers’ most frequently accessed data and latency-sensitive applications.
With S3 Express One Zone, storage automatically scales up or down based on a customer’s consumption and need, while users no longer need to manage multiple storage systems for low-latency workloads.
“Amazon S3 Express One supports millions of requests per minute, with consistent single-digit millisecond latency—the fastest object storage in the cloud,” said AWS’ CEO. “And up to 10 times faster than S3 standard storage.”
While AWS customers have always been able to choose a specific AWS Region to store their S3 data, S3 Express One Zone enables them to select a specific AWS Availability Zone within an AWS Region to store their data.
Customers can choose to co-locate their storage with their compute resources in the same Availability Zone to further optimize performance. Data is stored in a different bucket type—an S3 directory bucket—which supports hundreds of thousands of requests per second.
Amazon SageMaker Enhanced For AI And ML
Amazon SageMaker was injected with four new capabilities to help accelerating building, training, and deployment of large language models (LLMs) and other AI foundation models.
The new SageMaker HyperPod feature reduces time to train foundation models by up to 40 percent by providing purpose-built infrastructure for distributed training at scale.
The new Amazon SageMaker Inference reduces foundation model deployment costs by 50 percent on average and latency by 20 percent by optimizing the use of accelerators.
Additionally, SageMaker Clarify now makes it easier for customers to evaluate and select foundation models quickly based on parameters that support responsible use of AI.
Finally, new no-code Amazon SageMaker Canvas capabilities launched aim to help customers accelerate data preparation using natural-language instructions and model building using foundation models in just a few clicks.
“From accelerating training, optimizing hosting costs, reducing latency, and simplifying the evaluation of foundation models, to expanding our no-code model-building capabilities, we are on a mission to democratize access to high-quality, cost-efficient machine learning models for organizations of all sizes,” said Bratin Saha, vice president of AI and Machine Learning at AWS in a recent blog post.
Solutions Building Enablement
To help partners build and validate their solutions with AWS, the company launched Solution Building Enablement for all partners at no cost.
Solution Building Enablement provides prescriptive steps to build and validate industry and/or use case solutions. It includes reference architecture, validated open-source codes, and go-to-market (GTM) resources.
Last year, AWS launched a preview of the Partner Solution Factory with self-serve templates and guidance. After testing the self-serve templates and framework with AWS partners across different use cases and geographies, AWS is expanding it to all partners with Solution Building Enablement.
The goal is to better help customers who are increasingly looking for business outcome solutions as technology spending shifts to the line of business buyer. Solution Building Enablement is now available in AWS Partner Central.
Amazon Bedrock Revamped
Amazon’s flagship generative AI platform, Bedrock, was injected with several new features, including a new fine-tuning capability to securely customize foundation models (FMs) with a business’ own data in Bedrock to build applications that are specific to its domain, organization and use case.
With fine-tuning, customers can increase model accuracy by providing their own task-specific-labeled training data set and further specialize FMs.
With continued pre-training, users can train models using their own unlabeled data in a secure and managed environment with customer- managed keys. This enables customers to create unique user experiences that reflect their company’s style, voice and services.
Also announced at AWS re:Invent, was that Agents for Amazon Bedrock is now generally available. The offering helps customers accelerate GenAI application development by orchestrating multistep tasks. Knowledge Bases for Amazon Bedrock is also now generally available.