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AWS, Slalom Unveil Joint Cloud Launch Centers

This is the first time AWS and Slalom’s joint customers will have the experience of working with them at the same time, in the same location, solving the same problem, says Michael Cowden, president of Slalom Build.

Amazon Web Services and consulting firm Slalom will open joint Launch Centers to help accelerate enterprise customers’ cloud migrations and modernize their information technology services.

The first three AWS/Slalom Launch Centers will open Jan. 1 in Seattle, Chicago and Atlanta, with plans to open up to 10 in total in 2020 and progress up to 25 centers by 2022. Other targeted locations include Boston, Denver, Dallas, Toronto, London and Melbourne, Australia.

“We will dedicate resources from Slalom Build, we'll dedicate people from the Slalom consulting practices that exist within the markets, and we'll dedicate people from AWS Professional Services [ProServe] to be co-located in those Launch Centers,” said Michael Cowden, president of Slalom Build.

It's the first time AWS and Slalom’s joint customers will have the experience of working with them at the same time, in the same location, solving the same problem, according to Cowden.

“That's the magic behind these Launch Centers,” he said. “Usually AWS will go in first … they'll do some work with a customer, they'll bring in a partner afterwards, and that is the relationship. In this case, it's going to be, from start to finish, a joint team of AWS and Slalom together.”

The global, multiyear partnership is the next step in the evolution of Slalom’s 11-year relationship with AWS. Slalom is an AWS Premier Consulting Partner and counts the cloud computing provider as its top technology partner.

“Last year, we really created a specific relationship with ProServe, where we were going to jointly go after customers in different regions in North America,” Cowden said. “That has evolved into ‘let's go even farther and turn this into a full-blown partnership where we make commitments to each other and launch Launch Centers.’ It's basically two friends that are getting together and saying, ‘Let's get an apartment together and do some really amazing things.’”

The partners will carve out and brand Launch Center space within Slalom Build’s existing Build Centers in targeted markets. Mutual AWS and Slalom customers will be able to temporarily relocate their IT employees to work from the Launch Centers with Slalom and AWS.

Enterprises are looking to achieve their target business outcomes faster by transitioning to a modern, optimized, cloud-based model, according to Todd Weatherby, AWS' vice president of professional services.

“The AWS/Slalom Launch Centers will help enterprises around the world to transition their organizations, processes, applications and infrastructure quickly, using best practices and a unique, immersive experience,” he said.

When customers migrate to the cloud, the first 25 percent or so of their workload is pretty easy to do, but they often have trouble moving beyond that, Cowden said

“A lot of times it's organizational,” he said. “They haven't modified their organization to work in a modern technology paradigm. Those are the customers we're going after—the customers that are stuck. The customers that want to maximize the investment that they've made in the cloud and really transform their business and become modern technology organizations.”

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