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Economic Slowdown? Not For Partners At AWS re:Invent 2022

Mark Haranas, Steven Burke

‘We do not see the impact of a potential recession on our AWS growth,’ says Tata Consultancy Services Vice President Krishna Mohan Reddy. ‘In fact, we have tripled our AWS growth over the last 18 months. The reason is the economy does impact overall IT but not cloud investments.’

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Amazon Web Services partners said they expect continued robust growth in 2023 even with the potential of a recession hanging over the industry.

In fact, AWS partners said they are seeing triple-digit growth rates with no signs of a slowdown ahead. Several top executives told CRN they see a potential recession driving even stronger cloud sales growth. The optimistic outlook from AWS partners comes with the cloud behemoth upping its partner game with more co-selling, training and other partner initiatives.

[Related: Adam Selipsky: Why Partners Should Pick AWS Vs. Cloud Rivals]

“We do not see the impact of a potential recession on our AWS growth,” said Krishna Mohan Reddy, vice president and global head of Tata Consultancy Services’ (TCS) AWS business unit , which has 45,000 employees. “In fact, we have tripled our AWS growth over the last 18 months. The reason is the economy does impact overall IT but not cloud investments. That’s because companies have to reinvent themselves when they are in recession mode, and cloud is core and integral for innovation in business models, new revenue channels and for taking the waste out of IT. Any way you look at it, cloud is key. Cloud investments are continuing.”

Mohan Reddy said he expects continued exponential growth in TCS’ AWS business in 2023. In fact, he said, last week he met with the board of directors of a customer that is looking to invest several hundred million dollars in a cloud solution. “That’s because cloud has evolved to what we call ‘Cloud 2.0,’ which focuses on future-proofing the business,” he said. “Cloud 1.0 was more about future-proofing technology architecture. Cloud 2.0 is focused on building new business models and driving revenue and customer experience through industry solutions. Our TCS differentiation is our ability to bring business and industry contextual knowledge to cloud solutions.”

Case in point: a TCS AWS cloud migration for Avis Budget Group that allowed transactions to scale 20 times bigger and increased time to market by 20 percent. “That is Cloud 2.0,” said Mohan Reddy.

Another example: a TCS edge computing AWS cloud solution for Rallis India Limited that improved crop yields by increasing the amount of land Rallis could monitor by 23 times. In addition, real-time monitoring increased from four hours to under 30 minutes.

Red-hot AWS partner Triumph Technology Solutions is on pace to grow AWS sales at an astonishing 500 percent in 2022 compared with 2021.

Victor Raymond, CEO of Philadelphia-based Triumph Technology Solutions, said AWS sales and customer momentum has withstood anything the economy has thrown at them.

“We’re continuing to grow and scale in a global pandemic, a pending global recession—it doesn’t matter. We’re still growing with AWS. We’re still hiring. There’s no hiring freeze. No layoffs,” Raymond told CRN at AWS re:Invent.

“Without AWS leaning into us and us leaning back into them, we definitely wouldn’t have had the success that we’ve had over the past few years,” said Raymond.

Raymond said the cloud opportunity ahead is the “modern-day gold rush” in terms of revenue growth and new customer opportunities.

“Even going into next year with financial uncertainty in the economy, the cloud is the place to be,” said Raymond. “And AWS is the cloud to be on.”

Major Growth With Cloud Giant

AWS is the worldwide market-share leader in cloud services, owning 34 percent share of the global market as of third-quarter 2022, according to data from Synergy Research Group.

Microsoft ranks No. 2 in global market share at 21 percent, followed by Google Cloud at 11 percent.

ThinkStack, a fast-growing Cockeysville, Md.-based AWS partner, is on target to increase its annual AWS sales upward of 80 percent in 2022.

“We’re completely in tandem with AWS—we work together side by side,” said Zachary Hill, CTO of ThinkStack. “We chose AWS years ago because we ourselves are a team of strong engineers. We love the best in engineering. And AWS was, and is, the best in engineering.”

Hill also said AWS’ channel partner strategy is second to none.

“Working with AWS is phenomenal. The bidirectional communication, the back and forth that we have with our team at AWS is amazing,” he said. “Business has been going really, really well.”

D55, one of AWS’ top consultancy partners in the United Kingdom, grew its sales by 25 percent in 2022, a record, and expects to grow another 25 percent next year, said Jonathan Rothwell, co-founder and director of D55, which this year won AWS’ prestigious Gameday World Championship competition. That world championship pits the top AWS partners in an AWS solutions competition aimed at demonstrating the technical prowess of AWS partners.

“We’re not seeing any dropoff or slowdown,” said Rothwell. “I am really positive about the future. Because of the savings we provide companies with our solutions, there is a large demand for our services. When the economy gets tougher, companies are looking to save money and be more operationally efficient. That brings more clients to us.”

D55’s serverless computing solutions on AWS bring as much as 80 percent savings for companies modernizing their applications, said Rothwell. “It’s huge cost savings,” he said. “That amounts to hundreds of thousands of pounds in British dollars. Serverless computing is reducing costs on the AWS platform. It is providing massive cost efficiencies.”

D55 is seeing strong adoption of the AWS serverless compute solutions it develops with small and medium enterprises, said Rothwell. “Speed to market is driving this growth,” he said. “We are writing apps in six to nine months for these companies that would have taken a couple of years to write just a couple of years ago. We are consuming more AWS services like AWS EventBridge [serverless event router] so our application development is getting quicker. AWS is introducing new services and breaking new ground all the time.”

Demand For Cloud Continues

Trend Micro, a $2 billion security powerhouse that has won AWS Marketplace Global Partner of the Year award, posted 150 percent growth on AWS Marketplace with its partners in 2022 and expects to see another 100 percent-plus growth in 2023, said Trend Micro COO Kevin Simzer.

“The demand for cloud is there even in a down economy,” said Simzer. “Customers want to transform. They want to do things differently. They are moving more and more applications to the cloud and now is the time to do it.”

Trend Micro has built an AWS Marketplace cloud security platform that is resonating with customers and partners, said Simzer. “We started this journey with AWS 10 years ago,” he said. “We have the most comprehensive and the largest security platform on the AWS Marketplace. AWS has been a fantastic partner. We partner from a sales, marketing and product engineering standpoint. Literally our product engineering team has been working collaboratively with AWS for the last eight years. We have rebuilt our Trend Micro ecosystem for the AWS Marketplace.”

The key to Trend Micro’s success is going to market hand in hand with its partners through the AWS Marketplace, said Simzer. “It takes a village to fight threat actors, that includes partners,” he said. “It was important for us to bring our partners along in the AWS Marketplace journey.”

Simzer said he could not be more excited about the future growth prospects for Trend Micro’s AWS Cloud Marketplace business. “We’re just getting started,” he said. “2023 looks really strong.”

Integra Technologies, an AWS Advanced Consulting partner that won AWS Innovation Partner of the Year for Europe, Middle East and Africa, grew at an exponential rate in 2022 and expects to continue to see robust growth in 2023, said Rajesh Soman, CEO of Integra.

“We have seen an enormous uptick in our business,” he said. “We have been growing exponentially in 2022, and we expect to continue that in 2023.”

Integra worked with ekar, the Middle East car-sharing company, to implement a new AWS solution that supported a tenfold increase in revenue while at the same time reducing infrastructure and development costs by 30 percent.

Integra’s expected strong growth in 2023 is due in part by the launch this year of a new AWS data center in the United Arab Emirates that is accelerating cloud adoption in the United Arab Emirates and the Middle East, said Soman. “We have our own region in the United Arab Emirates; that is going to accelerate migration to the cloud,” he said.

That AWS data center ensures data sovereignty in the United Arab Emirates, said Soman. “That is a windfall,” he said.

AWS Innovation Is Key

Cognizant, the systems integration behemoth, is driving double-digit AWS sales growth as a result of its industry solution focus, which is providing big competitive advantages for customers, said Tiran Dagan, CDO and head of Industry Solutions for communications, media and tech.

“Companies are looking for more efficient ways to do business,” he said. “Their business is transforming at the same time it is contracting. That requires a combination of vertical industry transformation along with technology innovation.”

Cognizant is making heavy investments in vertical industry solutions that are resonating with customers, said Dagan. “That is bringing a lot more value to our customers,” he said. “It’s not a commodity play to shave a couple of dollars off in one particular area of services. This is about helping customers keep pace with an industry that is disrupting itself.”

Dagan praised AWS as one of the most innovative cloud providers working with global systems integrators to “bring to life” game-changing industry solutions. “AWS has one of the most sophisticated telco cloud offerings, but unless you can help the telco customers understand how to monetize that, it is just technology,” he said. “We translate it into a use case and help the customer make more money from their investments. Now you are bringing a higher value proposition and not just a technical solution.”

Databricks, which has won wide acclaim for its innovative data lakehouse platform, is not seeing any kind of slowdown in the cloud market, said Tony Gilbert, global vice president of sales and go-to-market clouds for Databricks, which won AWS’ Data and Analytics Latin American Partner of the Year and Federal Government Partner of the Year awards.

“The cloud market is growing substantially; customers as always are looking to leverage the cloud for better total cost of ownership,” he said. “Data and AI is growing and cloud is growing considerably. Databricks is growing and still hiring. … It’s still early in the big data market and Databricks continues to lead with innovation around Lakehouse.”

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