Google Cloud’s Rob Enslin Takes Shot At AWS Multi-Cloud Blackout

‘AWS does not allow or approve use of the terms “multi-cloud,” “cross cloud,” “any cloud,” “every cloud” or any other language that implies designing or supporting more than one cloud provider,’ the inaugural AWS Co-Branding Guide states.


Google Cloud’s lead sales executive has taken aim at a new Amazon Web Services guide that forbids AWS partners from using “multi-cloud” or references to multiple cloud computing providers in their co-branded marketing materials.

AWS this week released the inaugural AWS Co-Branding Guide, which provides guidelines for AWS Partner Network members doing approved joint marketing campaigns with AWS.

“AWS does not allow or approve use of the terms ‘multi-cloud,’ ‘cross cloud,’ ‘any cloud,’ ‘every cloud’ or any other language that implies designing or supporting more than one cloud provider,” the guide states. “In this same vein, AWS will also not approve references to multiple cloud providers (by name, logo, or generically).”

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Robert Enslin, Google Cloud’s new global customer operations president since April, responded with this tweet yesterday: “Multi-cloud is a reality for many customers, and we embrace openness and choice. #Anthos,” and a link to CRN Australia’s original report on the guide’s prohibitions.

Unveiled in April, Google Cloud’s hybrid and multi-cloud Anthos platform with application delivery and management capabilities that extend beyond customers’ on-premise data centers and Google Cloud to competitors’ third-party clouds, including those of rivals AWS and Microsoft Azure.

AWS did not respond to requests for comment.

Its co-branding guide, which is for APN partners at the Select tier and above and AWS Marketplace Sellers with approved co-branded activities, also lists other “don’ts” for partners, including disparaging AWS or the cloud, and promoting competitors or their offerings.

“These guidelines apply only to co-branding, where AWS goes to market with an APN Partner, and the AWS brand is communicated alongside the APN Partner brand,” the guide states, noting that failure to follow the guidelines “will result in AWS requiring the APN Partner to rectify the non-compliant use, or possibly revoking the APN Partner’s rights to use AWS trademarks in its marketing collateral.”

With regard to cloud security and performance, AWS partners are advised not to use statements that “could insinuate that AWS or the cloud in general is not secure, not scalable, not reliable, not cost-effective, not accessible, not performant, etc., without the APN Partner’s or AWS Marketplace Seller’s feature, product or benefit. Focus messaging on how the APN Partner’s product, service or offering complements AWS.”

AWS will not approve the use of the words “partner,” “partnership,” “partnering” and “alliance” to describe the AWS relationship with a partner within the context of joint engineering or co-development. “Alternative language such as ‘agreement,’ ‘teamed,’ ‘in cooperation with,’ ‘working with’ or ‘relationship’ is approvable,” the guide states.

AWS also won’t approve unsubstantiated statements about a partner being “the best,” “the first,” “the only,” “the leader,” etc., “unless it can be clearly substantiated by third-party research.”

APN Messaging and Branding Guide

AWS’s new APN Messaging and Branding Guide, also released this month to replace the former APN Marketing Toolkit, lists similar no-nos for partners’ general marketing materials that reference AWS.

“AWS does not allow or approve use of the terms ‘multi-cloud,’ ‘cross cloud,’ ‘any cloud,’ ‘every cloud’ or any other language that implies designing or supporting more than one cloud provider,” that guide states. “If you prefer not to refer to AWS specifically, you may reference ‘the cloud’ or ‘your cloud.’ Note that architecture diagrams or graphics showing multiple cloud providers (by name, logo or generically) will also not be approved.”

While AWS may approve partners using the terms “hybrid,” “hybrid architecture” and “hybrid cloud” in their messaging, those terms can’t be used to describe AWS under the guidelines.

“When describing your solution related to a hybrid cloud architecture, please describe it as extending or connecting an on-premises environment to AWS,” the guidelines state. “AWS does not approve the use of the terms ‘AWS hybrid’ or ‘AWS hybrid cloud.’”

Partners also must refrain from stating that their solutions run “in” AWS.

“It is more appropriate to reference that it runs ‘on’ AWS,” the guide states. “Stating that something runs ‘in’ AWS makes it sound more integrated than it actually is. Similarly, please don’t use the word ‘integrated’ or ‘integrates’ to describe how your technical solution works with AWS services.”

APN Partners shouldn’t even refer to their companies as an “AWS Partner,” which also is not an approved term.

“APN Partners can refer to themselves, or be referenced as, an APN Partner or member of the APN, but the first reference -- depending on whether Amazon Web Services (AWS) has already been introduced in the copy -- should say ‘AWS Partner Network (APN).’ After the first use, APN or AWS Partner Network are acceptable terms,” the APN Messaging and Branding Guide states.