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New AWS IQ Creates On-Demand Marketplace For Cloud Experts

‘We built AWS IQ to serve as a bridge between our customers and experts, enabling them to get to work on new projects faster and easier, and removing many of the hassles and roadblocks that both groups usually encounter when dealing with project-based work,’ says AWS Vice President Swami Sivasubramanian.

Amazon Web Services debuted a new service to help customers locate AWS-certified, third-party cloud experts for on-demand consultations and project-based work.

AWS IQ allows customers to choose what services they need and write a description of their project on the AWS IQ console, and then get direct responses from independent experts and Amazon Partner Network consulting partners willing to tackle the jobs—whether it’s choosing the prime architecture for a workload, setting up a shared set of keys and user accounts for some EC2 instances, automating the deployment of infrastructure, migrating to the AWS cloud or optimizing AWS spending.

“Many of our customers, especially small businesses and entrepreneurs, tell us that they have projects in mind that could really transform their businesses, but they need additional expertise to help them build these projects faster,” AWS Vice President Swami Sivasubramanian said in a statement. “At the same time, we have an incredible community of knowledgeable and passionate AWS-certified experts who offer exactly what these customers need to achieve their business goals. We built AWS IQ to serve as a bridge between our customers and experts, enabling them to get to work on new projects faster and easier, and removing many of the hassles and roadblocks that both groups usually encounter when dealing with project-based work.”

Experts must have at least one active associate, professional or specialty AWS Certification and complete an identity check to register on the AWS IQ site. They also must live in U.S. and have U.S. banking and tax information to be approved by AWS.

“Applications from several hundred would-be experts have already been reviewed and accepted,” AWS chief evangelist Jeff Barr said in a blog post announcing the new service. “We’ll continue to add more as quickly as possible.”

Customers, who can be based anywhere in the world except China, can review each expert’s profile, and their ratings and reviews from other projects on which they’ve worked.

The experts are encouraged to respond to customer requests with proposals on how they’ll complete the jobs and their expected charges. Customers can monitor responses in the console, talk with prospective experts using AWS IQ’s tools for encrypted chat or videoconferencing, and indicate they’re no longer accepting new proposals.

Customers can temporarily grant experts access to their AWS environment once a project begins, monitor their activity through AWS CloudTrail logs and revoke access when needed. Customers are billed and can make payments to experts through their AWS account, and the AWS IQ project cost will be added as a line item on their AWS bill.

Customers are asked to submit feedback after a project is completed. Public feedback becomes part of the expert’s profile, and the AWS IQ team reviews private feedback in confidence.

"As an AWS Advanced Partner, we love working with customers on complex projects, but we also spend a big portion of our time tracking down leads, getting set up with customers, managing billing and tracking payments,” said Yosef van Bemmelen, co-founder and head of business development for Elementryx, a New York City-based AWS Advanced Consulting Partner specializing in DevOps and infrastructure as code. “Because AWS IQ connects us directly with clients and streamlines tricky processes like billing, we can spend less time worrying about back-office tasks and more time doing the work we enjoy ... and that produces direct value for clients."

AWS IQ is the “missing link” between AWS customers and AWS experts, according to Henrik Balle, principal and lead cloud enterprise architect at I/O Merchant, a Milton, Ga.-based cloud solution provider focusing on AWS.

“As an AWS expert, AWS IQ will help me better help my customers where they have very targeted needs, are struggling to get started with the cloud or are wanting to accelerate their cloud presence without committing to new full-time resources,” Balle said.

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