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AWS CEO Adam Selipsky On Gartner Magic Quadrant Allegations, Andreessen Horowitz Cloud Cost Claims And Egress Fees

Amazon Web Services CEO Adam Selipsky, in an exclusive interview with CRN, disputed Gartner Magic Quadrant allegations that AWS uses high-pressure sales tactics; called the controversial Andreessen Horowitz report on the cost of cloud computing “highly misguided” and referred to AWS egress fees as an issue that customers have not raised in any “material way.”

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Doubling Down On Partners

Amazon Web Services CEO Adam Selipsky said the company is “absolutely” doubling down on the channel as the longtime cloud market leader ramps up its investments in co-selling with its 100,000-plus ecosystem partners.

“We’re really just entering the meat of adoption of the cloud, and as we get there, and we move more and more into that mainstream and into very use case-specific and industry-specific needs, the importance and the role of the partner ecosystem will only continue to increase,” Selipsky said in a nearly hour-long conversation at AWS’ Seattle headquarters in October.

Selipsky, the former president and CEO of Tableau, took over as AWS CEO in July when Andy Jassy stepped aside to replace Jeff Bezos as the CEO of parent company Amazon.com.

The AWS partner ecosystem is a “distinguishing strength” against rival Microsoft, Selipsky told CRN.

“The fact that AWS has a 100,000-partner ecosystem strong and growing rapidly, the fact that we work so deeply with these partners, the fact that we invest so many resources both technically as well as [in] headcount in creating really strong, compelling partner relationships, all go into making the experience for our customers much better—whether they’re working with ISVs (independent software vendors), whether they’re working with systems integrators or business consultants, or whether they’re working with distributors or solution providers,” he told CRN.

Selipsky said he sees AWS leveraging partners to drive deeper into vertical markets, including telecommunications, consumer goods and financial services, as customers demand more “targeted” cloud solutions.

“I think it will be really important that we have really strong partners in every significant industry vertical,” he said. “We’ll continue to add a lot of partners in each of those areas. I hope a few years from now we’ll have done an even better job in terms of providing capabilities to make it really easy for partners to onboard, to skill up and ultimately to serve end customers with us in a very seamless way.”

As to whether AWS has any target on the percentage of revenue it wants to drive with partners, Selipsky said there is no “quantitative” goal. “I want us to serve each customer in the way that’s best for that customer,” he said. “In some cases, that will mean a very light partner element; in other cases, it’ll mean a deep partner contribution where the partner is even leading the relationship and leading the engagement.”

Here are some of the edited highlights from Selipsky’s no-holds barred, wide-ranging interview with CRN.

 
 
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