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The Top Things To Know About Becoming An AWS Partner

‘Our pace of innovation and what we offer to partners really is more significant than any of our competitors,’ says Kelly Hartman, the global head of the AWS Partner Network. ‘We spend a lot of time actually working with partners to look at things that matter to them and their customers. We really take a personalized approach to helping companies get there.’

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Biggest Partner Mistakes

One of the biggest mistakes that companies make as they go through the APN process is trying to meet the requirements on paper, without actually building the practices and capabilities that the requirements represent and understanding what customers are seeking, according to Hartman.

“We really work with partners to say, 'what is your area of expertise?'” Hartman said. “Everybody has one, even if they think they're a generalist. Your area of expertise could be that you operate out of Germany, and you understand German regulations. Your location and your knowledge becomes an area of expertise. Or maybe your customer base is small business customers, and not everybody has scalable solutions that work well in the small business space.”

If new partners don't have a lot of experience building AWS solutions, they should use AWS internally first, Hartman advised.

“Or, if you have customers in the traditional space, but you don't necessarily have AWS customers, we'll help you build the practice to support those customers,” she said. “But there may be partners that just try to check the boxes -- they want to skip the step of actually learning and becoming an expert in AWS. Or they'll get people trained and certified, but those are the people that they don't necessarily send out in the field for the deals.”

“My advice is don't make it a paper practice -- really ask the partner development rep that you're working with what is the purpose of this requirement, because every single requirement ties back to a best practice or what customers are directly asking us for when they're looking to engage a partner.” Hartman said.

The other mistake made by partners is trying to build their companies too fast by trying to dabble in too many areas at once, according to Hartman.

“Definitely learn and work on what's in your wheelhouse, and build on it from there, versus trying to do everything all at once,” she said. “Partners really have to have a good foundation of AWS, understand our services or our building block services, and then grow from there. In general, as we're building new categories and new products…the best thing to do is figure out how that organically fits into your growth. Our partners are finding new solutions and new innovative areas of services because it's a natural extension.”

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