AWS partner path diverges to address business model shift

The cloud provider's expanded partner tracks cover software, hardware, training, distribution and services offerings such as consulting; more IT channel news.

AWS has expanded the way it designates different types of partners, which some service providers said accommodates the multifaceted business models many companies employ.

The cloud provider this week introduced AWS Partner Paths for hardware, training, distribution and services companies. The services category includes consultancies, professional services firms, MSPs and VARs. The four tracks join AWS' Software Path, which the company launched in 2020 as the ISV path.

Partners won't be limited to a single AWS partner path. They can enroll in one or more paths, depending on the range of their offerings. The new structure goes into effect Jan. 28, 2022.

Prior to the retooled partner designations, AWS recognized technology and consulting partnering models. That approach bumped into limits, however, as more consulting firms developed software products.

 "We've seen a lot of consulting partners who have software offerings," said Doug Yeum, head of the AWS Partner Organization. "Unfortunately for these consulting partners, prior to the Partner Path, they didn't have a programmatic way of engaging AWS on their software offerings."

Yeum discussed the expanded partner tracks at AWS' re:Invent conference.

Partners rarely operate as pure-play enterprises that focus on a single business line. Instead, the typical channel business model provides a mix of services -- consulting, managed services and systems integration -- as well as intellectual property.

Andy Tay, global lead of Accenture's AWS Business Group, said the Partner Paths should help clients to see the full scope of the company's AWS relationship. He also cited the flexibility of the revised partner categories, noting that Accenture "would not have to choose to be only one type of partner."

Accenture is an AWS reseller and has developed AWS-based software offerings for its clients.

Tim Varma, global director of product management at Syntax, a managed cloud provider based in Montreal, said AWS' partner categories help customers match service providers with the skills they require.

The previous partner designations in consulting and technology were confusing for many customers.
Tim VarmaGlobal director of product management, Syntax

"The previous partner designations in consulting and technology were confusing for many customers," Varma said. "With the five partner paths, it is more clear to customers which partner path fits their own unique business needs."

Other partner news at re:Invent:

  • AWS rolled out an Energy Competency Program for partners working with energy producers. Service provider launch partners include Accenture, IBM, Larsen and Toubro Infotech, Pariveda Solutions and Slalom.
  • An AWS Migration and Modernization Competency covers discovery, planning and recommendation; business case analysis; application mobility; data mobility; and application monitoring and orchestration. Deloitte is among the competency's launch partners.
  • AWS debuted AWS Data Exchange for Amazon Redshift, AWS Data Exchange for APIs and AWS Marketplace for Containers Anywhere. The company said the data and container services will help partners address customers' analytics and cloud migration projects.

Most professional services firms yet to transform

Are professional services firms the cobblers' children of digital transformation?

A Hinge Research Institute poll found only 12% of professional services companies have completed digital transformation. The survey of 136 business executives and decision-makers covered a range of professional services companies, including IT service providers, many of which offer digital transformation-related services.

Respondents represented companies from the following professional services segments: marketing, legal, technology/software, consulting, accounting and architecture/engineering/construction. A spokeswoman for Hinge, based in Reston, Va., said the technology/software category likely has the greatest concentration of IT professional services providers.

As a segment, technology/software companies performed slightly above the professional services average: 13.3% said they have completed digital transformation, and more than half reported a digital transformation effort planned or in progress.

Formidable Labs, a digital design and development firm in Seattle, sponsored the survey.

Pure Technology Group embarks on transformation project

Pure Technology Group, an IT services provider in the United Kingdom, aims to revamp its in-house infrastructure in a 500,000 pound ($665,000) digital transformation project.

The company will deploy NetSuite's cloud CRM and ERP offering, replacing an ECI Horizon legacy order processing and management application and Sales-I CRM tool, a Pure Technology Group spokeswoman said.

"It will give us faster, more consistent views on our information with the added benefit of being accessible anywhere with NetSuite," she said.

The six-month implementation marks the largest internal system investment in the company's 14-year history. Nolan Business Solutions, a CRM and ERP specialist with offices in the U.K. and U.S., will deploy the NetSuite platform.

AllCloud launches AWS service

AllCloud, a cloud professional services provider and MSP, has rolled out a two-tiered managed service for AWS cloud customers.

The Denver-based company's AllCloud Engage offering uses an outcomes-based approach that assigns custom KPIs and monitors performance. Partners and their clients have increased their use of outcome-based contracting in recent months as they seek new ways to share risk and rewards. This contracting method ties a portion, or all, of a service provider's payment to achieving performance objectives.

Engage's Essential tier includes AWS support, FinOps, solutions architect advisory services, an AllCloud dashboard and a customer success manager. The Professional tier offers additional access to AWS experts, the full provision of AWS managed services and a cloud services delivery manager.

The service also includes an Engage Service Console, which customers can use to track KPIs.

The launch of the managed service stems from customers' cloud management struggles, said Lahav Savir, founder and CTO of platforms at AllCloud. "We noticed that they were facing key challenges in the level of complexity of their cloud environment and the shortage of skilled professionals that all organizations are experiencing currently," he said.

M&A updates

  • West Monroe, a digital consulting firm based in Chicago, has acquired Carbon Five, its second purchase of a software engineering company in the past three months. Carbon Five, with offices in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York and Chattanooga, Tenn., offers interaction design, systems and architecture design, web app development and product design, among other services. West Monroe in September 2021 acquired Verys, which also designs and builds software.
  • Orion Innovation, a digital transformation and product development services firm in Edison, N.J., has acquired GoNet, which focuses on the Latin American market. GoNet, based in Mexico City, has vendor partnerships with companies including Apple, Microsoft, AWS and F5. The deal lets the companies expand their geographic reach, while providing Orion nearshore delivery personnel.

Other news

  • Classiq, a Tel Aviv company that provides quantum algorithm design software, is partnering with IT services company NTT Data to deploy credit risk analysis algorithms using quantum computers. Quantum hardware and software vendors are cultivating ties to services providers in a bid to develop industry-specific applications and use cases.
  • Qumu Corp., a video technology company in Minneapolis, inked a partnership with GovSmart, which provides IT products to government customers. The companies aim to bring Qumu's Video Engagement Platform to agencies. GovSmart's contract vehicles include the General Services Administration Schedule, NASA's Solutions for Enterprise Wide Procurement and the National Institutes of Health's CIO IT Commodities/Solutions program.
  • HYCU, a multi-cloud data management company in Boston, has added tracks for MSPs and managed security services providers to its channel program, which the company has renamed Partners Accelerating Cloud Environments. The program also includes tracks for resellers and cloud services providers, both of which existed before the revised program.
  • Juniper Networks, a networking vendor based in Sunnyvale, Calif., plans to update its partner program in January 2022, offering an Elite Plus tier for its top partners. Other changes include a learning academy platform and incentive rewards tied to deal registration.
  • Ingram Micro Cloud has integrated Datto's Autotask PSA to its cloud marketplace for channel partners. Autotask PSA, an IT business management product for MSPs, provides service desk, project management and procurement capabilities. The integration will make it easier for MSPs to purchase services through the cloud marketplace, according to Ingram Micro.

Executive appointments

  • SolarWinds, an IT management software provider based in Austin, Texas, has appointed Jeff McCullough as vice president of worldwide partner sales. He joined SolarWinds from Park Place Technologies, where he was a vice president responsible for launching that company's channel program.
  • New Relic, an observability software company in San Francisco, has appointed Riya Shanmugam as group vice president of global alliances and channels. She was previously global head of cloud adoption and customer success at Adobe.

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