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Cloud partners bolster relations with AWS, GCP and Microsoft

Service providers expand cloud centers of excellence, invest in technical skills and create intellectual property; more IT channel news.

Cloud consultancies and service providers sought to bolster their relations with the top cloud vendors in a wave of partnerships this week.

The moves come amid a decisive shift among enterprises to cloud-delivered IT. Gartner earlier this month predicted spending on public cloud computing will represent 51% of the IT market in 2025. Cloud's current share of enterprise IT spending is 41%, according to the market research firm. In addition, channel partners polled by Accenture listed Microsoft, Google and AWS as their top three partners with respect to wallet share, underscoring the need to strengthen their cloud provider ties.

AWS is one center of cloud partners' attention as Kyndryl and Rackspace Technology revealed expanded relationships with the cloud provider. Kyndryl, an infrastructure services provider based in New York, spun out of IBM in November 2021 and has since cultivated several alliances as an independent business. The company previously worked with AWS as an ecosystem partner, but has now entered a global strategic alliance with the hyperscaler.

As part of the alliance, Kyndryl plans to launch an AWS cloud center of excellence. The company said the center will provide services to support mission-critical infrastructure and application modernization projects. Intellectual property also falls within the scope of the partnership: Kyndryl and AWS will co-develop an accelerator for VMware Cloud on AWS, a technology that lets businesses run VMware workloads in Amazon's cloud. The accelerator aims to provide an expedited path for customers migrating at scale to the hybrid cloud offering, a Kyndryl spokesperson said. Other channel partners have tapped VMware Cloud on AWS as an ongoing opportunity.

Rackspace Technology, meanwhile, has expanded its strategic collaboration agreement with AWS, citing a multiyear joint investment. The multi-cloud solutions provider said its AWS business has grown 250% over the last three years. Some of that growth came through Rackspace Technology's December 2019 purchase of Onica, an AWS partner that increased Rackspace's AWS certification pool by 45%.

Cloud consulting evolution chart
Cloud consultancies are shoring up their core alliances.

Cloud partners expand Microsoft, Google ties

Lemongrass, an Atlanta-based consulting firm, extended its partnership with Microsoft, targeting midmarket and large enterprises' legacy SAP systems under a multiyear agreement. Lemongrass specializes in migrating customers' SAP environments to public clouds, including Microsoft Azure, AWS and Google Cloud.

The alliance aims to co-develop SAP-centric offerings and services for the Microsoft Cloud. Lemongrass will work with Microsoft's SAP specialists to influence current and future Microsoft SAP on Azure product roadmaps, according to Mike Rosenbloom, CEO of Lemongrass. Insight into Microsoft's plans will help Lemongrass focus on key differentiators within its Lemongrass Cloud platform, he added. The platform migrates customers' SAP workloads to the cloud and optimizes cloud operations.

Partners like Pythian have to commit to continuously upping their game so they can meet the evolving needs of customers.
Vanessa SimmonsSenior vice president, business development, Pythian

Pythian Services renewed its Infrastructure Partner Specialization in the Google Cloud Partner Advantage program. Earlier this month, the company renewed its Machine Learning Partner Specialization in the program. Pythian, based in Ottawa, provides cloud, data and analytics services.

Pythian has invested in Google Cloud specializations including Infrastructure, Data Management, Machine Learning and the company's MSP Initiative, said Vanessa Simmons, senior vice president of business development at Pythian. She said the company will continue to invest heavily in Google's programs. Pythian acquired Google Cloud partner Agosto in 2020.

"Partners like Pythian have to commit to continuously upping their game so they can meet the evolving needs of customers," she said.

Gearing up for multi-cloud services

An increasingly multi-cloud world drives cloud partners' investments in AWS, Google and Microsoft. Customers need help navigating the thousands of cloud services those platforms offer, said Yoav Toussia-Cohen, CEO at DoiT International, an MSP and multi-cloud software company headquartered in Santa Clara, Calif. Businesses want to put workloads on clouds best suited to their requirements, rather than restrict themselves to a single vendor, he noted.

"With this comes the need to rethink cloud usage, cost management and governance, which is also causing the uptick in cloud partners boosting investment across the big three cloud providers," Toussia-Cohen said.

DoiT's cloud investment spans AWS, Google and Microsoft. DoiT is working toward achieving AWS Premier Partner status during the first half of 2022. With Google, the company is in the second year of a five-year commitment to deliver $1.5 billion in Google Cloud infrastructure. And earlier this month, DoiT launched a partnership with chipmaker AMD to help Google Cloud customers optimize workloads for security, performance and cost, Toussia-Cohen said.

Other news

  • IBM has acquired Neudesic, a cloud services consultancy with a Microsoft Azure specialization. The deal expands IBM's hybrid multi-cloud services portfolio, according to the company. Neudesic focuses on industries including financial services, retail, healthcare, and power and utilities. The company's services include cloud infrastructure, data and AI, and business transformation.
  • CloudBlue, an IT services management company based in Irvine, Calif., launched CloudBlue PSA IaaS 360 to help MSPs manage and scale multi-cloud IaaS offerings. The solution automates multi-cloud IaaS practices -- such as leads and opportunities, billing management, and vendor competency requirements -- and streamlines information sharing among cloud hyperscaler, MSP and customer systems. CloudBlue PSA IaaS 360 consolidates an overview of MSP tools and services, and integrates with AWS and Microsoft Azure.
  • Cloud distributor Pax8, with headquarters in Denver, is partnering with WatchGuard, a Seattle-based security vendor, to give MSPs access to WatchGuard's network security platform. The platform, designed specifically for MSPs, offers capabilities including network visibility, DNS filtering, threat detection and policy management.
  • AvePoint, a SaaS and data management platform provider with headquarters in Jersey City, N.J., has added features to its global partner program for MSPs, VARs, cloud consultants and DevOps partners. The provider now offers a certification program for partner engineers, presales teams and product specialists. AvePoint enhanced its Elements managed services platform with advancements, including integration of cloud backup for Google Workspace and Salesforce. Other additions include a partner technical advisory council and partner renewals visibility and automation.
  • Rackspace Technology is collaborating with VoltaGrid, a Houston-based company that deploys mobile microgrids to provide power in remote areas. The companies will work on a cloud-native offering to support VoltaGrid's software-controlled and managed microgrids.
  • Wipro Ltd. has entered a go-to-market partnership with vFunction, a startup in Palo Alto, Calif., that offers a platform for modernizing Java applications and accelerating cloud migration.
  • In the SAP partner ecosystem, 1st Basis SAP Services Group, a SAP Basis MSP with headquarters in Wisconsin, is partnering with SecurityBridge, a SAP security provider. The agreement lets the MSP offer SecurityBridge's SAP security platform and services to its customers.
  • Master Works, a digital transformation partner based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, has received a $40 million investment from Merak Capital. Master Works focuses on data management, AI, data strategy, API management, software development and robotic process automation.

Additional reporting by Kristen Gloss.

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