AWS partner ecosystem finds bigger deals in Marketplace

An economic analysis suggested channel companies benefit when they conduct transactions on the hyperscaler's online selling platform; more IT channel news.

Deals made by independent software vendors using AWS Marketplace are bigger and close faster than those cultivated outside the online platform.

That's a key takeaway from research conducted by Forrester for AWS. The data, which is based on a survey of 72 ISVs, has implications for the broader AWS partner ecosystem, which includes service providers such as professional services firms, systems integrators and MSPs.

"This report is good news for them," said Whit Crump, director of the Americas field, worldwide channels and customer programs at AWS Marketplace. He said service providers stand to benefit from the same advantages ISVs experience, namely the ability to bring offerings to market more quickly and a simplified sales process.

Forrester's economic analysis, published on Monday, found that ISV customers spent 80% more on third-party applications purchased through the marketplace compared with conducting transactions elsewhere. ISVs also enjoyed a 40% faster sales cycle when working through AWS Marketplace, trimming the average timespan to three months from five months. Partners' customers, meanwhile, realized a 10% reduction in licensing fees and $2 million in efficiency savings via streamlined procurement, according to Forrester.

While Forrester's research focuses on ISV partners, the survey data bodes well for services providers. More than 500 consulting partners participate in the AWS Marketplace channel program, Crump said. Offloading sales chores to AWS Marketplace helps them focus on their core businesses, he noted.

"As a services-first company, you're really out trying to create solutions and implement them," Crump noted. "Being a reseller or procurement expert is not really what you do first."

In addition, professional services firms, particularly in the cloud consulting area, increasingly develop their own intellectual property, sometimes in the form of software. So, consultants developing software products could also gain from AWS Marketplace economics.

Among ISV partners, CrowdStrike, a cybersecurity company based in Austin, Texas, pointed to a sharp uptick in its AWS Marketplace business.

As a services-first company, you're really out trying to create solutions and implement them.
Whit CrumpDirector of the Americas field, worldwide channels and customer programs at AWS Marketplace

"CrowdStrike has seen a year-over-year growth in marketplace transactions -- many times the Forrester statistics -- both in terms of deal values and volume," said Geoff Swaine, vice president of the company's global programs, store and tech alliances.

Swaine said the growth underscores customers' comfort with the marketplace as a procurement mechanism. He also pointed to an increase in engagement in vehicles such as the AWS Enterprise Discount Program, which provides discounts to businesses that make an annual spending commitment.

In addition, CrowdStrike attributes a significant portion of its marketplace expansion to its involvement in AWS' Consulting Partner Private Offer (CPPO) program. Launched in 2018, CPPO enables participants to create bespoke offerings with customer-specific pricing and statements of work.

The program lets CrowdStrike's resellers "participate in AWS Marketplace opportunities and benefit from order simplicity and transaction speed," Swaine said.

Deloitte Consulting offers industry cloud for QSRs

Deloitte Consulting has created industry-specific cloud offerings for quick service restaurants, which may need to retool to accommodate the rise in takeout and delivery orders.

The company's industry cloud for QSR can be tailored to the specific needs of a restaurant and deployed on an expedited timeline, said Siva Kantamneni, principal at Deloitte Consulting. Consulting firms have recently stepped up their efforts to provide industry clouds to accelerate cloud uptake across vertical markets.

Deloitte's QSR industry cloud provides features such as vision monitoring for improving order accuracy. Kantamneni said Deloitte works with a few niche software provides that offer this capability. With vision monitoring, a QSR deploys a camera for monitoring order packaging. AI models identify discrepancies between the items store associates include in an order and what menu items look like.

A QSR using such a system can share the discrepancy data to a cloud platform. There, a QSR chain can analyze data collected across stores to find patterns it could address through revised procedures or training, Kantamneni said.

Another industry cloud use case is guiding stores on how to best address last-mile delivery options. This capability aims to help QSRs make the call on whether to outsource delivery to a third party or provide it in-house. An optimized delivery plan can also provide incentives for customers to use a QSR's preferred delivery or pickup options.

"Based on discussions with our QSR clients, this issue is really starting to catch on now," Kantamneni said. That's down to the increase in delivery requests and labor shortages that limit the availability of drivers, he noted.

In Deloitte's QSR approach, a cloud provider typically delivers the technology platform on which Deloitte installs and customizes its industry-specific cloud offerings. The consulting firm also offers industry clouds in sectors such as financial services, government and life sciences.

Tercera lists top cloud ecosystems

Tercera, an investment firm focusing on technology professional services, published a three-tiered list of the top cloud ecosystems for partners.

The Chicago-based company evaluated more than 100 cloud-based ISVs, weighing the business potential for consultancies, integrators, MSPs and digital engineering firms. The company narrowed the initial field to 30 cloud vendors that it said recognize the value of partner ecosystems.

Those 30 companies are grouped in three categories: Market Anchors, Market Movers and Market Challengers. The Market Leaders consist of the 10 largest publicly traded cloud-centric ISVs: Adobe, AWS, Google Cloud, Microsoft, Oracle, Salesforce, SAP, ServiceNow, Snowflake and Workday. The Market Anchors have mature ecosystem programs, "often with hundreds to thousands of partners," Tercera said.

The Market Movers group consists of 10 publicly traded cloud ISVs that Tercera said are reinventing categories and experiencing rapid growth: Atlassian, Big Commerce, DataDog, HashiCorp, nCino, Okta, Shopify, Twilio, UiPath and Veeva. Tercera said each of those companies is "actively building out their partner ecosystems."

The Market Challengers group includes 10 high-growth private cloud ISVs that have attracted attention from influencers and investors: Celonis, Collibra, Commercetools, Contentful, Databricks, DataRobot, OneStream, OutSystems, Tanium and Workato.

The various cloud ISV segments deal with ecosystem partners in similar ways, according to Michelle Swan, partner at Tercera. "There is no notable difference in how the different segments structure their partner programs or work with partners -- other than scale, depth and program maturity," she said.

Tercera has invested in professional services firms focusing on such ISV platforms as Okta, Salesforce, Snowflake and Twilio.

Atos considers company split

Atos, a systems integrator based in Paris, is exploring whether to separate into two publicly traded companies.

One company would unite Atos' digital business and its big data and security operation, which, together, generated revenue of $5.2 billion in 2021. The other entity would consist of Atos' Tech Foundations line of business, with 2021 revenue of $5.7 billion. Tech Foundations provides managed infrastructure services, digital workplace and professional services.

Atos tried quite the opposite approach in early 2021, when it floated a proposal to acquire DXC Technology, a $17.7  billion IT services firm headquartered in Tysons, Va. That plan was quickly scuttled. Atos' current tack is somewhat reminiscent of IBM's decision to spin out its managed infrastructure business as Kyndryl. Atos said it would complete its restructuring by the second half of 2023 if it decides to pursue the separation plan.

Merger and acquisition updates

  • West Monroe, a digital services firm based in Chicago, acquired 71 & Change, a change management consultancy in the Pacific Northwest. The deal almost doubles West Monroe's change management team in the U.S. and helps meet the demand for digital transformation services, according to the company. The transaction follows West Monroe's purchase of two software engineering companies in 2021: Carbon Five and Verys.
  • Centroid Systems, a managed cloud services company in Troy, Mich., acquired Guardian Eagle, a data security consulting firm with headquarters in St. Petersburg, Fla. VSS Capital Partners, a private investment firm based in New York, invested in Centroid in 2021. At the time, Trent Hickman, managing director at VSS and Centroid board member, cited the potential for Centroid making add-on acquisitions to its core Oracle consulting and managed services business. The cloud professional services sector has been rife with acquisition activity over the past two years.

Other news

  • Trustwave, a managed security services provider (MSSP) in Chicago, rolled out managed detection and response (MDR) offerings. Trustwave MDR and Trustwave MDR Elite provide 24x7 monitoring of hybrid multi-cloud environments. Customers receive a free subscription to Trustwave Security Colony, a set of resources for CISOs that includes toolkits, guidelines and playbooks. The company will sell the new offerings through its channel partners.
  • Backblaze Inc., a storage cloud platform provider in San Mateo, Calif., is partnering with Carahsoft Technology, a government IT solutions provider. Under the pact, Carahsoft will bring Backblaze's B2 Cloud Storage to federal, state and local government buying programs. The relationship also spans the healthcare and education sectors.
  • Forescout Technologies, a cybersecurity vendor in San Jose, Calif., added an MSP partner program to its channel initiative. The program provides flexible licensing and billing options for partners that take responsibility for customer support, Forescout said. Other additions include an updated partner portal and an accredited engineer course for technical partner staff. BT and Accenture were among the Forescout partners that helped drive the program changes, according to the company.
  • OVHcloud US, a cloud provider in Reston, Va., entered a cloud migration partnership with Lenet, an IT service provider in Atlanta. The companies aim to assist French businesses entering the North American market or expanding their operations in that region. Lenet and OVHcloud US, a subsidiary of French cloud hosting company OVHcloud, are members of the French-American Chamber of Commerce, Atlanta.
  • Cloudinary, a SaaS provider in the digital asset management field, launched a program for solutions providers. The Santa Clara, Calif., company's partners include AKQA, Capgemini, Classmethod, Publicis Sapient, R/GA, Tata Consulting Services and Wunderman Thompson. The program includes Club, Bronze, Silver and Gold partner tiers, co-marketing opportunities, training and skill badges, and a partner portal.

Executive appointment

  • Balbix, a cybersecurity posture automation vendor in San Jose, Calif., appointed Saurabh Sharma as vice president of strategic alliances and channels. Sharma, whose remit includes expanding partnerships with integrators, VARs and MSSPs, joins Balbix from Virsec Systems, where he was vice president of strategic partnerships.

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