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Top AWS cloud consultants earn 6-to-1 revenue multiplier

AWS ecosystem research suggests partners generate more services dollars when they invest in a broader portfolio of offerings; other partner developments at re:Invent.

AWS cloud consultants that offer an expanded portfolio of offerings can expect every dollar their customers spend on the cloud platform to generate as much as $6.40 in services revenue.

That's a key takeaway from AWS-commissioned partner ecosystem research, which the company unveiled this week at its annual re:Invent conference. The survey, which market analyst firm Canalys conducted with more than 40 partners, provides a glimpse into the economics of providing cloud consulting, deployment and management services.

The results show that partners investing in the depth and breadth of AWS services can obtain a multiplier effect on their revenue, noted Julia Chen, vice president of Partner Core at AWS.

"It's two dimensions. It's increasing the kinds of services they offer, but it's also increasing the number of AWS products that they're able to sell," she said.

The Canalys report stated that expert-level partners can obtain the $6.40 multiplier. The company defined an expert partner as one that has the "broadest set of service offer­ings and … a large professional services organization." In contrast, partners that primarily resell AWS cloud products and offer limited additional services can expect to achieve a multiplier of $0.90, according to Canalys.

Justin Copie, CEO at Innovative Solutions -- an IT services provider with headquarters in West Henrietta, N.Y. -- said there's a journey to follow when partnering with AWS to deliver customer value. "As you move along the journey, the revenue ratio increases congruently with partner maturity," he said.

That means taking a systematic approach to building services.

"The reality is, there are so many things to say 'yes' to," Copie said. "The real opportunity is for partners is to be clear about their vision and actually say 'no' to things."

Partners that take this disciplined approach can find an economic return much greater than the 6:1 ratio Canalys identified, Copie said. Innovative Solutions, an IBM Premier Consulting Partner, participated in the Canalys study.

Partner Paths support broader scope

The findings around a broader scope of services dovetail with AWS Partner Paths initiative, which the company outlined at last year's re:Invent. The company offers hardware, training, distribution, services and software paths to accommodate a wider range of partner business models and offerings. Partners can enroll in more than one path.

Since the launch of Partner Paths, about 82,000 services partners, 38,000 software partners, 500 hardware partners and 200 training partners have enrolled, said Sachin Vora, global leader of AWS Channel Programs. 100% of the company's distribution partners have joined the distribution path, he added. AWS works with more than 20 distributors.

AWS offers tools and enablement programs within Partner Path to help partners diversity their offerings and deepen their expertise, Sachin said.

Technical enablement programs, for example, aim to help partners understand the 200-plus products AWS offers. Other enablement efforts focus on building offerings on AWS. The company's SaaS Factory program supports partners through the task of building a SaaS offering.

graphic showing cloud consultants' evolution
The path of maturity can help partners obtain higher revenue multipliers.

AWS cloud consultants roll out services

Other partner developments at re:Invent included several service launches from cloud consulting firms.

Tata Consultancy Services, based in Mumbai, India, unveiled a virtual research and development environment that aims to help customers assess quantum computing. TCS Quantum Computing Lab on AWS uses Amazon Braket, a managed quantum computing service.

Krishna Mohan, global head of AWS Business Unit at TCS, said the company has 200 team members trained in quantum computing technology, including Amazon Braket. He said a few customers are experimenting with use cases such as genomic sequencing and optimization.

"With quantum specifically, customers are in the experimental phase, testing use cases with real-world applications to ensure utility and laying the groundwork for future expansions and innovation," he said.

Automated risk assessment for ISV partners

At re:Invent, AWS also launched programs geared to ISVs and other software-oriented partners. Among those is AWS Marketplace Vendor Insights, which automates third-party software and data vendor risk assessments. The service compiles vendors' security and compliance information to facilitate software procurement through AWS Marketplace.

When validating vendor software, an enterprise's procurement organization requires information on assessments such as Service Organization Control 2 and HIPAA, noted Mona Chadha, director of category management for AWS Marketplace. She said Vendor Insights speeds up a data-gathering process that would otherwise occupy an ISV for months.

AWS Marketplace doesn't charge software sellers for activating and using Vendor Insights, according to an AWS blog post. However, ISVs will be charged for using Audit Manager and AWS Config, the company said.

Accenture, meanwhile, launched Velocity, a platform that the company said speeds up the pace of business transformation. Accenture co-funded and co-developed the platform with AWS.

Andy Tay, global lead of Accenture's AWS Business Group, said the uncertain economy, digital disruption and other factors compel clients to become more resilient, agile and adaptive. "But they are faced with a time pressure to achieve this transformation," he said. "They also have a talent constraint."

To shrink delivery schedules, Velocity simplifies the setup, consumption and management of cloud enablement, he noted. He said its takes organizations three to 12 months on average to build an enterprise cloud foundation -- a timeline based on thousands of Accenture projects with AWS.

In other re:Invent partner news, the following occurred:

  • IBM Consulting outlined a platform services offering that focuses on AIOps and observability. Next year, IBM and AWS expect to provide customers with software options including IBM Instana Observability, IBM Turbonomic Application Resource Management and IBM Cloud Pak for Watson AIOps.
  • IBM and AWS are providing IBM Z and Cloud Modernization Stack through the AWS Marketplace. The offering is geared to IBM zSystems mainframe customers' application modernization projects.
  • Atos, a systems integrator based in Paris, France, debuted an accelerator that targets data management. Atos' AWS Data Lake Accelerator for SAP speeds up the task of building data lakes, according to Atos.

AWS partners interested in ML offerings

In addition to services, AWS discussed several product rollouts at re:Invent. Partners expressed particular interest in the cloud vendor's machine learning offerings and its ML-based AWS Supply Chain application.

It's two dimensions. It's increasing the kinds of services they offer, but it's also increasing the number of AWS products that they're able to sell.
Julie ChenVice president, Partner Core, AWS

Jared Cheney, vice president of services in North America at SoftwareONE, said AWS has released numerous ML analytics and data ingestion services that make it easier to run applications with services such as Redshift and Sagemaker as well as integrations with Apache Spark. SoftwareONE, a software and cloud technology solutions provider based in Switzerland, last week said it has obtained AWS Premier Tier Services Partner status.

Cheney said his team is also interested in DataZone, a data management service that AWS said lets customers more readily catalog and govern data stored across AWS as well as on-premises and third-party environments. "Having a simple service that helps companies organize, discover and start the data journey is promising," he said.

Cheney also noted AWS Supply Chain, which he said lets organizations tap into and reuse the cloud provider's range of services to reinvent themselves natively in the cloud.

Accenture's Tay said AWS Supply Chain arrives at a time when supply chain disruptions look set to continue. Accenture plans to use AWS Supply Chain across its own supply chain offerings, which include SynOps.

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