Empowering AWS Partners: Driving Growth in the Cloud

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Discover how AWS partners play a crucial role in driving growth in the cloud. Explore migration strategies and revenue opportunities for success.

AWS shared how partners are at the centre of its growth at the recent London Partner Summit.

Getting to the top is difficult, and staying there is even harder. 

That’s the old saying that dominates any competitive field and can especially be applied to the hyper scaler market, as tech giants fight over market share. 

As of April this year, Amazon Web Services (AWS) were the number one hyper scaler in the world, with a market share of 33%. Whereas key competition from Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud could only capture 21% and 11% of the market respectively.

It’s no wonder why they are steaming ahead. In the first quarter of this year, Amazon’s cloud unit grew revenue by 16% to $21.35 billion, representing almost 17% of Amazon’s overall revenue.

It is no surprise then that at the AWS Partner Summit in Westminster’s Central Hall, Chris Sulivan, AWS director Worldwide System Integrators, expressed his gratification for AWS partners and resellers.

“For me and others at AWS, we see partnerships as the ultimate marker for customer success,” said Chris. “It is through this synergy that we empower our customers to leverage the best cloud innovation. This technology in the hands of our partners is transformed into something even more profound for our customers.”

Customer journey

Chris said that the partners guiding customers through the adoption of AWS services was a huge part of their success, alongside the research and development opportunities that customer feedback can kick up.

“We commissioned a study to understand how the AWS opportunity translates to our partners,” he said.

“What we discovered is that for every dollar of AWS services our partners sell, they can capture up to $6.40 of additional revenue for services and support that they provide. 

“We also found that 61% of that opportunity was realised in the first year and that 81% of the partners that responded to our survey told us that our customers are consuming more cloud services at the end of the first 12-month period than when they started. 

“These findings have become the foundation for the programmes and strategies that we continue to offer, in order to offer opportunities for our AWS service partners, and we’re extremely excited about our progress on this path.”

Migrating

As you might expect, migration to AWS was a hot topic throughout the Partner Summit, as businesses begin to improve their understanding of the cloud and the efficiencies that it can drive.

According to Pragnesh Shah, partner solutions architect EMEA Migrations & Modernisation, AWS, there is a huge opportunity for resellers to work with hyper scalers, to quench the thirst for cloud technologies among enterprises. 

Pragnesh added that businesses are waking up to the efficiencies the cloud can afford them in combating macroeconomic trends, and the artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning trends have also not gone unnoticed.

AWS has launched an automated migration tool that helps businesses move to a secure and scalable cloud platform. As Lucky Sharma, senior partner solutions architect UK&I, AWS explained, the platform uses AI to analyse application dependencies, before developing applications for migration, modernisation and ongoing maintenance, creating runtime environments and deploying and managing the applications in resilient and elastic environments.

“AWS MainFrame Moderation is a unique platform, which helps our customers to analyse, map all of the dependencies, do the transformation, rebuild the code and then, finally, augment the application on a managed runtime on AWS itself,” said Lucky. 

“This service supports a variety of migration and monitoring patterns, such as automated refactoring, that really helps businesses to modernise their legacy application directly into a popular modern application using the proper frameworks and libraries. 

“It also supports the patterns like re-platforming where you can simply re-platform your mainstream applications directly from your on-prem solutions over the managed run time on AWS. 

“This also supports businesses’ data transformation, helping to modernise various kinds of databases, and can also take care of file transfers directly from mainframe applications over to AWS.”

Modernisation challenge

Although there is clearly an appetite from businesses to migrate to cloud technologies and deepen their relationships with hyper scalers like AWS, getting customers onto the cloud can be a different challenge altogether.

Lucky said that there are two common migration patterns that AWS is seeing. Either customers are making a ‘big jump’ to the cloud, which would mean resellers need to re-evaluate their business applications, or re-platform these applications to take everything over the cloud.

Lucky added that the complexity of cloud migration can be reduced if resellers think about the job in three important aspects.

“Even a smaller migration project is a big complex task,” said Lucky. “During these tasks, we have three aspects that we have to deal with: people, process and technology. 

“Resellers need to have the right skill set in their workforce, they also need to collaborate across the team and have a synergy between them, then you will be able to take advantage of the knowledge they produce, which is not locked into one particular team member. 

“The second important aspect is process. Resellers need to have a comprehensive process to make a successful migration for their customer.

“And the last one is technology; we really have to pick the right tooling. It’s good to have cloud-native tools, or maybe work with a third-party partner to set up as well, depending on your workloads, depending on the type of business outcomes that your customers are looking for.”

Splitting strategies

Speaking to resellers, Lucky finished his presentation by talking through two overarching strategies that AWS themselves recommend, depending on the type of customer resellers do business with. 

Through AWS, resellers can take advantage of a range of tools whether they are dealing with a handful of larger companies, or base their business around many smaller companies, from sales to migration.

“If you’re dealing with a large-scale migration, you’ll know the customer and what specific problem they are trying to solve,” he said. “As a result, resellers can leverage programmes like AWS Gap, and run a Migration Readiness Assessment.

“We highly recommend partners develop one standardised repeatable solution, which can help sales teams and customers understand the migration better. Finally, partners can rely on map guidance platforms like AWS Perspective Guidance, which tends to have 1,000s of migration partners today.

“For partners who work with many small customers, we recommend thinking about some centralised solution as well as programmes like Workload Migration Program, which really helps partners build a business strategy around looking at multiple customer data.

“With AWS, partners can learn how to continue to run successful cloud migrations with various AWS gateway programmes, to learn about innovation and funding, as well as AWS Migration Factory, which is a perfect solution for large-scale migration, where partners can automate most of the tasks, activities of the live migrations.”