Unlocking Growth Opportunities

The benefits of AWS Marketplace

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WHAT YOU’LL LEARN

  • What the AWS Marketplace is and why it is valued and used by potential buyers

  • Why the AWS Marketplace is the place to be for ambitious, high growth potential software businesses

  • How to maximise your exposure and reach in the AWS Marketplace

  • How to get started on the AWS Marketplace

WHO WILL BENEFIT

  • CROs

  • CMOs

  • Heads of Marketing

  • Product Marketing specialists

  • Alliance and Channel managers

AWS re:Invent – VeUP’s wrap-up with our chairman

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AWS RE:INVENT 2023: The chairman gives his verdict…

So long, Las Vegas! It’s been quite a few days… We’ve had a great time meeting everyone who popped over to our home for the week at booth #264 and seen a fair few budding racing drivers on our F1 simulator. Overall, our team met with over 2,000 partners and potential customers at AWS re:Invent 2023. It was a ‘massive success’, our chairman and co-founder Alexander Dick told us.‘It’s our first big year in business with AWS and re:Invent for us was a chance for us to go and announce ourselves to our partners and potential customers.’

And the future looks bright for VeUP customers. So many new features, chips, updates and more were announced throughout the week you’d be forgiven for struggling to keep up. If so, have a read through our in-depth look at each keynote to find out what they all might mean for you. But, for the sake of efficiency – nb. we’re fully signed up to Amazon-speak now – we asked the big boss for his three big takeaways. So, in no particular order, here they are…

Generative AI was the talk of the town – but it shouldn’t take away from all the other great announcements. The technology is revolutionising cloud computing and you couldn’t move for talk of chatbots and the like at re:Invent. Head honcho Adam Selipsky used his keynote to boast how AWS offered the safest and widest-choice of genAI tools, while also unveiling a new AI assistant for employees called Q and taking several potshots at rival Microsoft. But Alexander said that while it may have grabbed the headlines, and justifiably so, there was also ‘a whole load of innovation outside of it that we should be celebrating too’.

Cost-optimisation underpins everything at AWS – and that’s a very good thing. This is a key message for VeUP and Alexander told us he was ‘really pleased’ it got major billing this year. Amazon’s maverick chief technology officer, Dr Werner Vogels, whose keynote often sets the tone for the year ahead, chose to remind everyone at re:Invent why we were all there – to make and save money. Yes, AWS announced dozens of great new features, including a whole host of genAI tools, but what does your business actually need? Dr Vogels said the first thing you must do to design successful architecture is make sure it is cost-optimal. This is an issue ‘close to our hearts’, Mr Dick said, because it’s crucial for ISVs and Saas providers to ‘get that done as early as you can – from day one’.

Sustainability is at the heart of everything AWS does now. Alexander said it was ‘important’ this was constantly flagged as a key issue throughout the four-day event. Innovation will be key to solving our climate challenges, Mr Dick said, highlighting how global leaders were convening at COP 28 in the same week over in the United Arab Emirates. Amazon itself has committed to powering its operations with 100% renewable energy by 2025, and being water positive by 2030, meaning it will return more than it uses at its sites across the world. The buzzword was mentioned in every keynote, from Peter DeSantis kicking off the week discussing how AWS’ constant drive for serverless systems would mean more energy efficiency, to Dr Vogels final talk in which he repeated several times that ‘cost is a close proxy for sustainability’ and urged every developer to put that a the forefront of their mind.

What happens in Vegas, hopefully this time doesn’t stay in Vegas… It feels only right to end our coverage in the home of neon signs and cheap elvis memorabilia with a suitably cheesy sign off. So, from us all here at VeUP, while it might spell the end of our time in Sin City, we hope it’s just the start of something new with all the people we met this week.

Ep 5: What we’ve learned so far at AWS re:Invent…

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Lesson five: It’s official – AWS is the place to be for ISVs and SaaS providers!

There’s nowhere better to be right now than AWS Marketplace. A Forrester study published last month revealed partners utilising the space are increasing their deal sizes up to fivefold, closing the deals twice as fast, and making over 200% returns on investment. That’s certainly good news for VeUP customers!

It’s a big deal – but Amazon isn’t stopping there, Dr Ruba Borno told re:Invent in her keynote on Wednesday afternoon. She announced AWS was also lowering its pricing on Marketplace as low as 1.5% and – crucially – no higher than 3%. The cap is very welcome news given the company had been known to take up to 8% in the past.

AWS is betting big on Marketplace next year. It’s certainly a lot of numbers to get your head around, but they’re important. They show the true scale of Marketplace, which already has over 15,000 listings and 330,000 subscribers. Dr Borno, who heads up the partnerships team, said AWS had doubled the number of launches from 2022 to 2023 – and they had no plans to slow down in 2024.

Stop it, we’re blushing! Dr Borno also used her keynote to give VeUP and the 150,000 other partners a glowing end of term report card. She thanked us all for providing the ‘growth and innovation’ that continued to attract so many customers to AWS. Aw shucks, that’s what we’re here for.

We hope you had a chance to come find us at AWS re:Invent this year – or at least got a go on the F1 simulator. But if not, don’t hesitate to get in contact, one of our expert sales team will be glad to talk you through how we can get you to market quickly.

Ep 4: What we’ve learned so far at AWS re:Invent…

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Lesson four: Learn to be a ‘Frugal Architect’.

It’s the bottom line, stupid! He might not have said it in quite such stark terms, but it was certainly the message Amazon’s larger-than-life chief technology officer Dr Werner Vogels wanted to get across in his keynote speech on Thursday morning ‘Because why do we actually use AWS?’, he asked the audience. Whether it’s improving efficiency, scaling up quickly, or lowering latency, he said, ultimately it all comes down to one thing: making money.

The ‘Frugal Architect’ sets out his manifesto… Dr Vogels warned technologists had lost the art of architecting for cost. Cost should be the first consideration at every step of design, he said, because ‘constraints breed creativity’. And over the next hour, Dr Vogels – who as well as pioneering Amazon’s tech for the past two decades is also an award-winning thinker – set out to build a cost-optimal tech business.

He laid out three simple rules: 1. Follow the money. Keep cost in mind at all times, and make sure your technology and business decisions are always in harmony. 2. Watch your outgoings closely, and make sure you understand them. 3… Be cutthroat – decide what functions are important and get rid of the rest.

Why does this matter to VeUP customers? It’s reassuring to know that the man behind Amazon’s technology is as invested in both making and saving you money as much as you are. And so are we here at VeUP, an Advanced Tier Services Partner of AWS. Following the keynote, our chairman and co-founder, Alexander Dick, agreed with the sentiment, adding: ‘Cost optimisation is close to our hearts.. Making sure your money lasts is really important.’

Ep 3: What we’ve learned so far at AWS re:Invent…

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Lesson three: Anything Microsoft does, Amazon believes it can do better.

It’s not over until the ChatGPT sings, it seems. Excuse the laboured play on words – it’s the last day of an extremely busy week after all – but it sums up to some degree Amazon’s thinking when it comes to generative AI. While some have seen Microsoft’s backing of Open AI as one of the shrewdest moves in tech history, re:Invent has been Amazon’s play at showing the cloud community that it had not been outdone on GenAI.

Dr. Swami Sivasubramanian was the latest executive to use his keynote to highlight how AWS was not only still in the GenAI race – but at the forefront. He hardly had time to breathe during the near two-hour talk on Wednesday as he rattled through all its new offerings, from updated foundation models on Amazon Bedrock, including Anthropic’s Claude 2.1 and Meta’s Llama 2 70B, to a new feature that lets customers easily compare and contrast which AI system to use.

And it certainly seemed a case of ‘anything Microsoft can do, we can do better!’. One of the most eye-catching tools was the new AI image generator tool, which will allow businesses to create ‘realistic, studio-quality images’ with just a simple prompt. And with Amazon’s emphasis on AI safety, Dr Swami was keen to highlight its built-in guardrails against toxicity and bias. It was, perhaps, a not-so-subtle reference to the criticism its rival, Open AI’s Dall-E, has faced over perpetuating stereotype. [Washington Post investigation]

But how does this rivalry between two tech behemoths impact VeUP customers? Amazon believes that enterprises will want flexibility and choice over different models, rather than a single vendor, and then be able to train and fine tune them with their own proprietary data. And that’s what it will provide. As Dr Swami said as he signed off his keynote: ‘AWS has everything you need to unlock this transformative technology’.

 

Come visit VeUP, an official partner of AWS, in booth #264 today to find out more about how we can help your business. It’s your last chance! 

Ep 2: What we’ve learned so far at AWS re:Invent…

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Lesson two: Amazon’s goal is to bring the benefits of serverless to as much of its existing ‘serverful’ software as possible.

With free beers handed out and a covers band playing Crowded House covers to gee up the crowd, there was a party atmosphere in the Venetian as re:Invent kicked off in style last night. Peter DeSantis walked onto the stage for his self-styled ‘Monday Night Live’ keynote more like a rockstar than AWS’s senior vice president of utility computing. And he certainly played the hits.

‘Serverless’ was the buzzword for the night… Desantis announced three new serverless innovations to help customers analyse and manage their data at scale, simplify their operations, and, in doing, so save them both time and money. Among them was an update to Amazon Redshift Serverless that will use AI to predict big workloads and direct more resources at them to stop the whole system slowing down.

And while generative AI is still widely expected to be the biggest talking point this week, Desantis finished by focusing even further into the future – quantum computing. He gave a sneak peek of Amazon’s new custom designed gold-coated quantum chip. The tech giant is getting in early on the nascent technology expected to bring yet another digital revolution.

As is custom at re:Invent, several other big reveals continued to drop throughout the day. And for a company famous for turning doors into desks, one announcement made perfect sense. Amazon has repurposed an old piece of consumer hardware – the $110 Fire TV Cube – into a brand new offering for its cloud customers. The idea was to create a cheap but effective piece of kit for the large number of people still working from home to access their virtual desktops on AWS. The $195 Amazon WorkSpaces Thin Client  can be ordered already pre-configured – and will save companies forking out on expensive laptops up to six times the cost, AWS said.

And while Jeff Bezos spends billions trying to get us all into space, extraterrestrials are reminding us of the power we already have here on earth. Creative agency Experience.Monks debuted its sassy new robot alien ‘Wormhole’, created using AWS’s roster of generative AI tools. When asked a question, Wormhole uses a pre-trained model for automatic speech recognition, hosted on SageMaker. It then relies on a serverless chatbot tool built on Amazon Bedrock to generate an answer, and uses text-to-speech software Amazon Polly to answer out loud. Asked in a demo for its thoughts on re:Invent so far, Wormhole’s reply echoed the thoughts of many of us here: ‘AWS rules Vegas, baby!’

With the announcements coming thick and fast all day, AWS customers face a ‘daunting challenge’ keeping up with them, our head of solution architecture for North America, Robert Rodriguez, said yesterday. The AWS veteran said his job at re:Invent was to make sure VeUP customers did not miss out on all the vital updates that will ultimately save them money. AWS might seem like a ‘constant road of change’, he said, but this was ultimately its strength. ‘If we ever stop, it’s a problem, we need to keep innovating’.

 

Come meet Robert and the rest of the team at VeUP, an official partner of AWS, at booth  #264 today.

Ep 1: What we’ve learned so far at AWS re:Invent…

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Lesson one: Generative AI is the future – and AWS is battling to get to the head of the queue.

AWS boss Adam Selipsky came out swinging for his keynote speech on Tuesday morning. 

The battle is hotting up among cloud providers over who will have the best roster of generative AI tools. And Mr Selipski took no prisoners as he littered the two-and-a-half hour talk with thinly veiled swipes at its biggest rivals, – Google and, in particular, Microsoft. He struck a confident tone as he listed off why he believed AWS had the strongest GenAI stack, from top to bottom.

One of the key reasons is the large range of foundation models AWS offers from the world’s leading AI firms, including Meta, Cohere, Stability AI, its own two Titan models, and a near exclusive $4bn agreement with Anthropic. Come meet Robert and the rest of the team at VeUP, an official partner of AWS, at booth  #264 today. Selipski said customers wanted a choice – and not a cloud provider that was ‘beholden primarily to just one model provider’. It was an obvious dig at the heavily Microsoft-backed OpenAI and its recent boardroom troubles.

And the punches kept rolling in as Mr Selipski emphasised the safety placed on its GenAI offerings compared to its competitors.  At one point an article popped up on screen about Microsoft briefly stopping its employees from using OpenAI’s ChatGPT because of security concerns. Mr Selipski told the audience that no customer data would ever be used to train the models, and it would never find its way onto the open internet. Responsible AI was AWS’s ‘North Star’, he said, announcing Guardrails for Amazon Bedrock to help customers protect their own users.

But the biggest announcement was saved for last as he revealed Amazon had joined the chatbot race with an AI assistant of its own. It will be called Q, a play on the word ‘question’ and a reference to both the James Bond and Star Trek figures, and can be tailored to every business to save hours of work with just one simple prompt, he said. With one final punch thrown at his rivals, he added: ‘You won’t find another major cloud provider that can do that.’

From Start-Up to AWS Partner: Pasabi’s Journey to Success

SECUTITY

Customer

Pasabi

Primary Industry

Digital Trust & Safety

Ownership

Privately held, VC backed

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Company info

Pasabi is an Edinburgh-based startup whose Trust & Safety platform combines AI & behavioural analytics to identify all types of infringements. From fake accounts and fake reviews, to counterfeit and scams, Pasabi detects networks of bad actors to identify the biggest threats.

Solution

Pasabi’s endeavor to build their AWS operations and refine their Go-To-Market (GTM) approach found a strategic partner in VeUP. Pasabi went through a transformation program with VeUP experts providing advisory support. 

The key goals VeUP wanted to achieve:

  • Building the AWS Partnership by setting up workloads on AWS
  • Review their AWS Go-to-Market strategy and explore new revenue channels
  • Formalize AWS best practices in their technical operations

Two comprehensive workshops were initially conducted to assess Pasabi’s existing state and lay the groundwork for transformation. This was followed by a dedicated 100-day transformation process, managed by VeUP, including additional value-added services such as Cost Optimization, AWS Alliance & GTM Advisory sessions.

Challenge

Pasabi, having achieved Product-Market Fit within Google Cloud, faced the challenge of navigating their journey towards Go-to-Market Fit. AWS, with its enhanced scalability and faster SaaS deployment, presented an opportunity for Pasabi to tap new revenue channels and SaaS-ify their solution.  It was therefore a natural next step to build success in the next stage of their growth.

What Pasabi achieved

  • Setup Incident Management process to maintain high QoS
  • Completed FTR beating industry average time
  • Became an AWS Validated partner 
  • Listed on the AWS Marketplace
  • Became VeUP’s ReSell Partner
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VeUP’s true value lies in their deep understanding of how to scale effectively within AWS marketplace – they know what works. From best-in-class deployments to integrating into the sales environment, their expertise supercharges the go-to-market process.

Chris Downie, Co-founder & CEO Pasabi

Leveraging Prompt Engineering

Startups & Generative AI

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What You’ll Learn

  • GenAI Project Lifecycle: Understand the essential steps to develop and deploy AI-powered applications efficiently, helping you make informed decisions about using foundational models or building your own.

  • The Craft of Prompt Engineering: Explore the specifics of prompt engineering, including its structure, tips, and various prompting techniques.

  • Real-world Use Cases: Dive into examples of prompt engineering aligned to use cases, & specifically look at a startup VeUP partner that has successfully harnessed prompt engineering in their GenAI.

Who Will Benefit

  • CTOs: Chart the technical direction of your startup with GenAI.

  • CEOs: Steer your company’s vision by harnessing the potential of AI.

  • Architects: Design the AI infrastructure that drives innovation.

  • Developers and Engineering Leads: Lead the charge in embedding Generative AI into your product capabilities with minimal effort.

Safe Exchange™- Going to market faster

MARKETING ADVISOR

Customer

Safe Exchange™

Primary Industry

Media & Entertainment

Location

Calgary, Canada

Ownership

Privately held

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Company Info

A Parent Media Co. Inc. owns both Kidoodle.TV™, a premium streaming platform for children, and Safe Exchange™, an inhouse developed ad exchange with real time human verified metadata, ensuring the highest level of audience safety and experience from both a content and ad perspective.

Challenge

Safe Exchange™ chose to open its unique metadata and decisioning capabilities to other Publishers and Platforms, offering a suite of tools that would help deliver accurate metadata, allow for effective filtering, and grant access to premium demand. 

Leveraging A Parent Media Co Inc.’s strong relationship with AWS, the go to market strategy was to use AWS Marketplace as the primary selling platform. 

Navigating the AWS Partner Network was new to Safe Exchange. Partnering with VeUP to help unravel the complexity was the approach Safe Exchange took.

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Solution

The initial goal with VeUP was to ensure a successful launch of the first product, AdCurate™. 

VeUP led Safe Exchange through a transformation program that focussed on their AWS Alliance , GTM & Cloud Operations. 2 workshops were held to identify the current state. This was followed by weekly engagement for the next 100 days to manage the transformation, and included other value-added services such as Cost Optimization, AWS Alliance & GTM Advisory sessions. 

Working with Vincen at VeUP helped the Safe Exchange team successfully deliver AdCurate onto AWS Marketplace in 90 days, beating industry expectations.

Impact of VeUP

  • Created AWS Alliance Strategy
  • Formalized AWS best practices into technical operations
  • Review of AWS Go-to-Market strategy
  • Exploration of new revenue channels 
  • Ongoing skill transformation achieved with AWS Certifications & 6 Accreditations 
  • Ensured AWS Customer Engagement portal was included in Safe Exchange’s sales process
  • Defined the co-selling approach for Safe Exchange 
  • 1 Live Marketplace listing
  • Foundational Technical Review for AdCurate
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Our goal in working with VeUP is to bring scale to our AWS Marketplace product, Adcurate. Our collaboration with VeUP started through an introduction to AWS from Vincen (VeUP). They helped us with our AWS ISV Accelerate Program and helped to get Adcurate ready for Amazon Marketplace in record time: 90 days!

Daniel Riddell, CTO, Kidoodle