When meeting AWS partners for the first time, often the question we are asked is ‘why does it matter for us to develop an alliance with AWS?’. Maybe the partner has a multi cloud offering that reduces their architectural dependencies, or perhaps there is a reluctance to align themselves with a single public cloud provider at risk of putting all their eggs in one basket. All valid concerns, but once the benefits such as co-selling support & joint marketing funds are explained, along with the potential to leverage and be a key member of a thriving global ecosystem, the question soon turns to ‘why didn’t we build this alliance sooner?’.
As cloud based solutions become ubiquitous, there are 3 domains an ISV firm needs to focus on to succeed- Technical, Commercial & AWS Alliance. Though when it comes to AWS Alliance, unlike the former two domains, many partners are stumped on how to leverage AWS as a partner.
An AWS Alliance provides opportunities for partners to grow and expand their business within the AWS ecosystem. The AWS Software Partner Path in particular takes ISV partners on an accelerated engagement, taking advantage of AWS resources and programs. Developing a clear strategy for a partners business and partnership with AWS will help address challenges and reach business growth potential, drive operational efficiency and retain and grow the customer base, all the while growing the reputation through its alignment with AWS.
1. Commercial benefits of the AWS Alliance
Perhaps the most important incentive for developing the alliance is the ability to co-sell and leverage the vast AWS partner ecosystem. This is indeed a strategic benefit where partners can unlock the ability to co-sell via the APN Customer Engagement (ACE) program and capitalize on the opportunity to partner with other ISVs and resellers to grow new revenue streams for your solution. Like all alliances it is important that the partnership is mutually beneficial and therefore logging opportunities on ACE and developing the relationship with AWS account managers is critical. This step in your sales channel process creates a window for AWS to see the potential of your product, build your network with key AWS stakeholders and make the warm intros to the AWS account teams. This should ideally enable you to get the right type of support to help you convert your opportunity to a paid customer.
Adopting the AWS Marketplace and developing a strategic Marketplace listing is another valuable route to market, streamlining procurement and giving customers the ability to choose from a variety of pricing options. But the hidden value for ISVs is through adopting the Consulting Partner Private Offers programs, allowing custom pricing of your solution and developing strategic selling partnerships with other AWS partners. Here you can develop joint use cases for your products and services allowing other partners to actively sell and market your solution often relieving you of licencing requirements and creating the opportunity to co-market your joint offering.
2. Adoption of frameworks and best practices
As you grow with AWS so should the adoption of AWS frameworks and best practices grow within the organization. Obviously this is a huge benefit from an architectural perspective, ensuring that your software or products are validated via a Well Architected Review (WAR) and Foundational Technical Review (FTR), which is also a prerequisite to unlocking most alliance incentives. Additionally, these validation processes will improve customer confidence as your solutions are approved by a trusted global partner such as AWS. Validating the solution is also an important milestone in the alliance itself as it shows your commitment to AWS and gives their sales teams the confidence to go out and actively sell your solution within the partner ecosystem.
Your AWS business must be secure and built for scale and therefore driving process internally for Cost Optimization, Go-to-Market, Security and Project Delivery are just a few areas where you can leverage the experience and industry best practice of AWS resources and SMEs. Here you can build internal capability, improve operational efficiency and delivery of services to your customers.
3. AWS Partner Programs can optimize costs
There are avenues to explore when it comes to partner programs. Adopting programs such as ACE will grow your commercial opportunities within AWS, including becoming eligible for ISV Accelerate that will allow you to access leads from AWS. It is also at this point that Market Development Funding & Innovation Sandbox also become available to your organization, offsetting good part of marketing campaign spend and receiving technical and usage credit support to innovate and develop your products’ capabilities.
As a consultancy firm, VeUP has built knowledge and expertise to exclusively support AWS partners to succeed within the AWS alliance & ecosystem. Our consultants and solutions architects are enabling our partners achieve success within not just the technical & commercial domains, but also the AWS Alliance domain, unlike other consultancies out there. We support the partners to navigate the high seas on AWS ecosystem and not get overwhelmed by the actions needed to succeed as an AWS Alliance partner.