Digital transformation, cloud, and the current relevance of AWS and the APN
The digital transformation is possibly the most relevant industrial evolution and development process in today’s world, which in turn implies the accelerated and constant growth of the cloud computing services sector for the next few years, a technological field closely linked to the digital transformation.
For example, a study by the consultancy firm Gartner showed that this sector could grow to 302.5 billion dollars by 2021. For its part, a report by the consultancy firm Forrester forecasts growth in the cloud market by 2022, of up to 411 billion dollars.
Within this context, and in view of the spectacular prospects for the cloud sector, the importance of a platform such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) becomes indisputable.
Indeed, to date AWS is the most complete cloud platform, and whose services are in greatest demand by customers all over the planet.
It is not thousands but millions of customers, both large and long-established companies and emerging companies and also government services, who use AWS services. A platform with 69 data centres worldwide, offering 175 comprehensive services to its customers.
The spectacular business activity of AWS, and its gigantic network of clients throughout the world, has enabled AWS to constitute the largest and most dynamic community of clients and partners worldwide, the so-called AWS Partner Network (APN), which includes tens of thousands of independent software providers.
For technology and software service providers, membership of the APN offers a number of interesting advantages and benefits. The APN helps companies to develop, promote and market their products in the AWS cloud, providing them with all the technical and marketing support necessary to do so.
Through the AWS Marketplace, the technological products of APN’s partners can be offered to customers globally, although they can also constitute parts of AWS cloud solutions for certain customers.
For any company, whether large or emerging, and even more so in the current framework of digital transformation and the exponential growth of cloud computing services, being part of the APN is an absolutely strategic decision, in order to achieve the successful development of our company.
In order to visualise a little more the importance for companies of obtaining the AWS partnership, it is sufficient to point out that more than 90% of the companies that are part of the Fortune 100, as well as more than 50% of those that are part of the Fortune 500, make use of services and products from technology providers that are part of the APN.
Therefore, in this article we wanted to share with our readers, friends and clients, a brief and enjoyable report explaining how our own experience of successful integration into the APN was.
Our experience in the integration to the CPA
Firstly, there are different levels of partnership for accessing the CPA.
To start the process of integration into the NPA, it is necessary to have access to the Select level, which is the starting level. It is necessary to take a series of courses that they offer free of charge to company staff in order to reach this level.
From the APN we were assigned a person, Sofia, who was with us at all times. Sofia was very attentive, close and friendly. She made it clear to us which requirements had to be met and which were unnecessary, and generally supported us throughout the process.
She organised fortnightly meetings on her own initiative, in order to periodically review our progress. Moreover, she was always willing to answer our questions by e-mail or voice call, to clarify all our doubts and concerns, to indicate the points that we had to improve, and also to point out those that we did not, as well as to indicate to us in which aspects we had to enlarge our business, and what type of operations we had to carry out in order to obtain the level of certification for which we were working. Their attention was always very diligent and decisive.
If necessary, Sofía provided us with training resources, even those not yet accessible to the public, for the technical preparation of our team. Without a doubt, we should be very grateful for her attitude and willingness at all times.
A relevant detail to point out is that we were asked to have at least three people from our company take the knowledge courses on AWS and on the APN. Our colleagues at the APN gave us access to the course and the materials. We were certified on the course and AWS made a record of it, for certification purposes.
Some requirements to join the CPA
AWS requires a minimum number of certifications in order to approve admission to the partnership program. In particular, we were asked to have three members of our team certified as practitioners and two members certified as associate architects.
Once we met this requirement, AWS agreed to our application to join the APN. In addition, we are required to have the support of clients and have business opportunities validated by those clients. A minimum of 3 business opportunities are required. Logically, these are not required to be high volume business opportunities. It is enough that the clients registered by your company in the APN corroborate that such business opportunities are real.
In general, these are the requirements for the Select level.
Our next steps
We are currently in the process of preparing to obtain the next level of certification from the CPA. Consequently, the APN has already assigned us a manager for this purpose, which confirms that AWS is undoubtedly making a great effort to support companies like ours in meeting all the requirements.
From now on, we are going to focus on preparing the jump to Advanced. In principle, we want to develop as much as we can within our current range (Select), but for next year we will be working on meeting the additional requirements for jumping to Advanced.
On the other hand, this year we will also try to join what the APN calls the qualified partners.
Other benefits for the positioning of technological companies: the qualified partners
For qualified partners, the NPA allows them to become part of the partnership’s database and to specialise in a certain type of service.
In this way, when there are clients who come to the APN to look for third parties who can carry out the work for them, they will be presented on the platform as qualified partners to be able to carry out these services.
Going hand in hand with AWS, or in some way allowing software or technological service providers to put their logo, indicating that they are a partner recognised by the platform, is clearly a very important additional point of value and reference.
This significantly helps to give customers the confidence to contract them for this type of service. In addition, and according to what we explained at the beginning of the article, obtaining the partnership is a very positive point, in terms of the digital transformation and migration processes to the cloud that companies are carrying out.
At the same time, there is the question of the AWS recommended partner search engine.
Many clients use this search engine to find providers of certain types of service, and the APN allows provider companies to appear as recommended results, which enables them to position themselves and build a point of visibility with regard to their business niche.
Economic and technical training advantages for partners
One of the courses required in the training programme deals with how companies can sell their products, through minimal training in sales and distribution of technology products.
Logically, it is in the interest of AWS that companies can sell their products. In fact, as far as the access chapter is concerned, these are the opportunities that have been achieved.
In addition to the business opportunities, other additional advantages are discounts on certifications for the employees of the companies in the programme, as well as access to free courses and internal training, and economic discounts on the costs of developments made by the companies in relation to the number of business opportunities. For example, the NPA grants a percentage of its turnover in the form of vouchers to be used in the cloud itself.
In short, there are many advantages at an internal level, once the partnership has been achieved.
Likewise, other benefits are also offered in terms of training resources and technical growth, in order to move from the Select level to the Advanced level, or to obtain the qualified partner certification.
The AWS staff take companies by the hand, tell them what requirements they must meet and how to do it, help with training resources, access to technical materials, which is very interesting for the technical growth of the companies’ employees.
Conclusion: Why should companies bet on the AWS partnership programme?
As we have seen, the requirements to be part of the APN are not so complex or so difficult to achieve by medium or small companies, so the entry of your company in the APN is a very real and achievable possibility, which undoubtedly opens many doors to the development of your company.
Throughout the process, we were able to see that, on the part of AWS, it is not simply a matter of inviting companies to join the APN, simply informing them of the requirements they must meet, and hoping that they will then meet them on their own.
Without doubt, Gravity highly recommends any company interested in joining the NPA to take the decisive step and do so.