AWS To Bring New Partner Perks to APN and Marketplace
Amazon Web Services (AWS) put the spotlight on its ongoing investments in its partner ecosystem at this week's AWS re:Invent Global Partner Summit.
The AWS Partner Network (APN) grew by over 10,000 members in the past 12 months, according to a statement on Tuesday by Terry Wise, head of Global Alliances at AWS. "To support this growth, we are continuing to invest heavily in the APN Program to ensure that AWS customers have access to the best software and services for AWS and so that our partners can continue to build successful cloud businesses on AWS," he said.
To that end, AWS this week launched two new competencies for APN partners -- one for machine learning and one for networking. In addition, the company unveiled a trio of upcoming programs for APN Consulting and Technology partners.
For Consulting partners, AWS is readying the new Solution Provider Program, which will take the place of the older Channel Reseller Program in early 2018. According to AWS, the Solution Provider Program will be aimed at "APN Consulting Partners who are innovating on behalf of their customers with proven solution capabilities and have achieved competencies in the areas of Migration, Managed Service Provider (MSP), and/or DevOps." Among the perks of the Solution Provider Program are more support and contract options.
The other two APN changes are aimed at Technology partners. The AWS Software as a Service (SaaS) Factory will deliver enablement, architecture, best practices and training resources for partners offering SaaS solutions on AWS. Meanwhile, the SaaS Accelerate Program will provide marketing and sales support.
Both the SaaS Factory and the SaaS Accelerate Program are expected to launch early next year.
AWS Marketplace Updates
A new AWS Marketplace feature aimed at facilitating the contract process for customers and partners was released into preview on Tuesday.
"Enterprise Contract for AWS Marketplace" is a templated buyer-seller contract "that resolves challenging terms including liability, dispute resolution, IP protection, warranty, and more across multiple vendors," according to AWS. The new feature, which AWS said was designed in collaboration with 30 enterprises buying and selling on the AWS Marketplace, aims to expedite the procurement negotiation process and avoid months-long project delays.
Currently in private preview, Enterprise Contract for AWS Marketplace is expected to become generally available in the first quarter of 2018.
Also in preview for AWS Marketplace users is "Private Image Build," a capability that lets organizations run software from AWS Marketplace vendors on their own images. This capability lets customers simultaneously run third-party software while maintaining compliance with their IT departments' security policies.
In other AWS Marketplace news, AWS also announced at re:Invent this week an upgrade to its recently launched PrivateLink offering. PrivateLink initially allowed AWS customers to create secure connections between their virtual private clouds (VPCs) to other AWS services using VPC endpoints. As of Tuesday, AWS is enabling PrivateLink to establish connections to customer and partner solutions on AWS, including those sold on the AWS Marketplace.
"Companies can now create services and offer them for sale to other AWS customers, for access via a private connection," said AWS evangelist Jeff Barr in a blog post this week announcing the update. "They create a service that accepts TCP traffic, host it behind a Network Load Balancer, and then make the service available, either directly or in AWS Marketplace. They will be notified of new subscription requests and can choose to accept or reject each one. I expect that this feature will be used to create a strong, vibrant ecosystem of service providers in 2018."
According to Wise, the AWS Marketplace currently has over 160,000 active customers, and over 4,200 software listings from nearly 1,300 providers.
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