India is a very important market for us, and we are accelerating our commitment here. The vast majority of our enterprise business would be partners led. For the first time we are formally doing this partners’ summit, which is reflective of our overall investment we are making in India.
Amazon Web Services recently held a three-city partner summit in the country, reiterating the importance that India holds for this $5billion worth business cloud vendor.
For the first time Amazon Web Services (AWS) disclosed its financial results last month, posting $265 million of operating income for 2015’s first quarter on revenue of $1.57 billion. With this AWS, started in 2006, has emerged as the most profitable business segment of Seattle-based Amazon. com, worth $5bn business and is still growing.
Amazon has five offices in India (Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad) with personnel such as marketing, business development, channel development, solution architects, technical support, training and enablement to support their customers and channel partners.
AWS has launched two edge locations in Mumbai and Chennai during July 2013, which are part of the global network of edge locations, for content delivery service, Amazon CloudFront and their Domain Name Services (DNS) service, Amazon Route53. With the local edge locations in India, content is delivered to end users with low latency and high data transfer speeds so that end users in India have a great experience in accessing videos, images etc.
Recently, showcasing its commitment to India market, AWS for the first time held a three-city partner roadshow in Mumbai, Bangalore and Delhi addressed by Terry Wise, Director of AWS Worldwide Partner Ecosystem and Bikram S Bedi, Head of AWS India.
Throwing more light on this new initiative Wise says, “India is a very important market for us, and we are accelerating our commitment here. The vast majority of our enterprise business would be partners led. For the first time we are formally doing this partners’ summit, which is reflective of our overall investment we are making in India. We have lots of demands and great partners, and are just scratching the surface, even though we have been present in India for last six years.”
“We have grown our team substantially — direct sales, marketing, partners – and are doing lot of customers’ events as well. Through these summits we are teaching our partners about the best practices in building the businesses around managing the managed services on a cloud with AWS etc. We have 1000 ISVs who have deployed their products as SaaS hosting,” he adds.
With each city witnessing participation from hundreds of partners the summit also gave them a platform on knowing more about how to build ecosystems, how to build business with AWS, about business opportunities, and also got to know about newly launched services.
With its partners numbering in thousands globally, in India it runs in hundreds, and in the last one year it has almost doubled its partners globally and in India too.
A couple of years-old, partner program AWS Partner Network (APN) has a heavy emphasis on building the rich partners ecosystems. It consists of thousands of consulting/SI partners and technology/ISV partners across the world.
The AWS Technology Partners in India include SAP, Oracle, Microsoft, Adobe, RAMCO, Newgen, Druva, Seclore, Indusface, Freshdesk among many others.
The AWS Consulting Partners include CapGemini, Accenture, Wipro, Progressive, Minjar, Team Computers, KPIT Cummins, SaaSforce, SD2Iabs, Blazeclan, Edifixio, 8K miles and Intelligrape among many others.
AWS follows three primary channels to market: first is self-service business, where people buy service online through its portal, even its partners do transactions through this portal. Second is direct sales model, which is a combination of inside and outside field sales, and solutions architecture, and Wise says AWS has made massive investment in the last two-three years in growing this team in India and globally.
Third is partners’ ecosystem, which has been structured in a way that it works effectively with the direct sales model for ease of buying for its customers — mainly enterprise and start-ups.
With cloud service startups making their presence felt strongly in the market Wise says the market is massive, with many winners, hence they don’t pay attention to their competition, and it’s on customers they are more focused on.
“There are opportunities for people to win in this space. It’s a very capital intensive business — high volume, low margin — and becomes more challenging for smaller companies to reach at that scale that we operate in. There would be some winners; the new entrants need to see how they will differentiate themselves”
From start-ups, to media like McMillan or Tata Motors AWS has strengthened its tentacles in every vertical. With over million active customers globally and 12000 in India AWS wants to make its presence stronger in BFSI and manufacturing. Some of its partners include Minjar and Blazeclan and SaaSforce.
“While the enterprise space is fastest growing space for us globally, including India, the value proposition for start-ups is very good, as they don’t have existing infrastructures this gives them the nimbleness to start right away; while enterprises with their own infrastructures and policies are moving slowly,” informs Wise.
In India AWS follows two tier model, and with its recent tie-up with Redington, it now has a three tier model. “The market is massive hence we work with the channel. We will do it globally. The vast majority of our tier II partners depend on reach of economy of scales, and as the market matures, as more partners need to participate, we will be moving into three tier distribution model which makes more sense,” says Bikram S Bedi, Head of Amazon Web Services India.
Last year saw some aggressive pricing war among the cloud vendors. And since 2006 AWS has done 48 times price drop. On this Wise replies, “Our philosophy is when we reach the economy of scales, we drop pricing. We have been very consistent and will continue to do so. The price drop has nothing to do with a competition, it is been ability to do our operation effectively. We are super focused on higher value and innovative services.”
Customers are also increasingly demanding for partners with skills and credentials in certain solution areas and this has led AWS since last year to start competency certification and trainings for its partners. It has also created this competency program within APN, to serve its partners more effectively; and is now getting into vertical-wise competency programs like storage and life-sciences.
Wise say they are getting feedbacks from their channel partners in India as to how over the last two-three years, they are seeing accelerated interests and change in the mindset among companies, and are proactively asking their channel partners about migrating on-premises work-loads and core enterprise applications to AWS.
“This thus presents great business opportunities for our AWS Partner Network that has the expertise and experience in using the breadth and depth of AWS cloud services to help organizations move their existing workloads to the cloud as well as formulate migration plans.” he adds.
AWS’S PARTNER PROGRAMS
AWS GLOBAL PARTNER PROGRAMS – AWS has been developing a number of global partner programs and are constantly innovating. Here are the Consulting and Technology Partner Programs that are designed to support our partners in building out their practice, solutions and go-to-market with AWS:-
• AWS CHANNEL RESELLER PROGRAM – The AWS Global Channel Reseller Program enables qualified partners to resell AWS services to both commercial and public sector end customers. The program is designed for APN Consulting Partners who have built their AWS practice to include professional services and management of end customer AWS deployments.
• AWS MANAGED SERVICE PROGRAM – The AWS Managed Service Program is designed for APN Consulting Partners who are skilled at cloud infrastructure and application migration, and deliver value to customers by offering proactive monitoring, automation, and management of their customer’s environment.
• APN COMPETENCY PROGRAM – APN Competencies are granted to APN Partners who have demonstrated technical proficiency and proven customer success in specialized solution areas.
• AWS MARKETPLACE – The AWS Marketplace enables qualified partners to market and sell their software to AWS Customers. AWS Marketplace is an online software store that helps customers find, buy, and immediately start using the software and services that run on AWS.
(By: Karma Negi)