Amazon Web Services (AWS) has used the opening day of its re:Invent 2016 conference to showcase its engagement with a broader base of channel partners, emphasised through its new relationship with VMware.
Scheduled for launch in mid-2017, the partner program will act as an overlap between the existing partner programs of both vendors, designed to provide an extra layer of support for the channel migrating customer workloads running on VMware’s cloud platform to AWS.
AWS head of channels and alliances, Terry Wise, told ARN that the offering will initially be available to top tier partners from both vendors.
“You have to have deep skills in both AWS and VMware,” he said. “Typically, we are going to start in the top tiers of the program.
“We are going to have a dedicated team working to create this program, there is going to be training and enablement.
“Partners are going to have to be able to stand up the VMware cloud on AWS, which VMware is going to be taking the lead on.
"Obviously, we want partners to be able to do that over time as soon as possible so we will be providing the solution blueprints on how to stand this up, including best practices on how to integrate the VMware cloud with AWS services."
Wise said there was a "huge demand" globally from customers and partners running applications from companies such as Microsoft on VMware, alongside integrating these with solutions such as Redshift, AWS EMR, AWS IoT and machine learning.
“By co-locating those assets in the same cloud environment, integration becomes easier, as does performance optimisation," he explained.
"That is really where the partner comes in because all of these implementations to a certain degree will be one off.
"We are very aligned with VMware because we largely left all of that business to the ecosystem so there is a natural synergy from a partner philosophy standpoint.
Wise added there would also be significant investment from the AWS side in partners on training enablement and go-to-market programs.
“Our field sales organisations are incentivised to work with one another and will be incentivised to work with partners. There will be a number of different investment funds to make sure the customers are successful early and that partners are getting their feet under them quickly.”
Wise said the added benefit was that partners will have pools of resources from both vendors to draw from, giving them additional opportunities for investment and leads.
From a local perspective, AWS head of channels and alliances, Stefan Jansen, told ARN that a number of partners had already contacted the vendor expressing interest in the program.
“There were existing partners but also some very new partners because [the program] validates their value proposition as well coming from the other side,” he said.
“Datacom is a great example [of a partner which would benefit from this program],” added Wise. “They are a big VMware partner, you just need to look where the overlapping circles are and you can see where the synergy is likely to be.
“The alignment has been very strong on both sides,” he added.