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​Meet the top performing AWS partners in A/NZ

Tech giant honours five leading partners, with channel strength and depth on show at AWS Partner Summit.
Idea 11, DiUS, Versent, Xero and Soltius took home the honours during the AWS Partner Awards in Sydney (Photo - Maria Stefina)

Idea 11, DiUS, Versent, Xero and Soltius took home the honours during the AWS Partner Awards in Sydney (Photo - Maria Stefina)

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has honoured its five top performing partners in the local channel, recognising cloud innovation and expertise across Australia and New Zealand.

Revealed during the AWS Partner Summit in Sydney, Idea 11, DiUS, Versent, Xero and Soltius took home the honours, excelling in rising star, innovation, consulting, technology and specialist categories.

But perhaps more encouraging for the global cloud provider, the strength and depth of the AWS ecosystem was out in full force during the channel kick-off conference, with nearly 700 partners attending the pre-cursor to the AWS Summit.

“We have a healthy partner ecosystem in Australia and New Zealand,” AWS Head of Channels and Alliances, Stefan Jansen, told ARN.

“We have a diverse group of partners and great stories across the region. We’ve had over 50 partners referred to during the AWS Partner Summit because of their tooling and services, which points to a strong ecosystem.

“I’m proud of the integration of our partner ecosystem into the wider AWS business and secondly, the increased diversity which we can now represent.

“If you are wanting to be part of that ecosystem and are wanting to leverage those assets, there’s value in articulating your point of differentiation in the market.”

Rising Star Partner of the Year - Idea 11

Operating as a Brisbane-based IT consulting company, Idea 11 is now an AWS Advanced Consulting Partner in recognition of its major cloud wins across Australia.

Specifically, the start-up has secured deals with EB Games, Aurion and Watpac, alongside success in the public sector space with Queensland Building and Construction Committee through a partnership with Telstra.

Despite working across South East Queensland, Idea 11 is advancing across both local and global markets, providing next-generation IT solutions along the way.

Specifically, the business worked with Watpac from a digital transformation standpoint, commencing a data migration to AWS from the civil and mining services company’s own data centre.

In addition, Idea 11 is exploring opportunities around the Internet of Things (IoT) and big data analytics, as it finds new ways to innovate in the cloud.

“Idea 11 is a small specialised partner and they’ve learned with us along the way,” Jansen told ARN. “It’s credit to Idea 11 that they’ve delivered solid outcomes during the past year.

“A lot of traditional customers are entering the next phase of exploring cloud, but many partners don’t always display the willingness and forward-thinking nature to stick to what they believe to be the right path for the customer.

“Idea 11 is a very young organisation but as a small specialised partner, they’ve learned with us along the way."

Innovation Partner of the Year - DiUS

As a leading Australian technology services organisation, DiUS operates a cloud-native model, delivering value-added solutions on AWS to customers across a broad range of industries, including property, finance, healthcare and energy.

“For DiUS, two strong stories stood out,” Jansen explained.

Firstly, DiUS supported REA Group with the launch of the real estate industry’s first virtual reality (VR) use-case.

Under the banner of “Daydream”, the application was created using a VR platform, with the DiUS team bringing the product to life under a tight timeline.

In addition, the Melbourne-based partner worked with software provider MYOB to help transform its big-data infrastructure, moving the accountancy provider to AWS in a bid to re-engineer the company’s internal business processes.

Specifically, the project was a custom application development from the ground up, utilising AWS Lambda to process the large amounts of data the model required.

“DiUS also took out the Consulting Partner of the Year award in 2016, which is great testament to the growth of the company,” Jansen added.

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“DiUS has continued to be very focused as an organisation on the core development and innovation. They have a high-energy, next generation approach and leverage a strong group of developers.”

Consulting Partner of the Year - Versent

Operating as a cloud partner since 2014, Melbourne-based IT consultancy firm, Versent, has advanced through the AWS ranks to achieve Advanced Partner status in 2016, with plans in place to achieve Premier Partner status in 2017.

For the service provider, key customers include Transurban and Adobe, with the company most recently delivering an API management solution to Service NSW, allowing the agency to perform half its transactions digitally.

In building a platform that services over 7.64 million citizens across a range of information and government services, Versent is helping Service NSW realise its target of 50 per cent digital adoption in the year ahead.

“If you think about where Versent is right now, they are a serious large consulting firm,” Jansen told ARN. “They have a long-term view on what the future will look like and they are very focused around automation, security and cloud.

“If you go deep, you deliver highest value and it’s proved time and time again because if you want to do a little bit of everything, customers are starting to call that out.

"Versent consistently call out the areas that they want to be standing for, and that’s what they focus on.”

Technology Partner of the Year - Xero

In recognition of a ground-breaking year, Xero took out the top technology honour after completing the final phase of the accounting provider’s migration to AWS.

Alongside the completion of the migration process, the New Zealand-owned and operated business also surpassed a million customers globally, while introducing new levels of innovation in the cloud through artificial intelligence and machine learning.

During a hectic year of growth, the business released more than 1,000 new services or updates, leveraging key parts of the AWS stack such as DynamoDB, Redshift, Kinesis, CloudSearch and Lambda.

In addition, Xero launched a Facebook-based chatbot built on AWS, designed to utilise machine learning to enable businesses to connect directly to the company’s back-end ecosystem.

“There were some awesome submissions from other partners which is testament to the strong year that Xero has had,” Jansen added. “Xero has completed one of the most largest and complex migrations to AWS and they continue to go from strength to strength in the cloud.

“But the real power of this story is in the context of our partnership because migration was not the core goal. Xero made the move to embrace the entire AWS platform that unlocks the ability to do much more in the cloud, which ties into their plans around machine learning and artificial intelligence.”

Xero’s current partner ecosystem includes banking partners, payment providers, and more than 500 add-on developer partners who use the company’s APIs to build new applications, including industry and geo-specific offerings across the world.

Specialised Partner of the Year - Soltius

New Zealand-owned, SAP Solutions company, Soltius, joined the Kiwi contingent of top performing AWS partners following a year of strong growth within the AWS partner ecosystem.

As a 20-year-old business, Soltius works with over 80 organisations New Zealand-wide, providing SAP solutions, support and consulting services.

As the only SAP partner with Gold status in New Zealand, the business has established itself as a leading IT consulting firm, capable of re-platforming SAP on to the AWS platform.

“Soltius are a market leader in New Zealand,” Jansen said. “It’s been a joint journey for both sides and we’re continuing to innovate in equal measure. Our partner programs are updated in response to the experience we have in the field and the foresight of a partner such as Soltius to get on that journey with SAP is a great example of this.

“We listen to our partners and we innovate alongside while staying focused on the customer.”

From an AWS perspective, Soltius achieved Advanced Partner status in July 2016, reseller status in September and in November was SAP Competency accredited, making them one of 17 partners worldwide to achieve such a status.