Partners, re:Invent Your Business Model with AWS

I had the opportunity to attend the AWS re:Invent show in Las Vegas late November 2017 and it did not disappoint.

I constantly heard there is a lack of AWS experience, lack of visibility into AWS usage and costs, and lack of AWS policies and procedures to maintain AWS deployments, and inability to just keep up with the innovation curve.  There were over 1,000 new products and services released by AWS in 2017 –  The pace of change is unrelenting and accelerating!

Whenever I see a huge industry need like this  – I see a huge opportunity! There is no better time for the trusted advisor to help and capture the meteoric AWS opportunity with the AVANT partner ecosystem.

The growth and size of the AWS opportunity for partners is just amazing.  There were were over 40,000 participants, mostly enterprise customers, learning not just about AWS and it’s plans for the future, but also about the AWS ecosystem that offer support and over the top tools and managed services.  There were many, many exhibitors in the AVANT vendor partner ecosystem at AWS that can help the channel capitalize on the AWS  tsunami. You can see the full list of vendors that attended here, including Rackspace, Datapipe, Hosting, Centurylink, Comcast, Peak10/Viawest, MegaPort, equinix, Cyxtera, Parkmycloud, Level 3 and many others.

For those of you in the channel that didn’t attend, I thought it might be useful to give you a deeper insight into the AWS opportunity.

The Landscape

The enterprise consumerization of IT has created a scenario where many times users purchasing services are unqualified and in over their head (though they often will not admit it),  Often they’re not part of the official IT lifecycle process, ensuring with security and quality controls (assuming the enterprise had them in the 1st place).  Even well meaning IT departments are also struggling just with the shear pace of change and innovation.

Basic AWS Cost Management: AWS makes it so simple to spin up virtual servers and access compute power on demand that many users have created a massive mess of instances and complex invoices that are causing them to hemorrhage IT budget dollars.  Reading an AWS bill brings back flashbacks of arcane telco bills where no one knows what the charge actually is for, but everyone is afraid to cancel the service for fear of turing critical systems.  Non-production systems are some of the worst culprits, with nightmare stories of people spinning up demo system and forgetting to decommission workloads, burning through budgets.

Patch and Security Management: Patch management and security policies don’t disappear with AWS.  They actually become harder to manage because all the workloads are often distributed with different groups and not centrally managed.

Network and Network Security Management: Network management and security can be more complex with AWS and requires new ways of managing and thinking about availability and performance vs. traditional environments.  When do I need a direct connect solution?  How do I connect my hybrid environments most efficiently?

Managing Platform Changes: AWS often releases new instance types, often cheaper than the ones that currently exist.  Customers have a hard time keeping up with the new platforms and don’t migrate to optimize their spend.

AWS Management Tools: Based on what I heard repeatedly at the conference, the out of the box AWS tools don’t seem to be doing the job and the depth of knowledge required to interpret and act upon the information the tools provide requires significant practical experience.  A plethora of companies providing 3rd party AWS analytical tools exhibited on the expo hall.  Customers need these tools to help give them visibility and enable them to proactively manage and optimize their environments, but all of the tools in the world aren’t going to help if the customer doesn’t have the right resources internally to use the tools, as well as develop and follow the proper processes and procedures to ensure that their environment is cost-effective and compliant.  The IT talent shortage ensures that many customers simply won’t have the ability to get their AWS environments under control

The Opportunity

You’re probably already surmised that the opportunity is for partners to help answer every one of the challenges listed above.  Our ecosystem of AVANT partners can help your customers with:

• Professional services to:
​               • Identify savings opportunities
​               • Optimize performance
​               • Take over ongoing management
​     • Services they can perform include:
​               • Simple assessments and analysis
​               • Simplified bill management
​                         • including department level visibility/policy controls
​     • Migration services
​     • Platform access policy and management
​     • Security and patch management,
​               • Network design and management, including:
​                         • Direct connect, VPN and SD-WAN networks
​     • Hybrid data center designs with direct connects to AWS

Coming from a more traditional telecom product set shouldn’t dissuade partners from getting into the AWS opportunity now.

Start simply by asking 3 simple questions:
​     • Are you happy with your AWS implementation?
​     • Do you think you have optimized your AWS environment and spend? Is your spend under control?
​     • Are you happy with the performance of your AWS environment?

These simple questions will set you on a journey of opportunity.  Leverage our IQ Assessment Forms to help guide you through additional questions.

The AVANT ecosystem of partners are here to support you when you are ready to become an over-the-top cloud partner immediately, which, coincidentally, is when I think partners need to enter this market if they want the most upside.  AVANT partners with a wide range of MSPs to meet a broad range of customer need.

The stakes are high for your customers.  Don’t sit this one out on the sidelines, partner with AVANT to get in now.