Corrie Briscoe took the reins of the Amazon Web Services Partner Network in August 2018.
I’ve been in the IT industry working in and around partners for over two decades, which is hard to believe because it moves really fast. If I look back at that time, I’ve always been really energised by the opportunity to work with partners and really help them build long-term businesses.
It’s something about working with organisations and really impacting how they’re thinking about the opportunity, but also how they build their business to make that opportunity.
If I look at those two decades, what I really love about this industry is just the pace at which it changes. I entered the industry when the dot com boom was at its peak and I think I sent my first email on my first day of work, so it’s a pretty different place to the world that my three kids live in now where it’s a struggle to do things without digital technology.
I’d spent the past seven years in Singapore working within the cloud ecosystem, working with a number of large Asia partners as well as global systems integrators. When I was offered the opportunity to move home with the family, it was an opportunity to lead the Australian APN (AWS Partner Network), and AWS at the time was pretty well-known to me. I knew many partners that had built successful businesses with AWS.
The other thing that really appealed to me about coming to AWS is the fact that we’re really unique in the way that we go to market.
We talk a lot about being customer-obsessed, but the more I got to know the organisation, the more I saw how real that was. The way that we think about our channel and invest in it, we always start with the customer and work backwards, so building the right capabilities in the APN that our customers actually need, that was really exciting.
The other thing that was really attractive was the breadth and depth of the AWS offering. It’s well known that we have probably one of the highest number of services available in the market today, and what does for our partners is give them the ability to go and innovative at scale on behalf of their customers.
AWS Partner Network
The final thing was the fact that the APN is really a core strategic pillar to our ANZ strategy and that the whole leadership team took that incredibly seriously.
My day consists of two things. The first is being an advocate for the APN internally. It’s understanding how we can match our APN capabilities to customer requirements. So a lot of my time is spent working with internal stakeholders to get a deeper understanding of what our customers need, and then working externally with partners to help them understand those opportunities and how they can successfully build a business on top of AWS.
At re:Invent last December, there were a number of announcements around the APN and what stood out for me was how it continues to evolve around working backwards from the customer. We announced a retail competency for the first time and that’s really recognising that some of our biggest retail customers require specific skill sets from their partners. So how do we recognise that through our competency program.
If you look at the Australian market, we now have customers like Kmart, David Jones and Country Road who are all-consuming and leveraging AWS services to transform how they deal with customers and how they’re building cost efficiencies into their business. They’re each after unique capabilities and an ability for our APN to offer deep domain expertise in those industries. So the retail competency is one way to recognise the partners that do have those capabilities, which allow customers to find those partners in an easier way.
We’re really trying to build an APN that is able to help customers do one or all of three things: increasing operational efficiency, decreasing cost and the third really important thing is how do we help customers innovate faster.
At the end of the day, the APN is about delivering brilliant customer outcomes, and they’ll deliver those outcomes by investing in skills. We know skills are a key differentiator in driving customer success, building their own repeatable IP and building go-to-market structures.
One of my biggest learnings since being at AWS is the importance of being customer-obsessed.
That means a whole heap of things, from understanding the needs of customers at a really deep level, providing the right tools and solutions to enable customers and partners to innovate, but also providing support beyond technology.
A lot of the way we’re thinking about the APN is not only how we give partners the broadest and deepest portfolio of services, but also how we help them build build businesses, and we do that in a number of ways.
We’ve invested in an APN partner team here in both technical and business development resources, and those people wake up every day thinking about how they can help their partner drive great customer outcomes.
Another observation is the number of partners that are deciding to specialise, and that’s really exciting, especially when you look at some of the newer areas. It’s a time when partners can drive domain expertise in their core area and then really scale it. We’re also starting to see partner-to-partner engagements as we build out that specialist ecosystem. So it’s the role of the APN to help customers understand partner capabilities, but also for partners to find other partners that can help them in customer engagements.
Aug 2018 – present:
Head of partnerships and alliances, Australia and New Zealand, AWS
Jul 2017 – Aug 2018:
Director, partner development, Microsoft
Dec 2014 – July 2017:
Director, enterprise partner sales, Microsoft
Dec 2012 – Dec 2014:
APJC leader, strategic partner organisation, Cisco
Nov 2006 – Feb 2013:
Regional manager, partner organisation, Cisco
May 2003 – 2006:
Channel account manager, Cisco
Nov 2000 – Mar 2003:
Marketing manager, communications, Cisco