Users of Amazon Web Services are finding so many things to do with its cloud that its local channel chief thinks partners partnering with partners is imperative - and means the cloud pioneer is open to working with almost any sort of partner.
Corrie Briscoe took the reins of AWS' channel in August last 2018 and CRN last week asked about her priorities.
One point she wants to emphasise is that AWS’ approach to the channel starts from a customer’s needs and work backwards.
“I think a lot of organisations look at their channel engagement and take a very programmatic approach. I feel that AWS and our team here in Australia is taking a much more personalised approach,” said Briscoe.
“It's not always about the innovation to satisfy the need a customer has right now, but how our partners and how AWS are working with them to anticipate innovation, or what a customer will need one to two years from now. That's really exciting.”
“The majority of requirements in our competencies are actually built on customer demand similar to the way that we decide what the next service we're going to release is.”
Briscoe said Australian partners are current doing very well with its AI and ML tools.
“Some of the work that the likes of Intellify, that sits in our partner portfolio as a data services and AI specialist, the work they're doing with Alinta Energy to work out forecasting models so you can increase your prediction rates when you're looking at building new production environments for energy, it's really exciting.”
Another standout was Max Kelsen, a 15-year-old data and AI specialist consultancy based in Brisbane.
“They've been working with EB Games to look at their customer sentiment in store and using a lot of our cognitive services to analyse what that sentiment looks like across different stores, and how they can apply different strategies across different stores.”
From a global and local perspective, AWS is still insistent on partners finding their niche, but that doesn’t mean they have to stick to it, according to Briscoe.
“It makes good business sense to start where you have capability or differentiation in the market and then build off that. It's not to say, you'll always stay with that deep specialisation, but as a starting point, it makes the most sense. We have many partners that have started in a very specialised, niche area and are now starting to build out a second practice.”
The VMware connection
One of the major shake-ups among AWS’s channel this year has been the multiple tie-ups with VMware, including the introduction of the VMware Cloud on AWS partner initiative and opening up the solution to AWS’s channel.
Briscoe said there’s now a “significant” number of partners in Australia with VMware Cloud on AWS competencies. One of those partners is CMD Solutions, which worked with NIB to migrate its core infrastructure and applications to the cloud.
What really ignites Briscoe’s passion is a customer solution with a social impact, in particular, AWS’s partnership with Deloitte to build and host the competition portal for the Tech Girls Movement Foundation. The group works to encourage more girls into STEM skills by running a program called Search for the Next Tech Girl Superhero, which sees girls aged 7 – 17 identify a problem in their community, develop a business plan and eventually design an app.
“I think where you have the opportunity to make far reaching impact with your channel community becomes really exciting, and I see us doing that across the customer base.”
When it comes to what Briscoe wants partners to know about AWS’s channel, it’s that AWS is a broad church willing to work with every shape and size of partner.
“I don't think we come in with a closed mindset around what our community should look like or will look like in the future.
“There's a whole different set of skills that are needed to deliver any type of custom solution in market, and I think the partnering model that we see moving into the future will be multi-tiered and multi-faceted. This concept of partners partnering, I don't think is going to go away. So going after just one type of partner I think would be negligent.”