By Alex Danyluk, Chief Strategy Officer, Avant
The growth and size of the Amazon Web Services (AWS) opportunity for partners is unrivaled in today’s IT environment. While customers are eagerly adopting and scaling AWS services, there is one word I almost always hear: “Help.” The strength and volume of this request is proportional to the speed of adoption and volume of AWS services used. And as we know, where there’s a cry for help, there’s an opportunity for a trusted adviser in the channel to come to the customer’s aid.
Five fundamental considerations illustrate the scope of AWS challenges and partner opportunities:
- Basic AWS cost management: Many users have created a massive mess of instances and complex invoices that cause them to hemorrhage IT budget dollars. Reading an AWS bill brings back flashbacks of arcane telco invoices where no one knows the actual meaning of a charge, but everyone is afraid to cancel the service for fear of breaking critical systems. Non-production systems are some of the worst culprits, with nightmare stories of people spinning up demo systems, forgetting to decommission workloads and burning through budgets.
- Patch and security management: Patch management and security policies don’t disappear with AWS. They become more difficult to manage because workloads are often distributed with different groups and not centrally managed. See: shared responsibility model.
- Network and network-security management: Compared with traditional environments, network management and security can be more complex with AWS and require new ways of managing and thinking about availability and performance. When do you need a direct-connect solution? How do you connect hybrid and multicloud environments most efficiently?
- Managing platform changes: AWS often releases new instance types that are less expensive than the ones they replace; however, customers have difficulty keeping up with new platforms and frequently don’t migrate, thereby leaving easy savings opportunities on the IT expense table. Again, as with basic cost management, experienced sellers of digital services have the know-how to keep customer costs as low as possible.
- AWS management tools: AWS management tools aren’t doing the job; moreover, the depth of knowledge that may be required to interpret and act on the information provided by these tools comes only with significant practical experience. Customers need third-party AWS analytical tools to help give them effective visibility and to enable proactive management and optimization. But all of the tools in the world won’t help if the customer doesn’t have the right internal resources to get the most from these systems. The ongoing IT talent shortage ensures that many customers simply won’t have the ability to get their AWS environments under control.
There is a rich ecosystem of MSPs and specialist service providers that are laser-focused on helping customers manage the above issues. These AWS providers have their own scale challenges, however, and are building rich channel programs that channel trusted advisers can leverage. At Avant, I’m seeing many of these providers launching new programs and actively seeing new partners. We’re working to be the one-stop shop to help you help your customers, because believe me, partners can help answer every one of those five challenges. The stakes are high. Don’t sit this one out.
Alex Danyluk is Avant’s chief strategy officer. Alex drives Avant’s corporate growth strategy, including leading its marketing, business development and partner program. He has 25+ years of experience in service provider, hosting and managed business services, with a diverse background including sales, marketing, channel development, product management and engineering. Catch up with Alex at Avant’s Special Forces Training colocated with Channel Partners Evolution.