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Day 3 of AWS re:Invent 2019 began with the Global Partner Summit Keynote. As a member of the AWS Partner Network (APN) since 2012, we at 2nd Watch were excited to see this in between Andy Jassy’s and Dr.Vogels’ keynotes – it gave us some time to absorb the previous day’s announcements and hopefully helped highlight what is happening within the APN ecosystem to more of the conference attendees.

The Keynote was delivered by Doug Yeum, Head of AWS Worldwide Channels and Alliances.  He began with his background, which included prior experience starting and running a System Integrator (SI), joining AWS in 2014, working as general manager in Korea, and as Andy Jassy’s chief of staff.

Yeum gave some impressive numbers about the growth of APN, such as a 5x increase in the number of partners since 2014, and the fact that they are adding an average of 50 partners per day.  He then went in to three areas that AWS is investing in to ensure the success of its partners:

  • AWS Innovation: New AWS services lead to more opportunities to help clients realize value from them.
  • Geographic Expansion: More regions bring AWS services closer to AWS users and their customers.
  • Enterprise Migration: Enterprise applications like SAP tend to use consultants to help them migrate to the cloud.

All of this growth is driving partner diversification and collaboration.  Yeum gave numerous examples of next-generation service providers, specialized SIs, Value-Added Resellers (VARs), and management consultants that have emerged recently to help clients navigate ever more complex challenges.  Many partners are also combining forces to deliver more complete solutions that they could not offer on their own.  Yeum stated that he believed Digital Transformation is the biggest opportunity still out there.

Next up was Stewart Fry, VP of Enterprise IT for BP.  He spoke about BP’s cloud journey, which started in 2013, and the various partners who helped them along the way – from their digital foundation, to SAP migrations, to modernizing their application stack.  BP continues to accelerate their cloud transformation, announcing that they were going “all-in” in Europe and moving an additional 900 applications.  Fry closed with  the announcement that AWS will purchase renewable power from BP for AWS datacenters in Europe.

Back on stage, Yeum dove in to three areas from the previous day’s announcements where AWS technical innovation and AWS partners were continuing to enable new benefits for customers; Containers, Machine Learning, and AWS Connect.  Christopher Cerruto, VP of Global Architecture and Analytics at Avis, took the stage to discuss ways that AWS services such as SageMaker, EMR, and Redshift were enabling completely new capabilities and efficiencies across their fleet of vehicles, and of course, to talk about the partners that helped them get there.

The next topic was startups.  After discussing the many ways that AWS already supports startups today, Yeum announced the new APN Global Startup Program, with prescriptive benefits, an accelerated path to meeting APN requirements, and other tailored resources and support for startups that meet the qualifications.

Dave McCann, VP of AWS Marketplace, followed, talking about how Marketplace is transforming the software supply chain and some changes in the Marketplace to better support partners and enable customers.  Highlights included the announcement of Seller Private Offers, the Discovery API, VPC Ingress for Partners, and Data Exchange.

Andy Jassy sat down with Yeum for their fireside chat, which lasted nearly 30 minutes (and kicked off with a mention of 2nd Watch just a few minutes in!).  The wide-ranging interview covered subjects such as leadership (which is all about prioritization, according to Jassy), partner experience (which Jassy likened to asking a doctor, “How many times have you done this surgery before?”), and how partners can get the most value from re:Invent (talk to others, ask questions, learn everything you can from the sessions).

Yeum made some more announcements about matching customers with partners who have experience and competency in the right areas – the AWS Service Ready Program and the AWS Retail Competency.

Sandy Carter was the last guest to speak at the keynote, and she gave an update on what is happening in the Public Sector.  Highlights included the Authority to Operate program, the Partner Transformation Program, and the new AWS Public Safety/Disaster Response Competency. Yeum wrapped up the keynote by reiterating AWS’s commitment to partner success, acknowledging partners as a key part of AWS’ growth, and that AWS wanted to partner for the long term.

There was a lot for partners to be excited about during today’s presentation.  2nd Watch is looking forward to helping customers get even more value from AWS in 2020!

– Evan Lucchesi Leon, Director, Cloud Advocacy

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