Reseller News

AWS hiring spree focuses on strengthening NZ partner community

AWS NZ is making a series of senior, partner-related hires
Tim Dacombe-Bird (AWS NZ)

Tim Dacombe-Bird (AWS NZ)

Amazon Web Services NZ is gearing up with a new local structure and new hires, many focused on the partner community.

New Zealand country manager Tim Dacombe-Bird told Reseller News at the AWS Summit in Sydney last month the company was adding 28 new positions, with many already hired.

However, over the last month a series of new partner-related positions were being filled.

AWS, for instance, is looking for an experienced partner lead for NZ to develop relationships with system integrators, customers and to manage the success of the partnerships. 

Responsibilities include the development and execution of partner strategy, owning the partnering relationships with key partners in territory, driving sales execution, training and certifications, account team alignment, marketing support and more.

In addition to that role, AWS is seeking a partner manager to manage its relationship with major global systems integration partner Deloitte. Whoever fills the role will develop and execute partner strategy, training and joint sales and go to market programs.

That position is being mirrored across the region, with similar positions advertised in Australia and South East Asia in recent weeks.

An ISV (independent software vendor) partner manager is also being hired to lead programs to help local software and technology partners scale and grow their businesses.

That person will collaborate with partners to drive joint go-to-market and 'sell-with' activity, to bring innovative solutions to customers and to help them engage with and nurture clients to enhance and grow partner-related AWS revenue.

Dacombe-Bird said AWS's local business was growing "incredibly well across the board". The company, however, appears not to have filed its financial statements at the NZ Companies Office for several years so exact figures are not available.

Reseller News has queried this with AWS repeatedly but has so far failed to make any progress on the issue.

In New Zealand, the business is organised around three key transformation initiatives -- business transformation, economic transformation and personal transformation -- designed to provide focus to AWS's engagement.

Business transformation is focused on transforming business cost structures and relationships with customers. It helps customers retire technical debt, enable rapid digital innovation, and helps them gain insights through data.

Economic transformation is based around the fact AWS believes it can influence the economy of NZ by driving tech exports through direct engagement with the start-up and venture capital community. In that cause, AWS is building out teams to engage with ISV community in NZ.

Working with NZTE, AWS identified there were around 1,200 organisations in NZ that build software to sell.

AWS is activating a team to engage with start-ups and newly formed organisations, Dacombe-Bird said. That will provide access to training, support and AWS credits. 

Dacombe-Bird said the third initiative, personal transformation, recognises the need to ensure that people's skills are keeping up with change. 

Industry group NZTech estimated 120,000 people work in IT in NZ while only around five per cent have AWS certifications. That presented a big opportunity to help people in the NZ IT community to re-skill.

AWS said it had been collaborating with several large customers in NZ since 2013 by implementing programs under which technical and non-technical staff participate in a six-plus month periods of defined learning to develop skills that are validated through certification and practical exercises, such as game days and hackathons.

Bank of New Zealand, for instance, launched a partnership last week called the "BNZ Cloud Guild", a structured and formalised training program to develop BNZ’s long-term cloud talent and become a leading cloud enterprise in NZ.

"This guild is part of the broader digital transformation initiative and incorporates a holistic approach on skills enablement which includes a mixed delivery of digital and classroom training, as well as experiential days and workshops, such as immersion days, lunch/learn sessions, hackathons, certification workshops and so on," AWS said.

BNZ is targeting all of its tech staff to attend the training guild, however they need to ramp up the training over time. 

In the next financial year the goal is for 35 per cent, and this is likely to increase the following year.

AWS has also been running local programs in NZ to improve training of the future workforce such as AWS Academy in TAFEs and polytechnics, as well as its Kids in Tech program in local schools.

Among other positions being advertised is that of escalation manager, a single process owner for the enterprise support team to "dive deep on the customer issue" to solve customer problem as quickly as possible.

The AWS professional services team is also seeking enterprise service managers (ESMs) to support relationships with global organisations.

"The ESM is a trusted advisor for our largest and most committed customers," the advertisement says. "The role includes all aspects of business development, relationship development, delivery oversight and program management in those accounts."

Rob O'Neill attended the AWS Summit in Sydney as a guest of AWS.