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ARQ, AC3, Datacom and NEC debut AWS Partner Transformation Program in A/NZ

Program provides partners with 100-day transformation planning plan

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has launched its Partner Transformation Program (PTP) in Australia and New Zealand, tapping four local players as inaugural members. 

The world's biggest cloud provider has started working with ARQ, AC3, Datacom and NEC on its two-year-old program, which aims to improve their customer migration capabilities.  

The program consists of a 100-day transformation plan carried out by AWS for its partners, which involves ‘scrums’ and daily training sessions about cloud best practices. 

According to Sandy Carter, AWS vice president of global public sector partners and programs, partners realise an average of 25 per cent higher revenue growth than their peers who have not participated in the program. 

"Several of the partners have said just by having a plan set out has helped them achieve amazing cost savings,” she told ARN

“Some talk about just the best practices and how to move from a transaction-based business to a total contract revenue-based business. That really makes a difference. And so, it's a very powerful program that we've used and leveraged for almost over 400 partners to date.” 

Released in 2018, AWS has only now decided to really ramp up the program’s presence, tapping Tech Data to deliver it in the United States and Europe, and selecting the aforementioned four local partners this year. 

The news comes as AWS revealed it has seen 45 per cent global year-on-year growth in the number of businesses that have joined its public sector partner program, now totalling 1,600 partners globally. 

“We have strong momentum throughout the world, not just in the number of partners, but also the value that they're delivering,” Carter said. “We've seen a big surge, not just the larger partners, but also the small and medium sector.” 

To complement its public sector channel offerings, AWS boasts two major competencies: the public safety and disaster response competency and mainframe migration competency, the latter of which will start in 2021 with Deloitte as a founding partner.  

“There's so much of the world that has already moved to the cloud. But yet, there are so many customers that are still sitting on-premises,” Carter explained.  

“So we've been focusing on helping on database migrations, application migrations and one of the most requested migrations that we've been seeing has been around mainframe. Australia has lots of mainframe customers. And what we wanted to do is to have a way that our customers could recognise a partner that has the skills required.” 

To qualify for the company, a partner must demonstrate a customer case study involving a successful migration from a mainframe to AWS.  

Meanwhile, the disaster competency provides training to partners to improve community preparedness and reduce the onset of disasters that cause severe disruption through cloud, machine learning and data analytics. 

Sydney’s Unleash and Whispir form two of the inaugural partners to gain the competency.  

While AWS has recently made major gains in the A/NZ public sector, for example striking a whole-of-government deal with the Digital Transformation Agency, it has often lacked behind competitor Microsoft Azure. 

AWS has 92 services with PROTECTED status while Azure had 113 as of a year ago. Microsoft also has a stronger physical presence and now is in the process of building two data centres — in partnership with Canberra Data Centre — in New Zealand. Over in the US, AWS lost out to Microsoft for the landmark JEDI contract, for which it is now about to fight for in court.  

On a local front, Iain Rouse, AWS lead for A/NZ public sector, was undeterred by Microsoft’s apparent lead in the public sector.  

“We'll continue to work back from customers and continue to make deep infrastructure investments in all the areas that our customers operate from,” he said. “We have so much more work to do. But we're laser-focused on the needs of our customers.” 

As an example, he cited the CloudFront point-of-presence launch in Auckland last year, which he claims will lower latency for local partners. 

“The mainframe competency, combined with new infrastructure, which generates low latency transactions is actually very fertile ground for partners to contest in terms of government,” he added.  

On the JEDI front, Carter said: “We always want to do the right thing and ensure that the customer achieves what they're trying to do. And so our messaging there has been very consistent. We're just trying to make sure that every customer for us has the right level of support and right level of options for security that they can possibly have.”