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Amazon Web Services' premier consulting partners work with enterprise clients to move workloads to the Amazon cloud and manage them.
Among these AWS partners is 2nd Watch, and new CEO Doug Schneider expects the firm will manage 10% of Amazon's global infrastructure for customers over the next few years. Schneider estimates the firm has already performed close to 200 AWS migrations since it became a partner.
Schneider came to 2nd Watch from Melbourne IT, an Australia-based Web hosting business that boasted Yahoo and other large enterprises as clients. He was appointed CEO of 2nd Watch Oct. 14.
SearchAWS.com sat down with him to discuss customer pain points and what's on the partner wish list for AWS.
What trends are you seeing among customers moving to AWS? Are you seeing more large-scale companies come online?
Doug Schneider: Absolutely, we're seeing that larger enterprise customer saying, 'The public cloud makes sense for our business; let's figure it out, and let's start moving workloads to the cloud.' There are customers that fall into one of two buckets: some are more calculated in their approach, and used to be more about test and dev. Now we're seeing more mission-critical, customer-facing applications. We're seeing more back-office types of workloads like an ERP system we've been able to move as well. What we've been able to demonstrate to those enterprises is that you don't have to refactor all of those applications to get them over into the cloud infrastructure.
The second category we are seeing [is] a bigger 'all-in' mind-set with some clients. More and more clients say they want to migrate everything out of a data center into the public cloud. We're starting to see that accelerated category start to grow across different kinds of verticals -- retail-oriented verticals -- and the thing that surprised us this past year was the financial services industry start to embrace moving workloads into the cloud.
What is the biggest pain point for customers with AWS, whether it's while they're moving or after they get there?
Schneider: There's still a lot of complexity. You can even look at the pricing menu you get from AWS. And it's just complicated. So I think for customers, part of it is, how do I get a good picture of what I'm spending and where is it being spent? Understanding that cost component of where am I spending what for what purpose, it's still somewhat of a pain point.
How do you see customers' needs evolving over the next couple of years? Do you think they'll need more help with things like big data analytics or other trends?
Schneider: Where we see some of these use cases evolving is this notion of: How do you make the public cloud more integrated into business and IT operations? Part of it is centered on this notion of how do I govern my spend in the public cloud, and make it easy for that governance to take place inside my enterprise that has international business units? How do we make life easier for businesses as they're running their operations day in and day out, so the cloud doesn't become an island of automation in and of itself?
What is on your wish list as a partner of Amazon? What kinds of resources or information would you like to see from them?
Schneider: The business and the industry are so new and evolving that, on one hand, I would say Amazon is still trying to figure out how it expands its relationships with its partners even more. It's a day in and day out thing where we're trying to work with them in a really collaborative way, and what we want to do is make sure that we're not bumping into each other in front of the same customer and creating confusion. Naturally you're going to have that from time to time. We're very geared on how to optimize that so we're being really collaborative and productive and being in sync in front of the client together. That doesn't happen all the time.
We want to do more with them in terms of what we're seeing in the marketplace and what technologies we think should be part of the platform … more collaboration not just about where things are at today but where things are going down the road. As Amazon gets more comfortable with how it's working with its partner channel, we'll both be able to be more forthcoming with our thoughts about where we're headed.