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AWS partners keeping up with the pace of innovation

Amazon Web Services partners share how their companies continue to adapt to the growth of AWS.

LAS VEGAS -- It's clear by the growth of Amazon Web Services that customers are on board with the public cloud for managing their IT infrastructures and applications. Count AWS partners among those sharing the enthusiasm.

But just how well are Amazon's thousands of technology and consulting partners adapting to the pace of innovation coming forth from AWS? At his keynote at the Re:Invent conference last week, Andy Jassy, senior vice president for AWS, said the company has come out with more than 400 new services this year alone, and is on its way to 500 before year-end.

Keeping up with that number of new services is a job in itself, partners say, but it's not a burden. On the contrary, partners are finding AWS innovation helps invigorate their own business and makes them more responsive to their own customers.

Embracing automation

Trend Micro Inc., a security software ISV, is one technology partner that's feeling the pressure, but is thriving nonetheless. At Re:Invent, the company announced that Deep Security for AWS  is now available on the AWS Marketplace.

"[Working with AWS is] exciting; it's stressful sometimes," Mark Nunnikhoven, vice president of Cloud and Emerging Technologies at Trend Micro, said in an interview. "Last year AWS deployed 300-plus features across all their services. As a partner to try to keep up with that can be challenging ... so we revamped how we do business internally. We've had a lot of culture changes in our development team, trying to embrace that and keep up."

Nunnikhoven explained that Trend was used to releasing products on a "traditional enterprise cadence," but with 300 new features dropping every year, they are no longer able to do that. "So we embraced automation were able to cut deployment time for some of our products from weeks down to hours, which is a real bonus for us, so we can deliver a better product to the customer," he said. "I think that's a big win for us as well as our customers."

Catalyst for change

Analytics and data management vendor TIBCO Software Inc. announced the availability of its Spotfire data visualization service on AWS, available on an hourly basis. TIBCO officials credit new acquisition Jaspersoft with getting the Spotfire for AWS service up and running so quickly. Jaspersoft's own hourly rate analytics tools was a kind of prototype for TIBCO, officials explained.

"Overall, the partnership has been extremely beneficial," said Karl Van den Bergh, senior vice president of Product and Customer Success at Jaspersoft. "You are not going to dictate terms [to Amazon]. You have to find the best way to work with them."

"But they know the cloud," Van den Bergh added. "We are going to leverage as much as we can on their expertise of cloud infrastructure. That's why the strategic partnership makes sense: If we are really going to move everything to the cloud we have to do it the right way and there is no partner further along than AWS."

Leveraging innovation

Perhaps no category of partners have benefited as much as the consulting companies that have become an important part of getting enterprise customers into the Amazon cloud.

Enterprise customers have moved beyond the courtship phase of cloud computing. According to John Treadway, a senior vice president at Cloud Technology Partners (CTP), organizations are asking, "How quickly -- how fast -- how do I manage it?"

Treadway said that CTP is enjoying a lot of new business because of AWS, although CTP also consults for Google's cloud platform. "We want to "leverage all the innovation that is coming out of Amazon and Google," Treadway said"The more they [AWS] innovate the more opportunity for us and our customers."

At Re:Invent, CTP announced a new solution, CTP Labs for AWS, in order to take better advantage of the pace of innovation and get customers into the cloud more quickly and easily.

Likewise, managed service partner 2nd Watch, which is primarily focused on AWS, showed off its new service, Cloud Factory, at Re:Invent. Cloud Factory is designed to migrate whole data centers and workloads for a fixed cost.

"Our mantra is make, move and manage," said 2nd Watch CEO Doug Schneider. "The enterprise is moving fast [into the cloud."

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