AWS and VMWare rolling out integrated partner program

At the AWS Re:Invent conference, AWS announced ways it's making its already fast-growing partner ecosystem more robust.

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AWS' Terry Wise delivered the Global Partner Summit keynote address at AWS Re:Invent in Las Vegas on November 29, 2016.

Just over a month after announcing its key strategic partnership with VMware, Amazon Web Services on Tuesday announced that the two companies will be rolling out an integrated partner program in 2017.

The announcement came during the keynote address of the Global Partner Summit at the AWS Re:Invent conference in Las Vegas, where several other enhancements to the partner program were announced.

Terry Wise, director of the Amazon Web Services worldwide partner ecosystem, announced AWS is launching a new public sector public program. Calling it an extension of AWS' work in the public sector, Wise said there will be more go-to-market funding and that it is extending the program to partners in the nonprofit and educational institutions as well.

More than 400 partners already qualify, including software companies like Okta and consulting partners like Booze Allen Hamilton.

AWS also announced a service called the Partner Solutions Finder, to help connect customers with AWS partners with specific competencies, such as migration, big data or IoT, or partners with a specific focus such as on Amazon's Aurora or Lambda.

"Once a customer finds the solution they're looking for, they simply click connect and they'll connect with you," explained Mike Clayville, vice president for AWS worldwide marketing. He called it a great "facilitator" of business that will help AWS and its partners deliver better business value together.

Meanwhile, AWS announced the launch of its IoT competency, as well as a financial services competency. Additionally, the company the Amazon API Gateway now integrates with the AWS Marketplace.

The AWS global partner ecosystem is growing at a rapid clip, Wise said. For instance, AWS' managed service provider business is growing at more than 130 percent year-over-year. Its consulting partner business has seen 110 percent year over year growth. Nearly two-thirds of AWS partners now reside outside of the US, Wise said, with a lot of growth coming from the enterprise and public sector markets.

Wise touted the innovation of AWS customers, such as C3 IoT's work in the Internet of Things space, and ZeroLight's work in the automotive industry. He also highlighted software partners like Okta, "built off the cloud for the cloud."

That growth has been driven in part, he said, by global volatility. Factors like fluctuations in energy prices, unexpected election outcomes around the globe and changing banking interest rates all make the agility of the cloud more important than ever, Wise, said.

"This is all volatility taking place in the market, and the winners are going to be those who can be agile," Wise said in his keynote address at the Global Partner Summit. "It's up to us to provide the foundation for innovation and agility."

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