Amazon Web Services (AWS) has insisted that the self-service model operated by its Marketplace is not short-changing the channel and claims vendors listing their products on it have changed their ways for the better.
The AWS Marketplace is an online store for B2B IT customers which allows them to buy IT services on their own – without necessarily liaising with an AWS partner or salesperson – and begin using them immediately. The Marketplace was launched three years ago and operates a "one-click deployment" model which allows customers to launch preconfigured services which they can pay for by the hour or month.
At the AWS Summit, the vendor defended the self-service method and insisted it was not cutting the channel out of sales.
Barry Russell, head of global business development for AWS Marketplace, said vendor partners offering their wares on the Marketplace are now welcoming the channel with open arms.
"We have a number of ISVs which have listed products on the Marketplace over the last three years which are now leaning in," he told CRN at the event. "What I mean by that is they are compensating their field [sales staff] and their partners that sell the software. They are engaging consulting partners in helping the customer manage and configure the software. They are using us as a sales channel to reach a new set of customers that want to procure quickly and self-deploy in some cases. [They want to] have as much reduced friction as possible in the procurement process."
Yesterday, analyst Forrester said that by 2020, one million B2B sales jobs in the US alone will be wiped out as the self-service e-commerce trend takes over.
Russell insisted that AWS does not have conflicting interests when it comes to the channel and its own Marketplace offering and said partners can cash in by offering extra consultancy on top of the services.
"So instead of seeing us as a conflict – I have had this conversation with hundreds of ISVs as well as their partners – [vendor partners] really view us as a new route to market," he said. "Many of their channel executives and their sales executives are really looking at us as a new sales channel – a true sales channel – that allows the customers that already have a procurement vehicle to point and click and buy the software. Once they have deployed they can then get assistance from a partner to help configure, manage and customise and so on."
The AWS brand is helpful when attracting customers to the Marketplace, Russell said, but he added that the company's huge customer base was a bigger draw.
"It's not so much the name [which is a benefit] as it is the breadth of customers. We have a million active customers now," he said. "It's that breadth and the fact we have [technology available in] regions worldwide [and] that they can load their products into the catalogue and then that product is available to buy worldwide. It's more about our reach."
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