AWS' Adam Selipsky: 'You'll have a much larger set of opportunities with us than any other cloud provider'

CRN US reporter Mark Haranas is in Las Vegas to cover the cloud giant's annual conference

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AWS' Adam Selipsky: 'You'll have a much larger set of opportunities with us than any other cloud provider'

With over 100,000 partners enrolled in the AWS Partner Network, CEO Adam Selipsky is bullish about his company's partner mindshare compared with cloud computing rivals such as Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud.

"We are, by a significant amount, the largest cloud provider with the largest business and the broadest customer base across all geographies and industries and use cases," said Selipsky in an interview with CRN.

"And that provides tremendous opportunities for our partners, and a much larger set of opportunities for partners, than they could have with any other cloud provider."

The $82bn cloud giant is the worldwide market-share leader in cloud services, owning 34 per cent global share as of third-quarter 2022, followed by Microsoft at 21 per cent share and then Google Cloud at 11 percent share, according to data from IT research firm Synergy Research Group.

Selipsky was there in 2006 when AWS launched its first major products such as Amazon S3 and Amazon EC2.

As vice president of marketing, sales and support for AWS during its early years, Selipsky played a role in the creation of the AWS Partner Network in 2012.

Following a five-year stint as CEO of Tableau, Selipsky took over the AWS reins from former CEO Andy Jassy in July 2021.

Before Selipsky returned as CEO, AWS generated total sales of $45.3bn in 2020.

As of 2022, AWS is now running at more than $80bn run rate.

"We have a very significant go-to-market capability now across AWS—as you might imagine given the scale of our business—and we have many different ways that we bring partners along with that," Selipsky said.

AWS' CEO touts the AWS Partner Network ecosystem of partners as one of the biggest factors that is driving sales growth for the Seattle-based company.

"When we have partners who have innovated and created incredible solutions with us and on top of us, then it becomes an easy decision to put that in front of a customer because it drives customer value," said Selipsky.

In an interview with CRN, Selipsky explains AWS' partner differentiation versus the competition and how AWS' channel co-innovation and co-selling strategy is second to none.

Why should partners like MSPs, systems integrators and consultants invest and bet on AWS versus your cloud competitors? What is AWS' channel differentiation? 

"One is we are, by a significant amount, the largest cloud provider with the largest business and the broadest customer base across all geographies and industries and use cases. And that provides tremendous opportunities for our partners, and a much larger set of opportunities for partners, than they could have with any other cloud provider.

"So that's one: just the sheer opportunity.

"Second is the significant investments we're making in the partner ecosystem.

"It's still day one on our journey with partners. In 10, 20, 30 years from now, we think that partners will still be foundational to the value that AWS provides to customers.

"Then just to drill in a little more specifically, we have invested tremendously in ensuring that our partners are trained, particularly our systems integrator partners.

"Customers insist that when that personnel from SIs show up, that they be really well-trained and really well-qualified. We've worked with and invested a lot ourselves alongside those partners to ensure that their staff are both trained and, in many cases, certified on AWS.

"That makes a huge positive difference in customer success because we take the long-term view with customers and with partners."

Can you highlight an example where AWS is showcasing its long-term dedication to partners?

"We have very deep and long-standing partnerships with the global systems integrators—whether you're talking to Accenture, Deloitte, Capgemini, etc., as well as many more regional SIs, for example, Slalom—really across every industry in every geography.

"Accenture is a major global SI that we have a very close relationship with.

"We have the Advanced Customer Engagement Solution, ACE+, with Accenture where they bundle their own solutions along with AWS. For example, our contact center solution is called Amazon Connect.

"Companies like Vodafone are really rethinking contact center operations. We and Accenture are working together there under the auspices of the Accenture Advanced Customer Engagement to create that joint value proposition and bring that contact center solution to Vodafone."

Read on to see Selipsky answer questions on partner co-selling and what's next for 2023...

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