The Managed Service Program represents the special forces of the far-reaching and increasingly diverse Amazon Partner Network (APN). Members of this select program are required to possess deep AWS knowledge in conjunction with the service and management capability to deliver cloud managed services to AWS’ exacting standards.
Last week, AWS announced the launch of the AWS Managed Service Program Validation Checklist – Version 3.0.
Amazon has made no apologies for the bar to entry being high. In establishing the Managed Service Program in late 2014, AWS sought to establish a network of elite partners to deliver a uniformly high standard of customer experience for AWS customers seeking a trusted guide to accompany them on their cloud journey.
The high bar to entry is indicative of the sort of customers likely to seek the services of one of the Program’s members. The Program is directed at providing trusted, high-touch support to customers with high-value infrastructure challenges involving complexity from migration, scale, compliance and more.
The bar to accessing these high-value AWS customers is high but given the complexity and service requirements of these organizations, so is the reward for service providers capable of gaining customers’ trust.
SELECTION AND TRAINING
The selection criteria for the Managed Service Program appear both simple and intimidating, AWS is looking for service providers with,
technical capability who are skilled at cloud infrastructure and application migration, and deliver value to customers by offering proactive monitoring, automation, and management of their customer’s environment.
Once training requirements are met, membership of the AWS Managed Service Program is further guarded by compulsory, independent, third-party audits of the candidate’s AWS Managed Service capabilities.
“VICTORIBUS SPOLIAHA” – TO THE VICTOR GO THE SPOILS
Of course, those who survive special forces training are well rewarded. The credibility vested by AWS reminding its high-value customers of the capabilities of its elite cloud force is a strong signal to the market for cloud managed services and make the Managed Service Program badge stand out like the commando’s green beret on the parade ground.
Also, just like elite military units, the Managed Service Program grants members the ability to go after the highest value targets and gives them access to the tools and resources to succeed. AWS provides dedicated professional and technical training, marketing and business development support to Managed Service Program partners to assist in growing a cloud managed services practice.
WHAT’S IN VERSION 3.0 OF THE VALIDATION CHECKLIST
In this latest release of the Checklist, AWS provides APN Partners with additional guidance to develop a comprehensive cloud-managed service practice. AWS reports that updates made to the Checklist are a direct result of its goal to help customers identify MSP Partners whose practices embody the characteristics of a well-skilled, next-generation MSP. You can read the full announcement via the Amazon Web Services’ blog.
…Next-Gen MSP’s who fit the criteria for the Managed Service Program “simply look at the world a little differently’
Next-generation MSPs are first and foremost AWS experts; embracing and deeply understanding the importance of DevOps in both internal operations and external engagements. Amazon singled out the importance of next-generation MSP to the AWS ecosystem at an NYC Pop-up Loft event in December 2015. AWS singled out the ability to be dynamic in responding to the power of automation in billing/pricing models for customers as identifiers of next-gen MSP success. Most telling, AWS has said that Next-Gen MSP’s who fit the criteria for the Managed Service Program “simply look at the world a little differently”.
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