How to safely cross the Ocean of AWS APN Service Path – Opportunities

How to safely cross the Ocean of AWS APN Service Path – Opportunities

February 08, 2024
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We’re back with the third article of our series, where we’ll explore how to establish a strong relationship with AWS through the Service Path.

If you read my previous articles, you already understand why companies should partner with AWS, and you are probably interested in more practical knowledge and insights on how to progress with your partner scorecard. As I promised in our last article, I will provide detailed guidance on effectively submitting opportunities.

What is an Opportunity:

An AWS opportunity is a strategic business prospect within the Amazon Web Services (AWS) ecosystem, presenting the potential for new or expanded business for both AWS and its partners. These opportunities serve as crucial junctures where AWS Partners can actively engage with joint customers, collaborating on delivering AWS services or solutions. Manifesting in various forms, such as projects, initiatives, or potential contracts, opportunities are pivotal in addressing specific customer needs or challenges through AWS offerings.

Here’s how the AWS team can support these opportunities:

Architectural Validation – Confirmation from AWS that the AWS Partner’s proposed solution architecture is aligned with AWS best practices and poses minimal architectural risks.

Business Presentation – Request AWS Seller’s participation in joint customer presentation.

Competitive Information – Access to AWS Competitive resources and support for AWS Partner’s proposed solution.

Deal Support – Request AWS Seller’s support to progress the opportunity (e.g., joint customer call, strategic positioning).

Pricing Assistance – Connect with an AWS Seller for support situations where an AWS Partner may be receiving an up-front discount on a service used during the PoC. Our next article will explore how AWS partners can leverage Proof of Concept (PoC) engagements, ensuring both cost-effectiveness and value demonstration to clients.

Technical Consultation – Connection with an AWS SA to address AWS Partner’s questions about the proposed solution.

Total Cost of Ownership Evaluation – Assistance with quoting different cost savings of proposed solutions on AWS vs on-premises or a traditional hosting environment.

Support for Public Tender / RFx – Opportunity related to Public Sector where RFx support is needed from AWS.

 

Your AWS journey beyond submission

Your collaborative journey extends beyond the initial submission of opportunities, emphasizing the importance of actively connecting with the AWS Sales team. This interaction ensures a seamless transition from opportunity identification to project execution. 

Building relationships with AWS Sellers and Account Managers (AMs) can be invaluable for partners, particularly when addressing the needs of clients. These individuals are not only well-versed in AWS services and solutions but also have deep insights into customer requirements and challenges. By fostering strong relationships with Sellers and AMs, you can gain access to valuable support, guidance, and resources that can enhance their ability to meet client needs effectively.

Engaging with AWS Sellers, including Account Managers (AM), Inside Sales Representatives (ISR), and other team members, partners align their expertise with client needs, fostering a synergy that leads to exceptional customer satisfaction. This proactive connection becomes instrumental in guaranteeing that joint clients receive the best possible service, creating a strong foundation for ongoing collaboration.

My advice is to reach out to your AWS team to understand how both parties can provide the optimal solution for your clients. By building a strong relationship and aligning strategies, you can ensure seamless project execution and deliver exceptional value to your clients.

Status is a key way to identify the status of your submission and validation. 

The opportunity status has several possible statuses of submission:

Draft: Not submitted for validation.

Submitted:  Submitted for validation and not yet in review by AWS Validator.

In Review: Being researched by AWS Validator.

Action Required: Being researched by AWS Validator.

Note: For “Action Required” opportunities, you can provide requested details by adding them directly on ACE Pipeline Manager (Click “Update” > Add details in the Project Description field or other relevant fields > Click “Save & Submit”).

Approved: Validated and converted into AWS Seller’s pipeline.

Rejected: Disqualified. 

After your opportunity is approved, here is the opportunity Life Cycle:

  • Prospect: This stage marks the initial identification of an opportunity within the pipeline. It signifies that a potential business prospect has been recognized, but further engagement and validation are required.
  • Qualified: At this stage, your account team has actively engaged with the prospect or end customer to delve deeper into the opportunity. Discussions revolve around understanding the viability of the opportunity, clarifying requirements, and ensuring alignment with the client’s objectives.
  • Technical Validation: Once the opportunity has been qualified, the focus shifts to understanding the technical aspects of the proposed solution. The implementation plan is thoroughly scrutinized to ensure it aligns with the client’s requirements and technical best practices.
  • Business Validation: In this stage, the emphasis is on validating the business aspects of the opportunity. Pricing details are proposed, and negotiations may take place to finalize the terms of the contract. Both parties agree on the steps required to move forward, setting the stage for closing the deal.
  • Committed: At this juncture, the opportunity transitions into a committed status. The customer signs the contract, indicating their commitment to move forward with the proposed solution. However, billing has not yet commenced at this stage.
  • Launched: Once the contractual agreements are in place and the necessary preparations have been made, the workload associated with the opportunity is deployed or launched. Billing commences as the solution becomes operational on the AWS platform.

As the head of partnerships at Develeap, I’ve found that nurturing strong relationships with the AWS Sales team is paramount to our success. By recognizing the expertise and insights that AWS Sellers and Account Managers bring to the table, we’ve been able to navigate client engagements with confidence and agility. This collaborative approach has facilitated seamless transitions from opportunity identification to project execution, allowing us to consistently deliver exceptional value to our clients.

When you create an environment conducive to strong partnerships and client engagements:

Empower Your Team: Equip your team with the skills and resources they need to effectively engage with the AWS team. Provide training and support to ensure they are confident in their interactions.

Encourage Communication: Foster a culture of open communication within your team and with the AWS Sales team. Encourage regular updates and collaboration to ensure everyone is aligned.

Celebrate Success: Recognize and celebrate successful partnerships and client engagements. This not only boosts morale but also reinforces the value of collaboration with the AWS team.