As organizations continue to rapidly adopt cloud services, they are undergoing countless changes such as consumption-based cost models, security, ongoing optimization, cloud architecture considerations, and procurement options. All of these changes can be concerning which can be an inhibitor to cloud adoption for many customers. Amazon Web Services (AWS) just took a huge step in easing some of this pain with the release of AWS Marketplace Consulting Partner Private Offers Program.
The Value of Architecture and Design
It is no mystery architecture and design are critical for successful IT deployments. You wouldn’t rush a system into implementation in your own data center without proper attention to how that system is architected and designed, and the same should be true for cloud deployments. However, with the ability to rapidly deploy in the cloud, you would be surprised how many times services are deployed without the appropriate architecture and design considerations.
Unless you have experience designing, securing, and deploying cloud environments, ‘you don’t know, what you don’t know.’ While many of the technologies and concepts in the cloud are similar to your existing data center, there are significantly different considerations when you are deploying services outside of the comfort of your own four walls.
The AWS Marketplace
In 2012, Amazon Web Services introduced the AWS Marketplace, an online catalog where you can purchase software solutions from certain Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) that run on AWS. The concept of AWS Marketplace was to provide a quick and easy way for customers to find and purchase the products needed to operate in AWS. This new Marketplace came with the promise of instant deployment, simplified procurement, and consolidated billing.
When combining simplicity of procurement and deployment with a complex environment, unexpected situations can arise. Many customers work with partners or value-added resellers (VARs) to design and deploy powerful and complex solutions in their data centers. With the ever-changing landscape in technology, it is impossible for customers to be experts in everything, and partners frequently fill that gap with consulting, implementation, and integration services. The partner engineers and consultants are very frequently involved in requirements gathering, solution scoping, selecting the right products, and collaborating on a design that combines their industry and product expertise with the customer’s intimate knowledge of their environment.
An unintended consequence of simple procurement and rapid deployment is organizations can often browse to an interesting product in AWS Marketplace, click, and deploy it in a matter of minutes…without the appropriate level of requirements gathering, solution scoping, and design. You may even be deploying the exact same technology in the cloud that you run in your data center, but your design and deployment could drastically differ based on requirements for running in the cloud. Since partners weren’t commonly involved in the AWS Marketplace, they often didn’t have a seat at the table to be consultative with customers to help make these decisions and lend their expertise on deploying these solutions in the cloud. If you spend significant time designing and deploying solutions in the data center that you own and operate, shouldn’t you spend the same (if not more) amount of time to do this in the cloud?
Enter the AWS Marketplace Consulting Partner Private Offer Program
Recognizing the importance of partners to customers and the potential challenges outlined above, Amazon Web Services created the AWS Marketplace Consulting Partner Private Offers Program. As an early participant in this program, ePlus has the ability to work with our customers to architect, design, sell, and deploy third-party products from a number of strategic ISV partners in your AWS environment. This allows us to provide the same level of expertise and consulting in your cloud deployments as we do in the data center. Leveraging this new AWS program via ePlus should not add any incremental acquisition cost to what traditionally could be purchased through the ‘regular’ AWS Marketplace program. In fact, there are frequently opportunities for ePlus to enable additional savings not otherwise available via the Marketplace.
By taking advantage of this program, you can streamline the procurement process and ensure you’re getting the right software and services for your needs, based on recommendations from our cloud experts. In addition, you’ll receive a flexible, convenient purchasing and billing experience.
We consider this program very transformational for both ePlus and our customers as it allows us to continue to be the consultative advisor that they have come to know and trust, without disrupting the simplicity that AWS Marketplace provides. Many of our customers find it helpful to have an experienced cloud consulting partner like ePlus guide them on their journey to the cloud and this program is a great enabler to support that synergy.