The News: Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud recently rolled out new cloud certifications and training which are designed to drive more channel partners and end users to their cloud-based services. Read more at Channel Futures.
Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud Roll Out New Training and Certifications in a Move Designed to Enhance Channel Partner Offerings
Analyst Take: Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud rolling out new cloud certifications and training is a good move for both companies and their channel partners, for a number of reasons.
The shift toward full cloud and multi-cloud continues to gain favor with larger enterprises and the small-to-medium sized business market, which are calling for more applications and specific workloads to be ported over to the cloud.
As channel partners continue to develop and fine tune their strategies, including seeking ways of migrating their legacy hardware businesses to more software and services, coupled with providing consulting services, more training and certifications will provide a much-needed assist. Selling higher margin services and increasing the geographic footprints of their addressable business markets is obviously a goal, as is simply the ability to provide more comprehensive advisory services to customers.
For Amazon Web Services and Google, training and certification offerings targeting the channel ecosystem delivers business value as well. Training and certifying partners on specific workloads and departmental applications allows the channel partner more opportunities to both upsell and cross sell, which could ultimately serve as the impetus to move more client workloads to Amazon and Google’s cloud platforms.
The Indirect Channel Remains a Key for Cloud
Another factor here worth considering is the indirect channel, which includes several hundred thousand resellers (one-tier) and several hundred distributors (two-tier) on a global scale and represents a massive chunk of IT spending. Reaching millions of small businesses, which is a key segment for the hyperscalers, makes it an important part of the overall value prop here in terms of the strategic value in providing training/certification offerings. As an example, consider the hypothetical case of a vendor wanting to drive adoption of its object storage offering. That vendor ould leverage the IT distributor’s analytics team for a fee and find those partners that are selling network attached storage (NAS) appliances into dentist offices or x-ray labs and run a targeted campaign designed to recruit them.
Wrapping it up, Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud’s rollout of their new training and certifications to attract partners is an excellent move, especially as many partners need help transitioning from a classic hardware model to one that is more software and service centric in nature. This is the future of business and transforming in this way is something savvy channel partners are rightfully laser focused on. In addition, as more hyperscalers seek to grow department-by-department in organizations and seek to extend sub-vertically in the process, it makes sense they will have to provide better training at a cheaper cost to partners in the future, as well as provide margin rich incentives as they transition to more software and services centric models. Bottom line, more training and additional certifications benefits everyone involved — I’m glad to see it.
Disclosure: Futurum Research is a research and advisory firm that engages or has engaged in research, analysis, and advisory services with many technology companies, including those mentioned in this article. The author does not hold any equity positions with any company mentioned in this article.
Analysis and opinions expressed herein are specific to the analyst individually and data and other information that might have been provided for validation, not those of Futurum Research as a whole.
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The original version of this article was first published on Futurum Research.
Michael Diamond is an industry analyst and foresight professional with 25 years of experience in the IT channel and market research industry. He is a route-to-market expert covering desktop and mobile devices, collaboration, contact center, ProAV, data center infrastructure, and cybersecurity. Prior to joining Futurum Research, Michael worked for The NPD Group as the sole industry analyst covering indirect channels, cybersecurity, SMB and vertical market trends, data center infrastructure (e.g., enterprise storage, servers, networking), ProAV and PCs. He has been quoted by media outlets such as Bloomberg, Kiplinger, TWICE, OPI (Office Products International), Apple World today, Dark Reading, Enterprise Storage Forum, Credit-Suisse, Footwear News, CRN (Computer Reseller News), Channel Futures and Into Tomorrow. Michael has presented at myriad events including The Channel Company’s Xchange, The Global Technology Distribution Council’s summit, SMB TechFest and more.