Customers are moving applications to the cloud at an unprecedented pace, but many want the help of a trusted advisor when it comes to software procurement and fulfillment.
For partners that could translate to a huge opportunity in providing software solutions, said David McCann, vice president of Amazon Web Services Marketplace and Catalog Services during The Channel Company's Best Of Breed (BoB) conference in Atlanta on Monday.
At the BoB conference, McCann announced private pricing for the AWS Marketplace, a feature that allows partners to quote prices to customers that are only visible to those customers.
"In the past, Marketplace had a single price. Now you can have prices unique to customers," he said.
The channel plays a critical role in software choice. According to AWS, overall software spend will reach $569 billion by 2020. The indirect channel share of that spend will be $292.6 billion, or about 51 percent.
"Everyone is on a different journey and you are an advisor of what is going to move to the cloud, and at what velocity. Software is a major part of that decision and the software portfolio for many companies is in massive flux," McCann said to an audience of solution providers.
The AWS Marketplace, a place for AWS cloud computing customers to find, compare and deploy AWS software and other IT services, is a digital library, or a "toolkit" for channel partners. Two years ago, the Marketplace consisted of 800 vendors. Today, that number is up to 1,250, McCann said.
"We are adding three software vendors a week to the catalog, and those companies are there for your engineers to run on behalf of a customer," McCann told partners. "We want the channel to work with the marketplace as a fulfillment engine."
Private pricing will be generally available to partners in the next few weeks, McCann added.
Network Solutions Provider, a Manhattan Beach, Calif.-based solution provider in the audience, said it has its own cloud practice today, but is not an AWS partner. Private pricing, however, is "the missing piece" that solution providers needed from Amazon, according to Phillip Walker, customer advocate leader for Network Solutions Provider.
"Before, there was no value add, and now we can add that consulting piece," Walker said. "That's always been the issue with cloud – there's not money in reselling cloud. It's really about the expertise, architecture, and integration pieces."
McCann said that it was essential to innovate the channel program on AWS Marketplace. The cloud giant hadn't designed the program well for solution providers, or consulting partners.
"About every six months, we are rolling out new features and capabilities that will allow you to participate in both the demand and fulfillment, and demand for software as your digital library," he said. "Software is going to be an $18 billion opportunity a year, so you want to lean in."