By Sandy Carter, AWS VP, Public Sector Global Partners and Programs

What a year for AWS Public Sector Partners and our Program!

In my role leading the Worldwide Public Sector Partners and Programs team at Amazon Web Services (AWS), I get a firsthand look at the value and impact AWS Partners have on customers all over the world. Public sector at AWS includes government (federal, state, and local), space, healthcare, education, and nonprofits.

What really excites me is the focus on purpose—AWS Public Sector Partners support customers who are helping get clean water to citizens, delivering masks to the right locations, and developing remote work and learning solutions that really deliver.

Given the increased demand for cloud technologies during the COVID-19 pandemic, AWS Partners have offered public sector organizations a smooth transition to the AWS Cloud that yields the right results for today’s environment. This includes migrating customers to the cloud, delivering mission-based solutions, and transforming public sector organizations through innovation.

Learn more about COVID-19 partner solutions to see how AWS Partners are helping customers address the needs and challenges they are facing today.

Helping Public Sector Partners Succeed

In 2020, we have seen 45 percent year-over-year growth in the number of businesses joining the AWS Public Sector Partner Program, and we now have more than 1,600 partners globally.

To help these organizations maximize their AWS investments, we focus on having a resourceful and easy-to-use concierge program to help new partners onboard, and more advanced programs and certifications for those who’ve been with us for a while.

xFusion Technologies is a great example of an organization that needed guidance on the benefits of becoming an AWS Partner. Their 10-month journey to readiness is typical for non-registered partners working through the concierge program, but less than half the time it takes for partners leveraging a self-service development motion. xFusion’s lighthouse customers include the California Student Aid Commission.

xFusion is now targeting an upgrade to the AWS Partner Network’s Advanced tier in early 2021. They are already leveraging the AWS Public Sector Partner Program and AWS Partner Transformation Program (PTP), completing their workshop in mid-October while working through the PTP’s 100-day plan.

Whether you are just starting out on your cloud journey, or exploring next-gen technologies to grow your business, working with AWS and our Public Sector Partners has never been easier.

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Digital Workplace Solutions

Due to the global pandemic, we have seen a greater need for digital workplace solutions in the public sector using AWS services like Amazon Connect, Amazon AppStream 2.0, and Amazon WorkSpaces.

T-Systems implemented Amazon Connect to help the Unemployment Agency of Catalan Regional Government provide superior citizen service—in minutes, not months—at a lower cost.

When the Catalan Regional Government decided to close their offices at the onset of the pandemic, T-Systems set up an omnichannel contact center allowing 400 agents to work from home and handle 16,000 daily calls from citizens.

The Catalan Regional Government can now scale their contact center up or down to any size, onboarding agents in response to normal business cycles or unplanned events daily from home, paying only for the time the agents spent interacting with customers.

Authority to Operate on AWS

The United States Federal government has a process called the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP), and solutions that pass FedRAMP audits are granted Authority to Operate (ATO).

With programs like Authority to Operate (ATO) on AWS, we have 129 solutions with FedRAMP accreditation—3x that of Azure and GCP combined.

The FBI was challenged to move production environments for their human capital management (HCM) system to the AWS Secret Cloud and became the first federal agency to receive Authority to Operate in this new region.

Explore how the ATO on AWS Program can help you reduce your time and cost for reaching FedRAMP-ready status.

Partner Transformation Program

We are helping Public Sector Partners build their AWS practice from the ground up using our successful AWS Partner Transformation Program (PTP). This comprehensive assessment, training, and enablement program is focused on helping companies build a successful and profitable AWS Cloud business.

iPSB Technology is one of our AWS Partners who has leveraged the PTP program. Mardhiah Nasir, VP of Sales at IPSB (Malaysia) says the AWS Partner Transformation Program “identified exactly what we need to work on, but went in a lot more detail than we initially thought.”

The PTP is accelerating more than 450 AWS Partners’ journey to the cloud in approximately 100 days.

For DLT Solutions, the PTP helped establish where they were and where they wanted to go with their AWS Cloud business. With significant growth over the past few years, DLT needed to examine how to evolve strategically to meet the demands of customers. They made significant investments in people, processes, technology, and tools for better efficiency with great results for their customers.

Think Big for Small Businesses

Finally, I am very excited about our Think Big for Small Business program for small-to-medium sized businesses (SMB) and small-to-medium sized enterprises (SME). Its focus is on diverse businesses and all SMB partners.

This pilot provides public sector SMBs and SMEs at the AWS Partner Network’s registered and Select levels with provisional access to Select and Advanced tier benefits through a set of requirements proportional to partner size. This essentially gives partners more time and resources to achieve APN requirements.

An example among our SME partner community is DLZP, a boutique cloud consulting partner with less than 20 employees, based in Houston, Texas. This family business has expanded beyond migration services to develop serverless expertise, especially in the education sector.

“As a small women- and minority-owned business, we have limited staff time and resources dedicated to getting AWS certifications or customer satisfaction,” says Lisa Brunet, Managing Partner and President at DLZP Group. “The Think Big for Small Business Program came at the right time. It allows us to quickly leverage Advanced Tier benefits, while giving us the time and support we need to obtain the corresponding APN tier requirements.”

We are looking forward to learning from AWS Partners like DLZP in the pilot for our Think Big for Small Business program. With these efforts, we want to foster the SME and minority-owned business community into a group of strong and diverse partners who, beyond their success as businesses, make positive contributions towards a better and more inclusive society.

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What’s Next for AWS Public Sector Partners?

With AWS re:Invent 2020 upon us, let’s take a look at where we are heading next. Here are a few focus areas we have shared with our Public Sector Partner Advisory Council (PAC):

  • More co-selling and marketing. Our AWS Public Sector marketing team can help partners. We invest in joint marketing of your unique value, helping you make the most of market development funds.
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  • Repeatable solutions built on AWS. A repeatable solution is one that a partner creates on AWS that fits the needs of a vertical segment and works in multiple customer situations. Implementations of contact centers and remote work or learning solutions come to mind. Visit our contact center solutions and remote work learning pages to learn more.
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  • Migrations. McKinsey & Company shows that most enterprises are only 20 percent of the way into their cloud journeys. The simplest workloads are in the process of migration, but according to the study, the remaining 80 percent of workloads are still on-premises. We have more than doubled the number of new Migration Competency Partners working in public sector during the past calendar year.
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    With the AWS Migration Acceleration Program (MAP), we are seeing Microsoft, Oracle, and SAP workloads moving to the AWS Cloud in record times.

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  • Skills, certifications, and accreditations. Some clients may not have the in-house expertise to take on issues such as application modernization. AWS provides training to help you present your best foot forward to your customers. Check out our list of offerings.
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  • Beyond compute and storage. Our most successful partners talk to their customers about compute and storage, but also expand beyond that to Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning (ML). Did you know AWS has a Rapid Adoption Assistance initiative for ML? Try it to get a fast start and learn how AWS Public Sector Partners like Abt, StackArmor, and ArdentMC are benefitting.

With everything our customers are doing to change the world, AWS Public Sector Partners make a difference through their efforts centered on the public sector mission and solutions.

Whether it’s data analytics, migrating workloads, or providing the platform for lifesaving work, I am honored to work with all of our trusted partners!

Register for the Public Sector Leadership Session at re:Invent

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If you’re attending AWS re:Invent this year, join me at the Public Sector Leadership Session on Dec. 3 at 10:00 AM PST.

I will dig into how AWS and our Public Sector Partners are bringing simplicity to mission-critical solutions. I’ll also focus on migrations, cybersecurity, AI/ML, IoT, and other key areas, highlighting actions that can help simplify your AWS Cloud strategy, reduce time to market, and differentiate and grow your business.

Register for re:Invent, watch the AWS Partner Keynote live on Dec. 3 at 8:00 AM PST, and sign up for my Leadership Session to learn about our public sector offerings. I’ll see you there!
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Sandy Carter

Sandy Carter is vice president of worldwide public sector partners and programs at AWS. Follow her on Twitter @sandy_carter

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