AWS Partner Network

By Tyler VanGrunsven, Partner Product Manager at AWS

To receive program validations in the AWS Partner Network (APN), organizations must undergo rigorous technical validation and are assessed on the security, performance, and reliability of their Amazon Web Services (AWS) solutions.

As a result of passing such a high bar, AWS Partners receive a variety of program benefits.

Specific benefits are dependent on the program AWS Partners qualify for, but benefits can include access to funding and discounts, invitations to designation-related and AWS service-specific roadmaps and feature releases before general availability

Additional benefits may include AWS marketing support and priority consideration to publish technical content through AWS forums. Program benefits are in addition to APN tier benefits.

To help AWS Partners better understand this process and our validation requirements, we are releasing new versions of validation checklists (VCL).

What’s Changing?

  • Validation Checklist Update Cadence: VCLs will now be updated and published twice a year in March and August. The purpose of this new cadence is to provide transparency to AWS Partners about how frequently and when AWS will update requirements. This cadence does not include updates to checklists aligned to program launches or re-categorizations.
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  • Standardized Common Technical Requirements: Previously, our common requirements were seen as subjective between Competencies and resulted in an inconsistent experience for AWS Partners when preparing for the application. In this new format, our common technical requirements have been standardized across all Competencies to provide more clarity and prescriptive guidance within the checklist.

Which Checklists Have Been Impacted?

The March 2021 change log contains a list of updated checklists and the requirements that were changed for AWS Competency Partners.

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AWS Competency Program

The AWS Competency Program is designed to validate and promote AWS Partners in specialized areas across industry, use case, and workload. AWS Partners are vetted and validated against a high bar to achieve the AWS Competency designation, giving customers’ confidence in choosing validated AWS Partners to team up with.

Consulting Partner Checklist

The AWS Competency checklists highlighted below are specific to AWS Technology Partners. If you’re an AWS Consulting Partner, please review this blog post for your VCLs.

Technology Partner Checklist

The VCLs for AWS Competency Technology Partners are organized under three main categories:

  • Prerequisites: These are the minimum requirements needed in order to qualify for the AWS Competency Program. Those requirements can include minimum tier level, customer case studies, and AWS technical certifications.
  • Specific Technical Competency Requirements: Each AWS Competency has sub-categories within the track that have their own technical requirements. These are the specific Competency technical requirements that a Partner must meet in order to qualify.
  • AWS Common Technical Requirements: These are the AWS technical requirements based off the 5 Pillars of AWS Well-Architected. This is to ensure each solution and practice follows AWS best practices.

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AWS Service Delivery Program

The AWS Service Delivery Program enables AWS customers to identify AWS Consulting Partners with deep product expertise for specific AWS services.

These Validation Checklists outline for AWS Consulting Partners the customer case study and technical criteria needed to achieve an AWS Service Delivery designation.

The VCLs for AWS Service Delivery Partners are organized under three main categories:

  • Prerequisites: These are the minimum requirements needed in order to qualify for the AWS Service Delivery Program. Those requirements can include minimum tier level, customer case studies, and AWS technical certifications.
  • Specific Technical Service Delivery Requirements: Each AWS Service Delivery designation has technical requirements that an AWS Partner must meet in order to qualify.
  • AWS Common Technical Requirements: These are the AWS technical requirements based off the 5 Pillars of AWS-Well-Architected. This is to ensure each solution and practice follows AWS best practices.

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AWS Service Ready Program

The AWS Service Ready Program helps AWS customers find the right technology to integrate with their current technology stack and specific AWS services. These products are technically validated by AWS Partner Solution Architects for their sound architecture and adherence to AWS best practices, in addition to proven customer success.

The VCLs for AWS Service Ready Partners are organized under three main categories:

  • Prerequisites: These are the minimum requirements needed in order to qualify for the AWS Service Ready Program. Requirements can include a minimum tier level, customer case studies, and AWS technical certifications.
  • Specific AWS Service Ready Technical Requirements: Each AWS Service Ready designation has technical requirements that an AWS Partner must meet in order to qualify.
  • AWS Common Technical Requirements: These are the AWS technical requirements based off the 5 Pillars of AWS Well-Architected best practices.

What’s Changing?

  • Validation Checklist Update Cadence: VCLs will now be updated and published twice a year in March and August. The purpose of this new update cadence is to provide transparency to AWS Partners about how frequently and when AWS will update requirements. This cadence does not include updates to checklists aligned to program launches or re-categorizations.
  • Standardized Common Technical Requirements: Previously, our common requirements were seen as subjective between AWS Service Ready designations and resulted in an inconsistent experience when preparing for the application. In this new format, our common technical requirements have been standardized across all AWS Service Ready designations to provide more clarity and prescriptive guidance within the checklist.