Monday Morning Impact – February 25

Published On: February 25, 2019Categories: Buzz, Uncategorized

Amazon Raises Stakes for MSPs

Amazon has increased requirements for its allied managed service providers, aiming to increase partner value and overall customer satisfaction.

According to the new validation checklist, which goes into effect in April, Amazon will place an elevated emphasis upon the Plan & Design, Build & Migrate, Run & Operate, and Optimize portions of the partners’ overall value propositions.

Partners will be required to have AWS Solution Architect-certified personnel on board to review and approve design and final deliverables. The updated program will also require that all Customer References include new customers, or new engagements with existing customers that have taken place in the last 18 months. In either event, customers involved in public references must be consuming managed services from the APN Partners or AWS, and they must have been running on those services for at least six months. This change is expected to provide a clearer demonstration of customer success.

The AWS MSP Program is introducing an annual performance-based renewal process, which includes an assessment of overall program compliance, a review of five managed service accounts that have been active over the past year, successful completion of a specified number of customer service reviews, and a third-party validation audit that must be executed every 36 months.

The company has also expanded the AWS Knowledge section of its program requirements to cover a breadth of services across multiple technology categories.

Channel Impact®
Customers are demanding comprehensive cloud-native solutions that reduce costs, improve business agility, increase security, and empower organizations to focus on their goals. AWS is clearly raising the bar for its MSP partners, which is expected to result in higher overall customer satisfaction scores.

CompTIA: Organizations View IoT as a Source of Both Savings and Additional Revenue

The Internet of Things has the potential to deliver cost savings and generate new revenues for organizations that can handle IoT’s complexity, build new workforce skills and address heightened security demands, according to a new report by CompTIA, a technology trade association based in suburban Chicago.

According to “2019 Trends in Internet of Things,” which is based on a survey of 500 U.S.-based companies, organizations were fairly evenly split when asked about the potential financial impact of IoT. About 35 percent see IoT as primarily a way to save costs, while 31 percent see it as a revenue-generator. The remaining firms expect to see a mix of cost savings and new revenue.

Potential sources of new revenue could include increased production, monetizing data or creating product-as-a-service offerings.

“This recognition that IoT is not simply a tool for cost savings, but a potential source of new revenue, is mirrored by our finding that for a majority of companies funding for IoT projects often comes from places other than the IT department,” said Seth Robinson, senior director for technology analysis at CompTIA. “This demonstrates not only the importance of IoT to future strategy, but the company-wide impact IoT tends to have.”

As relates to return on investment, nearly six in 10 say it is very difficult or moderately difficult to make the ROI calculation; 43 percent say upfront costs are a major hurdle; and 34 percent cite ongoing costs as an issue.

Beyond the emergence of new job roles such as IoT architects and IoT security specialists, companies often need to upgrade existing technology skills in cloud computing, networking and security. Six in 10 respondents said cybersecurity should be the priority in IoT deployments, while 24 percent said they would prioritize innovation over security.

Data management and analysis, networking, device support, cloud computing and artificial intelligence are also viewed as skills critical to IoT success.

Channel Impact®
The channel is advised to encourage clients to evaluate investments based on a growth mindset, looking at the overall return for the business. But the move requires a high level of expertise, given the variety of technology and business skills involved.

Tech Data Launches New Venue for Cloud Solutions

Tech Data has announced the launch of its “Cloud Solutions Factory,” a new global portfolio of click-to-run solutions developed by allied vendors delivering core infrastructure, data protection, IoT, and analytics.

“In launching Cloud Solutions Factory, our focus has been on enabling our partners to deliver business outcomes with solutions that are immediately ready to deploy,” said Sergio Farache, SVP of Strategy, Innovation, Cloud and M&A, at Tech Data. “Cloud solution design and implementation can be a complex and lengthy process, so all our offerings are pre-configured, validated and tested, and deployments are monitored by Tech Data. The result is a suite of reliable solutions that help our partners reduce costs, maximize efficiency and drive competitive differentiation.”

The Tech Data Cloud Solutions Factory includes a broad set of IT and business solutions practices created by integrating licenses, services and third-party components.

“By working with industry-leading cloud providers, we have built a portfolio of integrated, packaged solutions that can be easily and quickly configured, customized and deployed by our partners,” Farache added. “These best-in-class providers are selected based on how well they align with the high-demand workloads needed by today’s businesses, and they must also meet specific requirements designed to protect our partners and deliver maximum value to them.”

Initial partners include Microsoft, Amazon Web Services, Red Hat, NetApp, Veeam, and Autodesk.

Channel Impact®
As businesses navigate the challenges of digital transformation, they are increasingly investing in cloud solutions to achieve a host of business outcomes. This new roll-out is intended to help partners add differentiated solutions to their portfolios while reducing cost, implementation risk and time to market.

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