The public cloud provider is adding two new incentives — and one is a type it has not offered before.

Kelly Teal, Contributing Editor

August 31, 2021

4 Min Read

Amazon Web Services is unveiling its first channel program changes since 2018.

On Oct. 1, AWS Partner Network members may take advantage of two new incentives — one a rebate, one a discount.


AWS’ Teresa Uthurralt

The Partner Growth Rebate – the first rebate AWS has ever offered – rewards partners for getting existing customers to adopt more AWS services and infrastructure. Partners may earn rebates each quarter; rebates come in the form of AWS promotional credits. AWS will award them when an existing account meets or exceeds year-over-year growth targets. The goal, Teresa Uthurralt, director of AWS partner programs, told Channel Futures, is “to help existing customers accelerate their cloud journeys.”

AWS does not make percentage or pricing details public. But, Uthurralt said, the vendor formulated the new approach because “partners had shared that rebates were an important mechanism to invest in their businesses.”


AWS’ Doug Yeum

The second new initiative is called the Partner Originated Discount. This targets new customers. What’s significant is that Amazon Web Services is including early-stage customers (the definition of which it does not reveal outside of APN) in that scope. These end users are just starting to use AWS and partners “can help these customers move faster,” Doug Yeum, head of worldwide channels and alliances at AWS, told Channel Futures. And when they do, they will reap more discounts. Partners submit, validate and launch Partner Originated Discounts through the APN Customer Engagements program.

Overall, Yeum said, customers have told AWS they want to adopt more cloud computing through partners. At the same time, partners have expressed their desires for more incentives. These channel program changes meet both needs.

“If we have our partners who are engaged, we think our customers can basically get more value,” Yeum said.

‘It Was a Good Time’

Amazon Web Services partners know the company doesn’t initiate channel program changes often. In fact, the last time came in 2018, when the cloud provider switched from the AWS Channel Reseller Program to the current AWS Solution Provider Program. Prior to that, the most noteworthy adjustments occurred six years earlier. AWS aims to deliver stability and predictability to its partners, Yeum said. Therefore, leaders are “very careful” about rolling out frequent alterations.

“It’s been over three years since we announced the last round of changes and we felt it was a good time for us to think about what additional things we can do to help our partners,” Yeum said.

The channel program changes have been in the works for a while. They “bubbled over the last 12-18 months,” Yeum said.

The rebate and discount are applicable to APN members including VARs, system integrators, managed service providers, distributors and public sector experts.

“We’re making changes to ensure that our partners are getting additional value and additional support,” Yeum said. “We want to help them continue to transform their capabilities and help their customers accelerate their journey on the cloud.”

Stephen Boyle, senior vice president of strategic partnerships at SHI International, agreed. The $11 billion IT services provider is continuing to move away from …

… a transactional model toward more professional and managed services. Part of achieving that means accommodating end users’ cloud requirements.


SHI International’s Stephen Boyle

“We have a lot of customers with AWS that are fast-growing,” Boyle said.

Here’s our most recent list of important channel-program changes you should know.

With that in mind, SHI plans to use the new AWS rebates and discounts to support different cloud-focused efforts. First, it will put those funds toward customer success. Second, it will use them for long-term investment. And third, it will apply rebates and discounts to its professional and managed service initiatives. That’s because SHI, by 2025, intends to reach $20 billion in revenue. Taking advantage of AWS’ channel program changes will help it hit the mark.

Achieving Mutual Growth Goals

“Our North Star is everything we can do to drive our incremental growth,” Boyle said. “What AWS has done … is going to be a big part of that future growth. … I see an awful lot of teamwork and alignment.”

SHI has teamed with AWS since 2013. As such, AWS looked to SHI as it was building the PGR and POD programs. Boyle said he was pleased to see AWS take SHI’s input into account before unveiling the initiatives.

“We provided some feedback … and AWS took that on board and it is baked into the program,” he said. “I’m appreciative that AWS engaged and consulted … and actually took action on some of the feedback we gave them.”

For AWS, listening to partners almost constitutes a no-brainer.

“We see this market growing really quickly, and we’re just getting started,” Yeum said. “There are still a lot of partners who can still work closely with AWS and we want to work with as many partners as possible.”

Want to contact the author directly about this story? Have ideas for a follow-up article? Email Kelly Teal or connect with her on LinkedIn.



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About the Author(s)

Kelly Teal

Contributing Editor, Channel Futures

Kelly Teal has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist, editor and analyst, with longtime expertise in the indirect channel. She worked on the Channel Partners magazine staff for 11 years. Kelly now is principal of Kreativ Energy LLC.

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