The new multiprong service helps organizations navigate the challenges that come with migrating applications into AWS.

Jeffrey Burt

July 9, 2019

4 Min Read

2nd Watch, an Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure MSP partner, wants to make it easier for enterprises to get up and running with AWS Managed Services (AMS).

Through AMS, AWS enables organizations to access the cloud provider’s infrastructure and gain such benefits as reduced operational costs, improved security and greater scalability to meet changing demands. 2nd Watch’s AMS Onboarding Accelerator service is designed to help enterprises and midmarket companies assess their applications for cloud-readiness and then create a strategy for migrating them to AWS and leveraging the cloud provider’s AMS. The multistep service offers access to 2nd Watch experts in AWS as well as to tools, consulting and automation to make the move into AWS successful, the company said.


2nd Watch’s Jeff Aden

“AWS has a managed service for certain types of services, and customers need help onboarding onto those services, whether they be a current technology vendor or a traditional company,” Jeff Aden, 2nd Watch founder and executive vice president of marketing and strategic business development, told Channel Futures. “Our service offering is to help customers onboard onto their services.”

Though public clouds have been around for a decade or more, in many ways they’re still the domain of the early adopters, though more companies are moving workloads and data into the cloud and adopting multicloud and hybrid cloud strategies.

“The cloud is still new to a large number of customers that are out there, predominantly more of your midmarket type of customer,” Aden said. “They face the same kinds of challenges that other companies faced 10 years ago. Customers initially struggle with ROI, then move over to some TOC [theory of constraints] challenges – implementation, change of services, knowledge gap – and then into operations.”

There also are the ongoing challenges of finding people with the necessary cloud expertise who not only understand AWS, Azure, Google Cloud Platform and other environments, but also can keep up with the ongoing updates and changes that these cloud providers make to their platforms, he said. Leveraging managed services can ease the migration to and use of the cloud — and remove the hurdle of finding and keeping in-house expertise.

There are two parts to the Onboard Accelerator from 2nd Watch, an AWS Partner Network (APN) Premier Consulting Partner and Microsoft Azure Gold Partner. The first is a free four-hour workshop designed to help customers determine whether their workloads are ready for AMS. The second part deals with onboarding onto AWS and includes everything from applications discovery and architecture and infrastructure design, to migration strategy and execution, operations integration strategy and implementation.

The service, available now, also covers AMS landing zone integration, an analysis of high availability and disaster recovery, consulting around automation and project management, including progress reports. It’s aimed at AWS, though 2nd Watch also offers similar services to Azure customers.

“Cloud services are going to be a breadth of offerings,” Aden said, noting that the acceleration service is complementary to what AMS offers. “It’s not going to be single-use. You don’t just use EC2, so this fits into the organizational portfolio as a good option for a number of use cases. Other use cases need to be fully managed by us, and some by the customer. It really gives them an option on how they move and scale out their organization.”

Zeus Kerravala, principal analyst with ZK Research, told Channel Futures that such onboarding services can …

… help organizations in the long run as they begin their move into the cloud.


ZK Research’s Zeus Kerravala

“If you don’t do onboarding right, it could take months or years to get the system optimized correctly,” Kerravala said, adding that it’s a complex process that involves such needs as knowing the pitfalls to avoid, how to code the applications for the cloud and where to store what data. “If you can take advantage of these services, you can save yourself possibly years of pain.”

There’s an advantage that companies just moving into the cloud now have over early adopters, Aden said. The initial conversations with customers now around cloud are similar to those from five years ago, hitting on such areas as ROI, security and TCO.

“Where we see a difference from a customer perspective is that their leadership has experience in the cloud,” he said. “A CIO will move into a different company predominantly to move the company into the cloud because they’ve done that with another organization. They already have the proof points; they’re able to make that turn for that organization much faster.”

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