The news comes about three months after Kyndryl signed similar partnerships with Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud.

Kelly Teal, Contributing Editor

February 23, 2022

4 Min Read
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IBM spinoff Kyndryl has bagged the last, and biggest, U.S. hyperscaler as part of its plan to capture $510 billion in addressable market share for various managed services.

The new partnership between Kyndryl and AWS marks the final one in Kyndryl’s public cloud pipeline (at least in the United States). Once separated from Big Blue, Kyndryl signed similar contracts late last year with Amazon Web Services competitors Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud.

Now, AWS is following suit — about three months later than it had planned.

Long Time Coming

Chris Niederman, general manager of global account sales and strategic alliances at AWS, said the vendor initially wanted to share the Kyndryl news in December at re:Invent — right after the Mainframe Modernization Service announcement, in fact. But that didn’t pan out.


AWS’ Chris Niederman

“We have been in discussions with Kyndryl for quite some time and wanted to take the time to get it right for our customers and Kyndryl versus rushing to bring something to market that isn’t fully fleshed out and [as] impactful for our customers as we believe it can and should be,” Niederman told Channel Futures.

There are, of course, some significant differences between what Kyndryl is doing with AWS, and what it’s doing with Azure and Google Cloud.

For one thing, Kyndryl is establishing an AWS Cloud Center of Excellence. Centers of Excellence enable professionals to create platforms by following best practices and connecting with people who provide expertise and guidance. (While not ubiquitous, they’re growing more common in the indirect channel.) To that point, Kyndryl’s AWS Cloud Center of Excellence will feature solutions and services for supporting infrastructure, modernizing applications and workflows, and more. Kyndryl channel partners worldwide can take advantage of the Center of Excellence to tweak and optimize the ways their customers use AWS.

Kyndryl does not offer a Center of Excellence through Azure or Google Cloud. It does, though, have a co-innovation lab with the former and an academy with the latter.

Kyndryl, AWS Tackle On-Premises VMware Deployments

A second unique aspect of the Kyndryl partnership with AWS centers around VMware. The effort calls for Kyndryl and AWS to develop an accelerator for VMware Cloud on AWS. That means channel partners who have end users running VMware on-premises soon will have an expedited way to move those customers into the cloud. Kyndryl says it has a “high concentration” of premises-bound VMware clients.


VMware’s Raghu Raghuram

“VMware, AWS and Kyndryl bring together a unique combination of customer focus, technology innovation and industry leadership that, together, will accelerate customers’ application modernization and cloud initiatives,” said Raghu Raghuram, CEO of VMware. “AWS is VMware’s preferred public cloud partner for vSphere workloads, and Kyndryl and VMware have a partnership built on more than two decades of collaboration. Together, our companies will help customers successfully navigate complex cloud journeys that lead to greater digital innovation while retaining enterprise control.”

Other Projects Kyndryl and AWS Will Pursue

The new partnership between Kyndryl and AWS contains some other elements, too. For example, as Kyndryl builds more of its own infrastructure, it says it will use AWS as its preferred cloud provider. In addition, because of the arrangement, AWS now becomes a Kyndryl Premier Global Alliance Partner. The two companies also will educate more than 10,000 Kyndryl services professionals by the end of this year.

“Organizations everywhere are choosing AWS to transform their businesses and tackle some of the world’s most difficult challenges — from putting automated vehicles on our streets, to improving health care outcomes, to addressing climate change,” said AWS CEO Adam Selipsky. “By combining forces with Kyndryl, we are helping customers of all sizes to modernize faster than ever before, grow their businesses and transform what’s possible. Together, we are committed to educating, empowering and enabling thousands of AWS certified practitioners and developing joint solutions that will accelerate customers’ journeys and help them innovate.”

Kyndryl, for its part, already was a Premier Global Alliance Partner and MSP-certified member of the AWS Partner Network. The newly announced partnership just expands the providers’ relationship.

“Our ability to freely explore and unleash the combined benefits of AWS cloud services with Kyndryl’s … industry-specific managed services and expertise will provide an unprecedented level of knowledge and innovation,” said Martin Schroeter, chairman and CEO of Kyndryl. “Together, we will invest in enhancing Kyndryl’s expertise in AWS to help companies modernize, innovate and compete.”

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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