Cloudy AWS Premier Status #1 - Europe and North America! Job. Done.
This week Cloudreach was reconfirmed as an AWS Premier Partner in Europe, continuing our status since 2014. More importantly perhaps, Cloudreach have achieved the Premier tier for our North American business independently! To celebrate, I’ve gathered my thoughts and insights in this blog post.
Bit of Background
Cloudreach was founded back in 2009, in a pub in London by James Monico and Pontus Noren. Roll forward eight years, the business looks very different. We operate in the UK, USA, France, Germany, Switzerland, Netherlands and Canada, look after 300+ Cloudreachers, host our Cloudy University, run a graduate scheme, have 10 offices and speak 36 languages.
From my personal perspective, I joined in 2010 [as employee number 7] and initially built our managed services business in Edinburgh & Vancouver. With that safely handed over to other Cloudreachers, 2014 brought the start of a project to build a new business in USA, using all the skills and experience we collectively learnt building our UK business. In 2015, I moved with my family to NYC to take on the role full time and commit to a new adventure. Watching Cloudreach evolve and become the leading global cloud native AWS partner has been one hell of a journey.
Is it easy to achieve?
So what do you need to do to achieve this? Well, it’s not trivial. It’s taken us 2 years to build our North American business to be AWS Premier tier from scratch! You need to recruit the right people, expose them to the technology, our mindset and our methodologies. This takes time, effort and experience.
Furthermore, you also need to gather data points to prove your success to AWS. This includes “in region” public customer case studies, generating a certain level of revenue and attaining a minimum of 8 AWS Pro Level certifications. Since there is a large and ever increasing number of partners in the ecosystem (see the analysis below), tiers and standards helps our customer base find us and have assurance that we are the real deal. You cannot rush the process or try and buy in the talent. That simply doesn’t work. You need to carefully nurture your business to create something which is sustainable, scalable and delivers a quality product.
One of Amazon’s 14 leadership principles is to delve deep, which I have to admire. So, as I came to write this blog, I was curious to see - well - how many others have achieved AWS Premier Partner status? How long have they been around? Where are they located? How many are located in multiple regions? Where does Cloudreach sit? You can click here and see my raw data in a Google Spreadsheet - perhaps you can deduce other insights for yourself. I’ve added in data points from LinkedIn, Amazon and finally a view to see if partners are Azure Gold and / or Google Compute Platform (Premier).
The data is interesting. Many of the partners have only joined the Amazon Partner Network in the last 12-24 months, which coincides with the real ramp in Enterprise Adoption of the cloud. The demand is very much there and therefore driving existing old school GSIs, CoLo providers, ISPs and traditional integrators to come to the party. It’s not optional. In many cases they have thousands of staff, a list of blue chip customers and $xBn revenue, but I’d argue that doesn’t equate to depth, experience and the right DNA to survive in the cloud (as they exist today). The market will shrink, solutions will be found via software driven solutions not by delivering large scale teams.
Is the partner ecosystem ready for this? Well the cloud / new IT is not an incremental step, it fundamentally impacts your use of technology, your approach to it, the skills needed, culture of your team / organisation and tooling required. That’s a great deal to cope with - whether you’re an ‘old world’ customer or partner new to the ecosystem.
However fear not, there are a number of new (since 2009) native cloud integrators who are growing fast and providing high quality products and services. These, I believe, will become the ‘Premier’ integrators of the future. Specifically, Cloudreach prides itself on delivering fast with small teams. We aren’t a ‘body shop’, rather we are an organization geared up and focused on delivering a Cloudy vision - helping our customers realize their competitive advantage with the cloud - we enable innovation.
We get asked this question a great deal, will Cloudreach go to South East Asia? Will we open up more offices in North America or Europe? I think the answer will be determined by our customer base and the demand for our services. We care greatly about the quality of the products and services we deliver., Were we to open up somewhere new to get access to new markets, we’ll do it with local staff, physical office space and local relationships with AWS and our other partners.
Our aim will always be to achieve ‘Premier’ in all regions we operate in both now and in the future.
Not if. When