AWS Re:Invent 2016 Day 1: Partners Reign Supreme

Las Vegas AWS

When it comes to big trends at this year’s AWS re:Invent, the kickoff in Las Vegas on Tuesday was all about partners.

Dubbed the “Global Partner Summit,” a large part of the conference’s first day focused on members of the AWS Partner Network, and how customers are working with AWS and its partners, including Rackspace, which recently achieved Premier Partner status as a consulting partner within the AWS Partner Network.

“Rackspace has a well-earned reputation for customer obsession, and this has translated into consistent success in helping customers optimize their use of the AWS Cloud,” stated AWS Vice President of Worldwide Marketing Terry Wise, in Rackspace’s announcement Tuesday.

During his keynote Tuesday morning, Wise noted the expertise of the tooling and automation AWS partners provide, and how it’s making a difference for businesses around the globe.

Johnson & Johnson, for example, has leveraged AWS and its partners to advance their intertwining of healthcare and technology, which they call “Health Tech.” Johnson & Johnson CTO Dan Zelem took the stage to describe how his company is using data analytics to predict the outcome of clinical trials, and maintain the accuracy and inventory of medical devices — none of which, he said, would be possible without seamless cloud technology and automation.

Johnson & Johnson spans more than 270 operating companies in 60 countries, Zelem pointed out. “What worked years ago in those markets wouldn’t work today, so we need to take a different view of how to deliver technology in those places.”

That’s meant adopting a hybrid cloud strategy and relying on AWS and its partners for private and public cloud deployments that allow Johnson & Johnson to automate as much as they can and continue to fuel those lines of business with all of the amazing innovation and R&D they’re doing at home.

When it comes to finding these specialized technologies to help move its business into the future, Johnson & Johnson isn’t alone. Wise later said many AWS customers are looking for partners with proven expertise delivering specific AWS services such as Amazon Aurora, or AWS Lambda.

No better time for experts

To better serve those customers, he unveiled the AWS Service Delivery Program, the first of the day’s announcements, which will help customers quickly locate the partners they need and easily connect with them.

In tandem with that announcement, Wise also announced the launch of the AWS Alexa Partner Program. Alexa is the voice service that powers Echo, Amazon’s hands-free, voice-controlled speaker, a version of which was given out on Tuesday to the more than 25,000 attendees at re:Invent, as part of the conference swag package. The new program will build on the more than 3,000 Alexa skills already developed by AWS partners.

AWS officials also announced the addition of two new solution areas to its AWS Competency Program, with Financial Services Competency and Internet of Things Competency bringing the total number of solution areas to 17. The Competency Program includes members of the AWS Partner Network who have demonstrated technical proficiency and proven customer success in specific industries, solutions and workloads.

Rackspace is no stranger to the AWS Partner Program or its areas of competency. In addition to earning Premier Partner status — the highest level of designation within the network, which recognizes partners that have made significant investments to develop the technical resources and AWS expertise necessary to deploy and manage customer solutions on the AWS cloud — last week AWS awarded Rackspace a certification distinction for achieving more than 500 AWS professional and associate certifications, an achievement called out by Wise at the beginning of his keynote.

We’ve earned those certifications and status in just the 14 months since last year’s re:Invent, when Rackspace announced the launch of Fanatical Support for AWS, and they represent a concrete, outside validation for our strategy, which has remained straightforward since day one: to provide the most comprehensive and highest level of managed services for AWS, allowing businesses to harness its power without having to hire and retain the necessary technical expertise in-house.

Visit Rackspace to find out more about our AWS managed services, read some customer success stories, check out tooling demos and learn which service options will fit your needs.

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