AWS Partner Network (APN) Blog

Announcing the Updated AWS Managed Service Program Validation Checklist – Version 3.0

If you’re working towards passing our third-party-led managed service provider audit to become an official AWS MSP Partner, then we have some exciting news for you. Our MSP team has just released the AWS Managed Service Program Validation Checklist, Version 3.0. The Validation Checklist has been updated to reflect the evolving and growing needs of our customer base, who are increasingly looking for next-generation MSPs to guide them in all phases of their journey on AWS.

What’s the Validation Checklist? 

As Kelly Hartman, AWS Global Segment Leader, MSPs, explained shortly after the launch of the AWS MSP Program, the AWS Managed Service Program Partner Validation checklist is the cornerstone of the MSP Program. The validation process was thoughfully designed in direct response to our customers’ desire to have a more standardized experience when engaging APN Partners. The goal is to enable customers to identify AWS MSPs who have unique capabilities specific to their managed service practice. The checklist provides the criteria necessary to achieve the AWS Managed Service Program Partner designation and focuses on a core set of managed service capabilities that all AWS Managed Service Providers should possess, along with specific technical and business capabilities to further showcase their unique value to customers and to AWS field teams.

Why Has the Checklist Been Updated? 

The most recent updates made to the Checklist are a direct result of our goal to help customers identify MSP Partners whose practices embody the characteristics of a well-skilled next-generation MSP. We spoke about the importance of the next-generation MSP at an NYC Pop-up Loft event in December, and you can read more about that event here. Next-generation MSPs are first and foremost AWS experts. These AWS Partners embrace and deeply understand the importance of DevOps in both internal operations and external engagements, have dynamically responded to the power of automation in billing/pricing models for customers, and simply look at the world a little differently. According to our MSP team, “The focus on service intelligence and continuous compliance becomes one of the main differentiators for next-gen MSPs, as it’s been proven that simply applying traditional approaches to new paradigms does not work.”

So, What’s New in Version 3.0? 

The first AWS Validation Checklist (version 1.0) was released in 2014, and the team has made a number of version changes in the past year. In the newest checklist, Version 3.0, the following changes have been made:

  1. Added Business Health Section and Controls (Section 1)
  2. Added Billing and Cost Management Section and Controls (Section 5)
  3. Added new standards specific to Next-Generation MSP differentiation (Sections 3, 7, and 9)
  4. Removed “process and documentation” as allowable evidence in some sections; these are now only met with technology demonstrations
  5. Removed optional Business and Technical Capability Identifiers; we encourage MSP Partners to achieve AWS Competencies to differentiate their business
  6. Moved all White Label Audit Requirements and Policies to Appendix B

How Does this Impact Existing AWS MSPs?

New AWS MSP Partners and those in the program going through re-audit will be required to use Version 3.0 for any audit after March 1st, 2016.

Where Can I Download the AWS MSP Validation Checklist? 

To download the Validation Checklist, log in to the APN Portal and click here. Care to learn more about getting started as an AWS MSP? Download the AWS MSP Getting Started Guide here.


Stay tuned to the APN Blog for news and updates on the AWS MSP Program throughout 2016.