AWS Partner Network (APN) Blog

AWS Well-Architected SaaS Lens Helps Customers Transform to a Software-as-a-Service Model

By Kevin Mueller, Sr. Solutions Architect, SaaS at AWS

The AWS SaaS Factory program works with AWS Technology Partners at any stage of the software-as-service (SaaS) journey, and we are currently seeing tremendous growth in companies migrating to a SaaS business model.

SaaS software providers gain value by enabling agility and rapid innovation, cost optimizations, operational efficiencies, and recurring revenue. SaaS customers, meanwhile, benefit from simplified IT management, time to value, and a pay-for-what-you-use business model.

To help accelerate firms building SaaS solutions on Amazon Web Services (AWS), the SaaS Factory team led an effort to build a new AWS Well-Architected SaaS Lens. With this release, AWS Partners have another tool to help customers with SaaS workloads on AWS.

The SaaS Lens is available in all regions where the AWS Well-Architected Tool is available, as described in the AWS Region Table. It can be applied to existing workloads, or used for new workloads you define in the tool.

There are no costs in using the AWS Well-Architected Tool. Developers and architects can use it to improve their applications or get visibility into multiple workloads used by department or area.

Learn more about the AWS Well-Architected SaaS Lens >>

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How it Works

The AWS Well-Architected SaaS Lens is the second lens available in the Well-Architected Tool, which launched in 2018 and enables AWS Partners to review customer workloads in a more structured way.

The tool is available in the AWS Management Console, where customers can define workloads and answer questions regarding the five pillars of Well-Architected. It provides customers with a plan to architect for the cloud using established best practices. This helps customers prioritize improvements throughout the development lifecycle.

The Well-Architected SaaS Lens adds questions to the tool that are tailored to SaaS workloads and intended to drive critical thinking for developing and operating SaaS workloads. Each question has a list of best practices, and each best practice has a list of improvement plans to help guide customers in implementing them.

The SaaS Lens also points to various resources that can provide even more guidance on how to implement the improvement plans and best practices.

Here are a few of the questions the SaaS Lens adds to the AWS Well-Architected Tool:

  • SEC 1. How are you associating tenant context with users and applying that context within your SaaS architecture?
  • PERF 1. How do you prevent one tenant from adversely impacting the experience of another tenant?
  • COST 2. How are you correlating tenant consumption with the costs of your infrastructure?
  • REL 3. How are you testing the multi-tenant capabilities of your SaaS application?

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Teaming Up with AWS SaaS Partners to Improve the Lens

Mark St. Pierre, Sr. Director, Platform Software at Ribbon Communications, had this to say after receiving an early version of the SaaS Lens:

“Ribbon was able to evaluate our service architecture and design against the five operational pillars. SaaS Lens increased our visibility and confidence in best practices, enabling the acceleration our live service production deployment. Overall, SaaS Lens was instrumental in terms of our readiness for our SaaS offerings.”

The Well-Architected SaaS Lens was authored and developed by the AWS SaaS Factory team with the help of the Well-Architected team and AWS SaaS Competency Partners, who reviewed the Lens and provided feedback that shaped the content while ensure the improvement plan are within reach of most development teams.

We’d like to thank the following AWS SaaS Competency Partners for participating in the Lens review process and for providing valuable feedback to the development team:

  • AllCloud – AllCloud has expertise in designing SaaS solutions. After high growth working with tech organizations, AllCloud delivers custom-designed and cloud-native AWS solutions across industries and around the globe.
  • The Scale Factory – The Scale Factory brings deep architectural experience and DevOps practices to help startups and SMEs deliver more on the AWS Cloud.
  • Itoc – Itoc helps customers successfully deliver scalable SaaS solutions through a Cloud Acceleration Program, a four-stage journey to support ISV and SaaS customers at every stage of their cloud journey.
  • Rackspace – SaaS Enablement services from Rackspace provide a range of business and technical enablement resources for building, migrating, managing, and optimizing SaaS on AWS.
  • Slalom – Build as a Service means creating the custom-built modern software and technology products of tomorrow, today. An always-on engine capable of crafting custom-built modern technology products from the ready-for-use platforms born in the cloud.

Supporting AWS SaaS Partners

The AWS SaaS Factory program was introduced in 2017 to help ISV Partners accelerate SaaS adoption. It’s a targeted program to give partners direct access to technical and business content and best practices. They also get access to SaaS Solutions Architects and Business Architects that can guide and accelerate the delivery of SaaS solutions on AWS.

AWS Technology Partners are encouraged to reach out to their AWS Partner Network (APN) representative to inquire about working with the SaaS Factory team. Additional technical and business best practices can be accessed via the AWS SaaS Factory website.

ISVs, including those not yet registered with the APN, can subscribe to the SaaS on AWS email list to receive updates about upcoming events, content launches, and program offerings.

All AWS Partners can explore SaaS Factory program benefits, enhance their SaaS knowledge with the new AWS SaaS Factory Insights Hub, and learn about SaaS Factory partner success stories.

AWS SaaS Competency Partners have deep experience helping organizations design and build SaaS and cloud-native solutions on AWS. These validated AWS Partners help customers reduce friction when migrating off legacy applications, and establish foundations required to build SaaS solutions successfully on AWS. They also write production application code and design and implement end-to-end solutions architecture for cloud-native products on AWS.

The AWS Well-Architected Partner Program trains AWS Consulting Partners on how to perform Well-Architected Reviews. It’s designed to enable partners to help AWS customers establish good architectural habits, eliminate risk, and respond faster to changes that affect designs, applications, and workloads.

Get Started with the SaaS Lens

Check out the AWS Well-Architected SaaS Lens, and learn more about the AWS Well-Architected Tool by visiting the User Guide and Product Page.

If you’re an AWS customer, find current AWS Partners that can conduct a review by visiting the AWS Well-Architected Partner Program or AWS SaaS Competency Partners page.

You can also join our AWS PartnerCast webinar on Jan. 13, 2021 at 8:00 AM PST to learn more about the SaaS Lens. Dive deep on best practices and how to use the SaaS Lens in the Well-Architected Tool. Register here >>