AWS Partner Network (APN) Blog

Building a Software/SaaS Business on AWS – the ISV Partner Playbook from Splunk

The following is a guest post from our friends at Splunk, an all-in AWS Technology Partner, and AWS SaaS Partner. 

As AWS increasingly becomes the preferred deployment model for enterprise applications and services, it’s never been more important for a software or AWS SaaS provider to effectively work with AWS.  Splunk recognizes this, and has been building software that runs on AWS as well as a globally available AWS-based cloud service delivered through nine AWS worldwide regions.

We are thrilled with the success of our SaaS business on AWS, so I thought I’d share some of our learnings in the form of best practices for you to keep in mind when growing your software or SaaS business on AWS.

  1. Embrace the Change

If you’ve attended the keynote at any recent AWS Summit, you’ve heard the message “Cloud is the New Normal.”  Our advice is to take this to heart, and invest in your business knowing the momentum behind cloud will only continue to accelerate.

This is a boon to businesses of every size and in every location around the world – cloud makes it easier than ever before to innovate, rapidly bring an offering to market, and serve your customer.

Want to see how we at Splunk are embracing the change?  Hear it from our CEO during his talk at the AWS re:Invent 2014 keynote, where he says, “Cloud is the new data center.”

  1. Relentlessly Focus on the Customer Experience

Focusing your business on customer success is a must when building a business on AWS.

Why?  Because the #1 driving factor behind everything AWS does is help its customers be successful and innovative.  Tactically, this can mean many things for a SaaS Partner, but the one that stands out to me is building technology integrations that can provide additional value to AWS customers.  A good example of this involves AWS CloudTrail and AWS Config, services that deliver log data on AWS API calls around user activity and resource changes. When properly harnessed, these services help enable enterprises to ensure security and compliance of their AWS deployments. A handful of SaaS Partners (Splunk included) deliver integrations for these AWS services.  The importance of these integrations is clear when you think of the importance of security and compliance for any successful AWS deployment.

But why take my word for this?  Read one customer’s story to learn more, or watch a YouTube video on the customer’s success here.

  1. Leverage Your Customers in Your Go-To-Market Strategy

When it comes to building your software or SaaS business on AWS, nothing beats customer validation.  One of the most compelling stories is when a customer fully integrates your technology into their AWS strategy.

A great example of this is the Federal Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).  FINRA is an independent regulator that examines all securities firms and their registered persons and surveils trading on U.S. markets.  To respond to rapidly changing market dynamics, FINRA is moving its platform to Amazon Web Services (AWS) to analyze and store approximately 30 billion market events every day.  FINRA uses Splunk Cloud to ensure security and compliance in their AWS deployment.

Want to learn more? Click here.

  1. Choose AWS and Go “All-In”

When building out your cloud strategy, you have to make choices.  Our advice: When two roads diverge in the cloud, choose AWS.

There are a few reasons why we feel this is a best practice.  First, AWS has the richest and broadest set of services in the market.  If your offering is storage intensive, there are specific solutions for that; if it’s computer intensive, there are specific solutions for that; if it’s I/O intensive, there are specific solutions for that.  Regardless of what you need on the infrastructure stack – whether it’s automated provisioning, configuration or management, there is a mature solution for that.

In addition, business today is global.  To successfully grow your business you need the ability to rapidly expand around the world.  AWS offers that through their 11 worldwide regions.

Many leading software companies, including Infor, Informatica, and Splunk, have gone “all-in” with AWS.  I believe that your business will be greatly accelerated if you do as well.

Want to know more about Splunk’s perspective of being “all-in” with AWS? Hear it from our CEO.

  1. Leverage the Ecosystem

If you’re building on AWS, chances are that other folks building on AWS will find it useful.  This is what makes the AWS announcement of its SaaS Partner Program so exciting.  If you’re building a SaaS billing management solution, odds are we could use it for our SaaS operational and security monitoring solution. Since we’re building a SaaS operational and security monitoring solution, odds are you could use it for your SaaS billing management solution.

It’s simple…we have the opportunity to be better together on AWS for the benefit of our customers.

To learn more about building SaaS on AWS, click here.