AWS Partner Network (APN) Blog

New AWS GameDay Benefits Help Partners Build Cloud Skills and Engage with AWS Experts

By Kathryn Martini, Sr. Product Manager, Benefits – AWS
By Marie Shimansky, Global Manager, Partner Solutions Architecture – AWS

AWS-GameDay-Benefits-reInvent-2021-blog

We are excited to introduce new AWS GameDay partner benefits for AWS Partners in several of our differentiation programs: AWS Service Delivery, AWS Service Ready, AWS Competency, and AWS Managed Service Provider (MSP).

AWS GameDay is a collaborative learning exercise that tests skills in implementing Amazon Web Services (AWS) solutions to solve real-world problems in a gamified, risk-free environment. It’s a completely hands-on opportunity for technical professionals to explore AWS services, architecture patterns, best practices, and group cooperation.

Partners can now choose the AWS GameDay League, AWS GameDay Quests Developer Kit (QDK), or both, as benefits of their differentiation program achievements:

  • AWS GameDay League is made up of teams from global partner companies who compete against each other in hands-on technical challenges to build new cloud skills capabilities and have fun while doing so.
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  • AWS GameDay Quests Developer Kit (QDK) gives partners the ability to integrate their products with real-world scenarios to be leveraged as repeatable, lead-generating events with customers. This unique sales tool overcomes traditional barriers like subscription trials and building test scenarios in sandbox accounts.

We are proud to offer AWS Partners in our differentiation programs tangible benefits that support their investment in AWS and for specializing through AWS Partner Network (APN) programs.

Elevated levels of technical enablement, direct connections with AWS experts, and quality leads are the top benefit asks of AWS Partners participating in differentiation programs. These new AWS GameDay benefits deliver all three!

AWS GameDay League Benefits

AWS GameDay League provides gamified, risk-free technical upskilling. Participants join through the AWS GameDay event interface and work together to track progress while tackling challenges using the AWS Management Console at minimal cost (time to participate). An AWS account is provided for the event.

Additionally, 99% of GameDay League participants report improving their skills on AWS. One GameDay participant shared with us: “Our team had an absolute blast. It was a great learning experience. Tutorials and labs are great, but they only take you so far. GameDay was learning on a whole new level.”

AWS GameDay League for partners provides events unique from other AWS GameDays, offering multiple partner companies a chance to compete against each other. Each tournament allows partner teams to focus on a specific set of tooling such as migration and modernization, security, or sustainability.

“GameDays show our technical teams that AWS values and recognizes them for their hard work educating customers on AWS merits and executing projects, and for increasing customer consumption of AWS services,” said Tesfalem Gebremariam, Sr. Cloud Solutions Architect at Presidio.

Through AWS GameDay League, participants solve problems in a time-bound, real-world scenario. The competitive aspect ignites innovation, and the risk-free environment lets them fail fast and iterate to solve problems and win prizes. League champions receive AWS promotion, and all participants leave with new ideas for future customer solutions.

“GameDay League put us up against other companies, which was more fun (than a GameDay among our own team) as it makes it that much more competitive and challenging to compare our strengths and weaknesses against other teams,” said Alfred Macaraeg, Sr. Systems Engineer at DOMA Technologies. “As a result of participating in the League, we identified new growth areas and increased our expertise on AWS.”

AWS GameDay Quests Developer Kit (QDK) Benefits

AWS GameDay Quests Developer Kit (QDK) is a new go-to-market opportunity for AWS Partners with a clear “better together” story around their software offering and a cloud-oriented toolkit that gets customers into the AWS console.

AWS GameDay QDK allows partners to create a customized module within an overall GameDay event scenario, highlighting their product alongside AWS services. Once a Quest is built, partners can integrate their Quest into existing GameDay content to provide customers with an interactive and hands-on experience with their product.

Customers who participate in GameDays that incorporate partner Quests built with the QDK report how helpful it is to use the software offering in a real-world scenario. They say it’s kind of like shopping in-store instead of online; you can put a partner offering to the test and truly understand the value prop.

For example, a customer that was looking for a product to monitor their cloud application performance was initially hesitant to use a partner’s software solution until they participated in an AWS GameDay event where the software was highlighted through a partner-developed Quest. Once they had time to use the product, the customer was delighted.

With GameDay Quests, partner offerings are put in the hands of engineers and architects so they can see it in action.

AMD has been collaborating with AWS since 2018 and had this to say of their AWS GameDay QDK experience: “The GameDay Quest platform offers AWS Partners an opportunity to experience AMD EPYC processor’s capabilities to take on massive compute-heavy workloads in a real-life scenario, where chaos might be happening, and deal with requests from mock customers,” said Lax Sakalkale, Director of Cloud Solutions Engineering, Cloud Business Unit at AMD.

“Using AWS GameDay Quest Developer Kit, our team and AWS Partners also have a repeatable tool to allow customers to experience AMD-powered Amazon EC2 instances, AMD Radeon ProRender 2.0, our rendering engine, and more in action, and see what they could do for their own cloud infrastructure in AWS,” added Lax.

Once a partner uses the AWS GameDay QDK, they’ll have a Quest that can be run with customers as an interactive, on-demand sales motion to showcase their product alongside AWS services. Running a custom Quest within a GameDay is a unique sales tool that overcomes traditional barriers like subscription trials and allows customers to build test scenarios in sandbox accounts.

“Building New Relic’s GameDay Quest with the AWS GameDay Quests Developer Kit has been a great learning experience. I was able to rapidly develop, test, and iterate to improve our user experience and get better on AWS,” said Jemiah Sius, Sr. Manager, Product Management at New Relic.

“Demos and walkthroughs are great, but the key to adoption is getting hands-on. Now that we can run AWS GameDay around New Relic’s Quest, we can better support the developer community and have fun in the process,” added Jemiah.

Getting Started

These new AWS GameDay partner benefits are available globally to all AWS Partners who are validated through the following APN differentiation programs: AWS Service Delivery, AWS Service Ready, AWS Competency, and AWS MSP.

If you are already differentiated via one of these programs, our GameDay League scouts will email tournament invitations to your alliance lead and technical staff. You can also subscribe to the AWS GameDay Twitch channel and follow the AWS GameDay Twitter.

If you have a validated software offering, we invite you to submit your products to the AWS GameDay Quests Developer team by emailing awsgamedaybenefits@amazon.com. Please include a link to your software product listing and short statement about your “better together” story. The AWS team will respond within three (3) business days with next steps.

Get a taste for AWS GameDays at re:Invent 2021 by taking part in collaborative and interactive learning exercises.

If your company is not yet in an AWS Partner differentiation program, start with an application under the “View My APN Account” tab in AWS Partner Central (login required).