AWS Partner Network (APN) Blog

SaaS on AWS – Announcing the Launch of the AWS SaaS Partner Program

Over the past year, a number of leading technology firms declared that that they’re “all-in” on AWS, meaning that AWS is their strategic cloud platform, and is the core infrastructure powering their Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions. Today, we’re excited to share that four APN Technology Partners have announced that they’re “all-in” on AWS: Looker, Qlik, Sumo Logic, and Works Applications. Although the SaaS program doesn’t require an “all-in” commitment, more and more companies look to go “all-in” on AWS and treat AWS as a priority platform for customers to run their software, and we strive to provide the resources needed to support the growth of their SaaS-based businesses on the AWS platform.

In fact, IDC expects cloud software will grow to $102.9 billion by 2018. IDC indicates that by 2018, 20.5 percent of all software delivery will be SaaS.[1]

Our goal is to help APN Partners build, promote, grow, and manage SaaS offerings on AWS, and to support this we’re happy to announce the official launch of the AWS SaaS Partner Program, with over 100 SaaS Partners in the program.

What is the AWS SaaS Partner Program?

The AWS SaaS Partner Program is intended to help accelerate the creation of on-demand (SaaS) software on the AWS platform by providing resources to grow the number of companies who build SaaS solutions on AWS, and the number of solutions they develop. The Program’s benefits are delivered to members of the AWS SaaS Partner Program through a Learn, Build, and Grow maturity model. At the Learn stage, we provide technical and business educational material through a knowledge transfer program for companies to help them as they learn how to best build a SaaS offering on AWS. As companies continue to Build out their offerings, we provide best practices, training, and certification to foster that continued development. At the Grow stage, we provide participants with resources to support revenue growth, new customer acquisitions, and to promote the development of effective go-to-market (GTM) strategy. As AWS SaaS Partner Program members continue to develop SaaS offerings on AWS, they’ll qualify for more benefits at each stage of the Program.

“Through the AWS SaaS Partner Program, we’re expanding the number of agencies and SIs that rely on the Acquia Platform to build, deliver and optimize digital experiences. This community, and the global organizations they serve, rely on the scalability and security of the Acquia Platform to deploy and manage one, dozens, or hundreds of sites at breakthrough speed.”

– Joe Wykes, Vice President of Global Partnerships, Acquia

Today there are a number of resources and benefits available to qualifying APN Partners, including the availability of the Innovation Sandbox, an investment to be used for new SaaS offering test and development environments. We also offer the SaaS Pilot development funds and the SaaS Test Drive benefit designed to help you acquire net new customers, We also provide SaaS Office Hours, SaaS Webcast Series, SaaS Technical and Business Articles, Reference Architectures, and Whitepapers. Throughout 2015, we’ll be releasing a number of additional resources and benefits for SaaS Partners to utilize as they build a SaaS-based business on AWS.

“As an inaugural member of the AWS SaaS Partner Program, we have worked closely with the AWS team to deliver our award-winning product to customers on the secure and flexible AWS Cloud. With our participation in this program, we’re able to take advantage of the SaaS Pilot benefit to accelerate our growth and leverage the latest technological advances and services from AWS.”

– Ajoy Krishnamoorthy, General Manager of the Acumatica Cloud xRP Platform


Fostering the Unique Needs of SaaS Businesses

Through the AWS SaaS Partner Program, we provide participating APN Partners with specific guidance and resources tailored to the unique approach they take to develop and market SaaS solutions on AWS. While we want to provide all SaaS Partners with a secure, global, flexible, feature rich, and low-cost platform to build and market their services, we understand that the top business needs of SaaS Partners vary based on different business model considerations. Some companies, such as startups looking to build their business solely around new SaaS solutions, may be more heavily focused on acquiring new customers and understanding the strategy around marketing their services. Other companies, such as those transforming their existing business model from a license-based pricing model to a subscription-based pricing model, may look for more guidance around redefining pricing strategy and sales compensation programs.

“Infor continues to reap the benefits of delivering Infor CloudSuite industry suites on AWS as well as being an inaugural member of the AWS SaaS Partner Program. We have experienced triple digit growth in SaaS bookings, and can easily scale our solutions globally to meet the increasing demand by leveraging AWS resources on demand as we need them, where we need them.”

– Brian Rose, SVP, Infor Labs

Based on the high-priority needs for participants in the Program, we provide members with best practices we’ve observed from companies with similar business needs to their own, as well as the expertise we’ve developed internally at AWS. We tailor resources, suggestions, and support to the specific business needs of participants to ensure they’re able to proactively address the needs of their customer base through their SaaS offerings, and to reach a wider breadth of customers. Additionally, through the SaaS Partner Program we strive to create a thriving SaaS Partner ecosystem that can work closely with one another on AWS.

“Our relationship with AWS and the AWS SaaS Partner Program is transforming the way we develop and launch solutions for some of the world’s most demanding customers. We are excited to bring to market Pega 7 Express, which will enable the broader market to share the experience of what the Pega 7 Platform can provide for business.  The solution is powered by Pega Cloud on AWS and will be generally available later in Q3.”

– Willy Fox, VP Cloud Product & Commercialization, Pegasystems


 How Do AWS Customers Benefit from the Program?

SaaS solutions provide customers with simplicity and flexibility, both in terms of deployment and pricing models. In developing the AWS SaaS Partner Program, we’ve taken a strong customer-centric approach to help Program participants address the needs of the customers who consume SaaS offerings. Many APN Partners are looking not only to build a SaaS product, but also to build a rich portfolio of SaaS Services to benefit end customers. The SaaS Partner Program fosters that development through the Innovation Sandbox benefit. This benefit extends development credits for developing new SaaS offerings and Proof of Concepts on AWS. Further, we offer the AWS SaaS Test Drive benefit so that SaaS customers can quickly and easily explore the benefits of using SaaS software on the AWS Cloud in a pre-configured environment. Upon success, SaaS Partners can then extend this model into a “SaaS Pilot” for an actual pilot using real data and configuration for the customer.

“To help customers effectively meet their portion of the shared responsibility model for security on AWS, security solutions must be able to respond to new threats and vulnerabilities as quickly as they emerge. AWS SaaS facilitates our real-time innovation and deployment to help keep customers’ data secure.”

– Justin Foster, CTO, Cloud Workload Security at Trend Micro

AWS wants to ensure that customers have the opportunity to procure high-quality SaaS offerings, and we provide training and technical collateral to assist Program participants in building best-in-class SaaS offerings on AWS for end customers. To this effect, we have launched scalable enablement through the SaaS content section within the APN Portal. Within the portable, we will provide technical, business education, and best practices to help SaaS Partners deploy their software in a SaaS model on AWS. Technical content covers SaaS specific reference architectures, including multi-tenancy, security, identity, authentication and authorization, monitoring, billing, metering, micro services, DevOps, and migration. Business content will cover strategies for transforming traditional license based sales channels into SaaS, retooling on-premises or license based sales, marketing and operations to support SaaS subscriptions, and determine value-based pricing for SaaS offerings.

We extend delivery of this content into various formats, including a SaaS-focused Webcast Series as well bi-monthly SaaS Office Hours that provide SaaS Partners with personalized and live interaction with the technical and business AWS SaaS members.

 “Our relationship with AWS is a catalyst for our rapid growth and we are excited to deepen that relationship through our involvement in the AWS SaaS  Program. Our participation will relieve us of some of the burden of developing innovative technologies as well as help us engage customers with co-marketing funds and activities.”

– Chris Bright, VP of Marketing, Zapproved

 Are You Interested in Joining the Program?

If your company is considering developing SaaS-based solutions on AWS, or is already actively developing SaaS-based solutions on AWS, we invite you to apply to become a member of the AWS SaaS Partner Program.

[1] IDC, Worldwide SaaS and Cloud Software 2014 – 2018 Forecast and 2013 Vendor Shares, #249834, July 2014