AWS Partner Network (APN) Blog

Updated MSP Partner Program Validation Checklist – Version 4.0

AWS MSP ProgramWe are pleased to share the latest updates to our AWS Managed Services Provider (MSP) Partner Program in version 4.0 of the Validation Checklist.

This version reflects our most recent program criteria and requirements, with improvements focused on raising the bar for both MSP Partners and Amazon Web Services (AWS) customers.

By maintaining a high bar in this program, MSP Partners will realize more valuable recognition for their distinguished capabilities, and AWS customers will have increased confidence in teaming up with AWS MSP Partners.

APN Partners entering the program, or MSP Partners renewing their program status, will be required to meet Version 4.0 requirements for all audits and renewals as of April 1, 2019.

Download the AWS MSP Partner Program Validation Checklist v4.0 >>

What is the AWS MSP Partner Program?

The traditional MSP business model is rapidly evolving. Customers are demanding comprehensive cloud-native solutions that reduce costs, improve business agility, increase security, and empower organizations to focus on their goals.

The AWS MSP Partner Program recognizes leading APN Consulting Partners that are highly skilled at providing full lifecycle solutions to AWS customers.

Our next-generation AWS MSPs focus on business outcomes that go beyond the health of individual resources, focusing on four key areas to help customers succeed: Plan & Design > Build & Migrate > Run & Operate > Optimize.

In addition to a robust set of requirements, the AWS MSP Partner Program also incorporates the use of a third-party validation audit that brings value to both the participating APN Partners and to AWS customers who can confidently identify qualified MSP Partners.

What’s New or Different in Version 4.0?

The changes in v4.0 are specifically focused on ensuring and recognizing excellent partner experiences, including:

  • The AWS MSP Program will now require AWS Solution Architect-certified resources at our MSP Partner organizations to review and approve design and final deliverables.
  • The MSP Program also requires that all Customer References include new customers, or new engagements with existing customers that have taken place in the last 18 months. Either way, customers involved in public references must be consuming managed services from the APN Partners or AWS, and they must have been running on those services for at least six months.

The above changes will allow for a clearer demonstration of your organization’s proven success with customers while highlighting the exceptional value that AWS MSP Partners can deliver.

Additionally, to better highlight what AWS services MSP Partners are capable of supporting for customers, we have expanded the AWS Knowledge section of our program requirements to cover a breadth of services across multiple technology categories.

The AWS MSP Program is introducing an annual performance-based renewal process. The renewal process includes assessment of new mandatory requirements, such as:

  • Assessment by AWS of the MSP Partner for any new, mandatory requirements added or expanded in the current version of the checklist.
  • 5 Launched Opportunities that include managed services in the 12 months immediately prior to the annual renewal.
  • MSP Partner remains in good standing at the APN Advanced or Premier Tier, including the requirement to attain Customer Satisfaction Responses.
  • MSP Partner complies with the AWS Partner Network Terms and Conditions.

To ensure high quality and consistent customer experience, the AWS MSP Program requires a Full Audit of all MSP Partner Program requirements every 36 months, based on your original (or most recent) Full Audit date.

Full List of Changes in v4.0

  • Updated the annual renewal audit process to performance-based renewal.
  • Add Full Audit process every three years.
  • Updated definition of Case Study; and new definition for Launched Opportunities (see Definitions).
  • Reordered checklist sections to be categorized under Business Practices and MSP Practices.
  • Updated 2.6: Customer References must have been running on APN Partner’s managed services for at least six months.
  • Updated 13.1: AWS Services and Features to include new services and requirements for evidence.
  • Added 8.1.7: APN Partner makes use of multi-factor authentication (MFA) to protect customer accounts for all methods of accessing those accounts by interactive users, by default.
  • Added 5.1.7: AWS Certified resources to review design of solution.
  • Removed 4.13, 6.2.3, and 7.1.6 from v3.3.
  • Updated 4.2.2 from v3.3 to become two separate controls and updated score; new controls numbered 3.2.2 and 3.2.3 in v4.0.
  • Updated description (control language) for 6.1.3, 6.1.4, and 7.1.5 from v3.3, numbered as 5.1.3, 5.1.4, and 7.1.5 in v4.0
  • Updated score for 6.1.6, 7.1.5, and 9.6.3 from v3.3; numbered as 5.1.6, 7.1.5, and 9.6.3 in v4.0.
  • Updated requirement for 8.0, 10.0, and 12.0 section from v3.3; numbered as 8.0, 6.0, and 4.0 in v4.0.
  • Updated evidence requirement for 9.6.1, 9.6.2, 9.6.3, 13.1, and 13.2 from v3.3; numbered as 9.6.1, 9.6.2, 9.6.3, 11.1, and 11.2 in v4.0.

Additional Resources

For more info, please contact your Partner Development Rep (PDR), Partner Development Manager (PDM), or Partner Solutions Architect (PSA). You can also find information here:

Still have questions? Reach out to your PDM or Alliance Lead, or email the AWS MSP Partner Program at aws-msp@amazon.com.