AWS Partner Network (APN) Blog

What Does it Mean to be a Next-Generation Managed Service Provider?

AWS, Sumo Logic, and three AWS Managed Service Partners (Smartronix, Logicworks, and Day1 Solutions) came together at the AWS Loft in NYC last week for an interactive discussion with customers around the Next Generation of Cloud Delivery and Management. Cloud managed services play an increasingly important role as customers look to migrate and manage workloads on the cloud. The goal of this event was to educate customers on what a next-generation cloud Managed Service Provider is, and the value they deliver to customers.

Participants at the event spoke about the differences in the role that on-premises MSPs play as compared to next-gen MSPs, what customers look for (and conversely, don’t look for) in a next-gen MSP, and the role that the AWS Managed Service Program and the program audit can play in helping customers identify expert next-gen MSPs. “We participated in this event to promote the understanding of the Next-Gen MSP to the customer, as well as to put context around what the old MSP model versus the new MSP model looks like. We also participated to illustrate the value of next-gen MSPs,” says Brian Clark, VP, Managed Services at Day1 Solutions.

Kelly Hartman, AWS Global Segment Leader, MSPs, spoke of the importance of building customer awareness for next-generation MSPs. “Events such as this are a critical step in ensuring that customers understand what to expect from a next-generation MSP. It’s important that we continue to highlight the paradigm shift that has taken place in the MSP landscape, and what it takes to succeed in this new model. AWS Partner Network (APN) Technology Partners (ISVs) such as Sumo Logic who provide cloud-native services play a key role in delivering the capabilities required of Next-Gen MSPs,” says Hartman. “Having an event hosted by an APN Technology Partner with participation from a number of AWS MSPs helps to solidify that message, and the need for the AWS Partner ecosystem to work together in this new model.”

Highlights of the Event

The open discussion and feedback from panelists was valuable for both attendees and the panel themselves. “Events like this are beneficial to us in that we get to hear from some other players in our field as well as from potential customers, and learn and educate [each other] at the same time,” says Jason McKay, SVP and CTO at Logicworks. “And our customers get to hear how we’re adjusting our services to optimize for the cloud.” Paul Beda, Principal Cloud Architect and Strategist at Smartronix, discussed the importance of helping educate customers as a cloud MSP. “For Smartronix, it’s about helping customers help themselves. If we can help them formulate their needs in cloud and MSP terms, then we’re helping to reduce friction in the process and make it easier for them to meet their business needs.”

I loved hearing the unfiltered ‘lessons learned’ on the journey to the cloud from the panelists and attendees at the panel,” says Aaron Feigin, VP of Corporate Marketing and Communications at Sumo Logic. “There is clearly a tectonic shift underway that is bringing massive disruption, and the conviction of those who are leading is palpable. These next-generation MSPs are embracing continuous intelligence and AWS to help customers transform and thrive in this digital era.”

AWS customer Teresa Brooks, Founder of Quarks & Bits Software LLC, came to the event to learn more about the managed services landscape on AWS. “This type of event gives you a perspective about what to think about,” she says. “One really interesting part to me was the discussion of next-generation monitoring tools built for the cloud.”

Coming Soon: The AWS Managed Service Program Validation 3.0 Checklist 

Our AWS Managed Service team used the event to introduce the upcoming launch of the AWS Managed Service Program Validation 3.0 Checklist, to be posted on the APN Portal on January 1, 2016. All members of the AWS Managed Service Program will be required to undergo their annual AWS MSP audit in 2016 based on the new requirements. This is a significant step in ensuring that AWS MSP Partners are delivering what AWS customers are asking for. Our goal is to continuously raise the bar on AWS MSPs in areas including DevOps, Continuous Compliance and Service Intelligence, and to help MSPs build expertise around the proper use of AWS best practices in areas like security, design, and migration, while at the same time taking advantage of new services and features that AWS has added in the past year.

To learn more about the AWS Managed Service Program, visit the Program’s website.