AWS Public Sector Blog

Keeping “mission critical” critical but simple: 5 public sector partners announcements at AWS re:Invent 2020

At Amazon Web Services (AWS), we are mission focused. A mission is a purpose—supported by but not driven by IT. How can the AWS Partner Network (APN) help public sector partners and their customers meet their missions? No matter where you are in your journey to cloud adoption and IT modernization—from getting started, to easing the adoption of technology, to planning to take the solution to market, to growing beyond storage and compute, to renewing and scale—APN and its programs and initiatives can help.

During my leadership session at AWS re:Invent 2020, I shared new and noteworthy AWS Public Sector Partner programs available to help partners keep their focus on their mission-critical work while also keeping it simple—and I shared some partner successes along the way. Read on to learn more about five announcements I shared at re:Invent 2020:

1. Demonstrating expertise in time of need: Expanding AWS Public Safety and Disaster Response Competency for AWS Technology Partners

Last year at re:Invent, we announced the launch of the AWS Public Safety and Disaster Response Competency for consulting partners. This year, we are announcing the expansion of the competency to the first set of AWS Technology Partners. Previously only for AWS Consulting Partners, this competency will add 16 AWS Technology Partners at launch who have demonstrated technical capabilities and proven success in enabling communities, governments, first responders, police departments, and disaster response organizations to leverage trusted solutions specific to their unique needs across each phase of the disaster and emergency response lifecycle: prepare, respond, and recover. Learn more about each of these 16 partners, including HERE. HERE delivers market-leading map and wayfinding data in the form of connected service APIs powered by AWS. They support a variety of companies who need mapping capabilities to enhance their emergency incident reporting and disaster response with capabilities like routing and situational awareness.

2. Launching new competencies: AWS Mainframe Migration Competency and AWS Energy Competency

Migrations are the first step in becoming a cloud business. Given the importance of mainframes, I pre-announced the launch of the AWS Mainframe Migration Competency for Consulting and Technology Partners, coming in 2021. To qualify for this competency, partners must demonstrate expertise and experience in migrating mainframe applications to AWS.

I was also excited to pre-announce the AWS Energy Competency, targeted for launch in 2021. This new AWS Competency will feature best in class Consulting and Technology Partners globally, who are positioned to help customers build and implement advanced solutions powered by AWS across the industry value chain including geophysical and reservoir analysis, production operations and optimization, pipeline operations, plant production optimization and more.

The AWS Competency Program identifies AWS Partners who have demonstrated technical proficiency and customer success in specific workloads, industries, or solutions.

3. Enabling diverse businesses and SMEs: Think Big for Small Business pilot goes global

Think Big for Small Business, launched as a pilot earlier this year, has gone global. The Think Big for Small Business program provides time, resources, and guidance to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and diverse business partners in the AWS Solution Provider program as they work towards their competencies. It also offers a limited-time Technical Capability Discount to eligible public sector partners or distribution downstream partners while they are advancing through the APN tiers. This helps reduce competitive disadvantage and incentivizes organizations to obtain competencies, which provide a key advantage for women-owned, Black-owned, Brown-owned, Veteran-owned, and other diverse businesses.

I shared a story from Cloudprime, a cloud-managed services provider in South Korea who is delivering government-funded projects to support other small and medium businesses, especially EdTechs and FinTechs, in their cloud migration. “As a small business in the Korean market dominated by big conglomerates, Cloudprime has been struggling to balance our limited staff force and resources to advance on our APN journey,” said Jungsik (David) Hwang, chief executive officer (CEO), Cloudprime. “The provisional tier upgrade through the Think Big for Small Business program unlocked many useful benefits, especially giving us access to programs and the Technical Capability Discount, allowing us to offer a more competitive service to our customers.” Learn more about Think Big for Small Business.

4. Accelerating adoption of AI and ML: AI and ML Rapid Adoption Assistance Initiative

First launched in September 2020, the Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) Rapid Adoption Assistance Initiative was created to help partners accelerate AI and ML technology development for the public sector. Today I announced that in 2021, the program will be available globally. Through this initiative, partners are able to help government customers use AI to transform the way government agencies operate by offering partners a direct, scalable, and automated mechanism to reach out to AWS experts for assistance in delivering AI-based solutions. In addition, the initiative offers assistance in expediting AI solution development by providing hands-on technical enablement and architectural guidance.

5. Reducing time to compliance: ATO on AWS goes beyond FedRAMP

With the pandemic, more organizations are turning to AWS to accelerate digital transformation for themselves and their customers. As a result, our partners globally are looking to provide the best solutions and services to help their customers on their cloud journeys. Authority to Operate (ATO) on AWS, launched in 2019, continues to help AWS Partners running on AWS who need assistance in their pursuit of a compliance authorization on expedited timelines. Today, I shared that ATO expands beyond its FedRAMP foundation to include other frameworks like PCI-DSS, HIPPA, CJIS, IRS 1075, IRAP, GDPR, and DoD IL4/IL5/IL6. With the addition of these frameworks, Partners will continue to see the same support and shorter time to compliance they have come to expect with ATO on AWS.

Let AWS help you on your journey

No matter where you are on your journey, AWS has the programs to help you meet your mission. Other programs I highlighted during my session include the AWS Outposts Ready Program, Security Solutions for Government Workloads initiative, AWS Partner Transformation Program, ProServe Ready pilot program, and the AWS Migration Acceleration Program.


I’ve talked to 100 partners in 100 days, and many of the ideas for our programs and initiatives came from you. If you have an idea for how we can help you, reach out to me—I want to hear from you.

Watch my leadership session from re:Invent 2020, now available on demand. And read more about my thoughts on the five focus areas where AWS helps Public Sector Partners grow their business and focus on mission-based solutions.

And remember: don’t overanalyze it—just get going.

Read other stories by Sandy Carter.