AWS Smart Business Blog

Boosting Productivity and Saving Costs: How AWS Support Helps Small and Medium Businesses

Small and medium businesses (SMBs) drive today’s innovation and economic growth. More than a third of SMBs are engaged in research and development for a new product or service and nearly half of SMBs are in the process of launching a new product or service. Additionally, SMBs are adapting to new opportunities, such as digital transformation, by increasing their use of technology. As SMBs adopt cloud computing, they have unique needs and challenges, which evolve as their businesses grow.

One of the important factors to consider in their cloud journey is forming the right business relationships to help support their SMB and to keep up with the skills required to be successful in the cloud. This is significant because many SMBs have few in-house IT resources. SMB teams are often lean and lack a dedicated resource to maintain their cloud provider relationship. They are often challenged by limited access to subject matter expertise, which might lead to project delays and runaway costs. Working with Amazon Web Services support can alleviate many of these challenges.

Why work with AWS and its support plans

AWS offers a few tiers of support that are designed to meet customers’ needs where they are in their cloud journey. More detail on different AWS Support tiers is discussed in this blog post. Though all support tiers may be suited for SMBs, the importance of the customer’s workloads drives the discussion as to the appropriate AWS Support tier for operational and business needs.

In this blog post, we will focus on Enterprise On-Ramp (EOP) Support, which many AWS SMB customers find helpful. Though EOP has the word “enterprise” in its name, this support plan is not only for enterprise-sized organizations. EOP provides proactive support and grants access to a team of support experts and Technical Account Managers (TAMs). It is recommended when an SMB requires guidance to scale and grow operational efficiency and faster response times for business critical cases.

How does EOP address SMB challenges?

The EOP offers a customer-centric approach, with a feature set that addresses SMB customers’ top needs such as cloud optimization and cost management. This support plan provides timely expert guidance to scale and drive operational efficiency, with a deeper technical connection with AWS, alongside best in class case management capabilities when issues arise. Think of EOP as your go-to resources for enhanced cloud support.

It’s also important to note that many SMBs either sell to (or want to sell to) enterprises. For them to do so, they need to be able to provide enterprise-level uptime for their business applications.

Gaining access to AWS Experts who can help your business grow

At the heart of EOP is the partnership with the TAMs. They work with customer team(s) to serve as their point of contact—leading, coaching, and guiding optimization opportunities and advocating for customer needs to the greater AWS organization.

Access to TAMs comes with an upgrade to EOP and Enterprise Support, and is not available on lower tiers of support, such as Developer and Business support. In 2022, ~70 percent of AWS SMB customers who upgraded their support plan cited TAM engagement as the primary driver of cloud adoption.

Account team and customer meeting in an office

An example of how EOP helped an SMB customer reduce costs

Simplica Corporation is an SMB leader in cloud hosting and user-friendly web portals, based in Delaware, United States. They upgraded their AWS support tier to EOP. One of their leaders stated:

“Simplica’s relationship with AWS has grown through the EOP plan. The plan has given us access to knowledgeable TAMs who serve as our gateway to key subject matter experts within AWS. The TAMs have been highly responsive and provided us with insightful information about AWS services, as well as valuable cost optimization recommendations. This has enabled us to evolve the Simplica Cloud and achieve our business goals. Overall, our relationship with EOP has been an extremely positive and productive one.”

SMB organizations need to get their solutions to the market with speed and efficiency. Getting things right the first time around in building and launching their applications and services is crucial to stay within budget, minimize disruption, and maintain a stable user experience. SMB customers such as Simplica also need to think about scaling their resources to meet the demands of their expanding customer base, and enhance their security to address compliance requirements. One of the ways that customers can leverage AWS best practices in these areas is through working with the EOP TAMs.

New to digitization or looking to add more cloud capabilities to your SMB? Explore solutions by industry, benefit, use case, and more on AWS Smart Business

Supporting a complex contact center project every step of the way

In 2022, one of our SMB customers in Georgia, United States, had a critical contact center solution implementation for their major client. They encountered various obstacles during the project, which led to implementation challenges. The customer submitted many support cases and sought guidance from experts on architecture reviews to ensure they were building the infrastructure correctly. They signed up for EOP and the TAMs were instrumental in their successful release by scheduling guidance with subject matter experts to help with the reviews and escalating the support cases for faster response and resolution.

Through EOP Infrastructure Event Management (IEM) engagement, the customer was able to use the support of SMEs throughout the entire implementation process, including weeks before the go-live event, during the event, and after it.

What is an IEM?

In IEM, the TAMs will provide architecture, scaling, and operational guidance during the preparation and execution stages of a project. As part of this effort, customers will get help with:

  • Assessing operational readiness
  • Identifying and optimizing architecture challenges to reduce risks
  • Anticipating and planning for failure scenarios that may jeopardize the success of their projects

A critical business launch can be a stressful and challenging time for business development managers as it involves a significant investment of time, resources, and effort. Any infrastructure event or incident during the launch can have serious consequences and impact the success of the launch. With the TAMs and other AWS experts staffing a “war room” for the event itself, customers can be confident that any issue would be escalated efficiently and recorded for a post-event debrief.

How to achieve cloud cost optimization with AWS TAMs

In today’s inflationary environment, there is a great focus on cost optimization. In fact, it is among the first questions customers ask us. For SMBs with lean teams that lack in-house IT resources and operate under tight budgets, this is a critical focus area. With a cost optimization review, the TAMs deliver deep-dive reviews into the entire tech environment or certain workloads such as:

  • Databases
  • Web applications

The TAMs are plugged into “everything AWS” in a way that allows them tap into organizational knowledge and new feature or product releases. When SMB customers are considering building versus buying solutions, having access to this knowledge can save time and money.

Next steps

The support conversation starts with you, our customer. We will focus on your priorities, areas of focus, challenges, business objectives, and outcomes. Your AWS Account Team and dedicated support specialists are here to guide you to pick the right tier of support for your organization.

Reach out to your account team to start the support conversation today. If you don’t know your AWS Account Team or if you’re brand new to AWS, contact us.

Sumitha AP

Sumitha AP

Sumitha AP is a Sr. Solutions Architect at AWS. She helps SMB customers build secure, scalable, reliable and cost-effective solutions in the AWS Cloud. Sumitha holds a Master of Computer Applications from University of Kerala. She is based in the US.

Deepthi Paruchuri

Deepthi Paruchuri

Deepthi Paruchuri is an AWS Solutions Architect based in NYC. She works closely with customers to build cloud adoption strategies and solve their business needs by designing secure, scalable, and cost-effective solutions in the AWS Cloud. Deepthi holds a Master's degree in Computer Science from University of Mississippi.

Maya Goffer

Maya Goffer

Maya Goffer is a Sr. Business Development Manager in the AWS Premium Support Organization. She works with customers to identify the right level of support to meet their needs and business objectives. She was the global leader in net-new Enterprise On-Ramp (EOP) customer acquisition in 2022. Maya holds a degree from Tel Aviv University and is based in the US.