Red River Grows Cloud Business through the AWS Partner Transformation Program

Red River is an AWS Advanced Consulting Partner

Executive Summary

Red River, a technology consulting firm focused on US federal, state, and local government clients as well as educational and commercial customers, vastly expanded its ability to capitalize on market demand for Amazon Web Services (AWS) by taking part in the AWS Partner Transformation Program (PTP). The Program enabled the company to move from Select to Advanced partner status in only 90 days, which unlocked further AWS go-to-market benefits. 

With more than 25 years of technology consulting experience, Red River thrives on its reputation for helping clients meet the challenges of the present while building for the future. “We saw increasing demand among our clients for cloud services in general and AWS in particular,” says Larry Bowles, Chief of Cloud Platforms at Red River. “We decided to go all-in to upskill our employees and ready our organization to deliver AWS Cloud services at the highest level. Beyond reselling cloud services, we wanted the ability to help customers throughout their entire cloud journey by helping them accelerate innovation, enhance security, or reduce time-to-market.”

Making a Big Bet on the AWS Cloud

Red River chose to engage in the PTP, a comprehensive assessment, training, and enablement program focused on helping partner organizations build a successful and profitable AWS Cloud business. Participating in the PTP helped the company rapidly achieve AWS Advanced Consulting Partner status. The PTP, facilitated by DSA Consulting, an authorized PTP Consultant organization, began with assessments and a gap analysis of Red River’s existing cloud capabilities. “The initial phases of the PTP opened our leaders' eyes to the fact that cloud is the ‘ultimate team sport,’” says Bowles.

“Our company was successful and growing fast, but the AWS Partner Transformation Program brought it to a new level. It helped us harness our strengths and bring together people to collaborate on a level they never had before.”

– Sue Simanski, Director of Cloud Program Management, Red River

A Plan for Action

The workshops resulted in the creation of a 100-day sprint plan to rapidly increase cloud management skills, increase AWS certifications, and operationalize cloud sales, delivery, and management across the organization. “The process helped us identify key goals and tasks to achieve them,” recalls Bowles. “We dove in with cross-company working groups led by key decision makers across the company.”

To address training needs, Red River worked with A Cloud Guru, an AWS Advanced Technology Partner that provides in-depth, hands-on AWS training and certification courses that can be completed remotely. Red River increased the number of AWS Technical Professional and AWS Business Professional accreditations among its employees from 56 to 552. It grew AWS Certifications from 13 to 68, most of them AWS Specialty Certifications.

Building Cloud Capacity Companywide

In addition to enhancing technical skills, Red River worked with employees in sales, finance, and HR to help everyone gain the ability to navigate the shift to cloud sales and services. It leveraged the PTP to develop cross-functional teams including reselling, consulting, technology services, and managed services. “The PTP was critical in identifying the gaps we needed to remedy, in some cases driving us to create new services for a complete customer journey,” says Bowles. Red River added new packaged service offerings around its core services, including government, networking, storage, DevOps, and migration. Red River recently achieved AWS Premier Consulting Partner status, and is now an authorized member of the AWS Well-Architected Partner Program.

Participating in the PTP has resulted in the rapid growth of a major new revenue stream for the company. Building on an already-strong reputation in the federal government and State and Local Government and Education (SLED) sectors, it has already gained major new contracts for its AWS Cloud and AWS GovCloud services, as well as from commercial businesses seeking to comply with government security standards. Looking to the future, Red River plans to add new AWS Service Delivery Program (SDP) designations and cloud service offerings. It is also investing in leading-edge technologies on AWS such as the Internet of Things (IoT), machine learning, and artificial intelligence.

“The AWS PTP allowed us to move faster than we could have on our own and helped build buy-in across the company,” concludes Bowles. “By rapidly identifying gaps and providing us with a clear plan to address them, it helped us build on our strengths to quickly capitalize on cloud opportunities.”

Red River

About Red River

Country: USA
Partner Tier: Advanced
Partner Type: Consulting
Red River offers 25 years of experience and mission-critical expertise in analytics, cloud, collaboration, mobility, networking, and security solutions for US federal, state, and local government, as well as education and commercial markets. The company has more than 500 employees and offers end-to-end services including consulting, implementation, support, and managed services.

APN Program Participation

Published November 2020