2nd Watch is an enterprise workload management provider that helps companies accelerate data center capacity growth through adoption of the Amazon Web Services cloud. The organization’s cloud-native services and tools implement and automate critical workload management processes including migration, procurement, provisioning, operations, financial management, and governance. The team works primarily with enterprise businesses across industries in the United States, and have shifted workloads into more than 75,000 instances in the AWS cloud. 2nd Watch has worked with AWS since its founding in 2010, and has been an APN Partner since 2011. The company is a Premier APN Consulting Partner, AWS Channel Reseller Partner, AWS MSP Partner, and holds the Big Data, Life Sciences, Marketing & Commerce, DevOps, and Microsoft SharePoint Competencies.
Since its inception, 2nd Watch has been a cloud-native company. “We are cloud born, and 100 percent public cloud and AWS focused,” said Jeff Aden, EVP of Strategic Business Development & Co-Founder at 2nd Watch. Since 2010, the team has been focused on providing enterprise customers with solutions that are highly flexible, scalable, and available. Enterprise capabilities were the biggest criteria for 2nd Watch in deciding to build its business on the cloud. The 2nd Watch team determined early on that by focusing its business solely on the cloud, the company would be able to not only support the needs of its enterprise customers, but to innovate on behalf of its customer base and provide best of breed services and tools to address enterprise business needs.
The 2nd Watch leadership team believed its business of building and managing production applications for the enterprise throughout the lifecycle of those applications would be critical for enterprise customers exploring cloud-based solutions, and would bring a high level of value to a public cloud provider in working with enterprise customers. In identifying a cloud provider to work with, “You want to choose someone equally as all-in as you are,” said Aden. 2nd Watch found that spirit in working with AWS.
As the team compared cloud providers and determined who to engage, AWS stood out. “Originally, we looked at having an agnostic business model. We went through a matrix of the available options and said, ‘What’s the investment in the cloud from this provider, in everything from the infrastructure to the ecosystem, training, and development?’ AWS emerged as the primary place for us to place a strategic bet. We determined that, in our opinion, AWS is the only public cloud service provider with the tools and products to run enterprise production in the public cloud,” said Aden.
Specifically, the investment AWS has made in the public cloud and in building out a comprehensive internal team, the platform’s broad reach, the scalability of the infrastructure, and the focus on innovation drove 2nd Watch to build its business on AWS. Additionally, the broad OS, application, and platform support was appealing to 2nd Watch. Aden explained, “AWS has always supported multiple technology stacks, and this makes the business of managing IT on the platform easier. This wide variety of choice makes it easier to move workloads to the platform and provides consistency in how problems are solved.”
2nd Watch works with customers that have a wide range of workloads running on AWS, and provides enterprise customers with a large breadth of services and tools to provide these customers the ability to work effectively with the AWS platform. “Our public cloud-native services and tools implement and automate critical workload management processes for the enterprise, including migration, procurement, provisioning, operations, financial management, and governance,” Aden explained. The company assists enterprise companies in shifting workloads to AWS, and offers managed services for those workloads once they’re set up and running in AWS for optimization, monitoring, and management. “Our workloads vary dramatically from customer to customer. They cover a wide range of performance characteristics, from highly elastic marketing websites like Super Bowl ads, to steady state online transaction processing such as a PeopleSoft Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system,” said Aden
Given 2nd Watch’s diverse customer base, the company utilizes a large number of AWS Products and Services, including Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS), Amazon Redshift, Amazon DynamoDB, Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), Amazon Simple Notification Service (Amazon SNS), Amazon Simple Queue Service (Amazon SQS), Amazon Route53, and Amazon ElastiCache, among other services. The organization uses almost every Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instance type, and uses a wide range of AWS database services, all based on customer need and preference. “We make the choice to work with a particular service based on system architecture and customer preference,” Aden explained. The company works with a wide range of technologies and platforms on AWS, including Oracle, Microsoft, PeopleSoft, SAP, .NET, Linux, MySQL, SQL Server, and more.
Aden highlighted the success the company has had in using AWS CloudFormation, saying, “AWS CloudFormation has been huge for us. The ability to describe all of the datacenter resources you need in one or multiple files has been extremely powerful for migration and elastic workloads.” Additionally, he highlighted the network flexibility of Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC), and Amazon CloudTrail. “Amazon CloudTrail is very important to us. Our customers want to understand everything going on in the platform – who made what change, and when. With Amazon CloudTrail, they have complete auditability of their infrastructure,” Aden explained.
Rapid business growth, decreased costs for customers and a decreased time to market, internal efficiency, and the scalability of enterprise workloads are just a few of the benefits 2nd Watch has experienced in working with AWS. 2nd Watch’s business has grown substantially on AWS since it first starting working with AWS in 2010, and the ability for 2nd Watch to use, deliver, and execute globally with a set of similar products and functionality has facilitated global growth. “We’ve increased bookings substantially year-over-year,” said Aden.
Substantially decreased operating costs for customers over traditional infrastructure environments is something the 2nd Watch team often observes with its customers. Aden estimates that 2nd Watch customers typically save 30 – 40 percent of their operating costs by moving to 2nd Watch and AWS, and some of 2nd Watch’s larger customers save more the 70 – 80 percent on highly elastic workloads. Additionally, working with AWS has decreased 2nd Watch’s time to market over time by 30 – 40 percent.
Internally, the product development team at 2nd Watch is enabled to experiment by working with AWS, and improve and optimize products for customers efficiently and effectively. “Working with AWS has specifically helped our Product Development team by allowing them to test and make changes to products quickly and inexpensively. It also helps us surpass our customers’ expectations with cost optimization and managed services, as several of our core products focus on those areas,” Aden explained. 2nd Watch has also benefited from AWS’ pace of innovation. “We’re impressed with AWS’ dedication to continually innovate to meet market demand. AWS’ pace of innovation allows us to offer our customers best of breed products and services at a price point that continually declines and beats the competition. By building our own products on AWS, we also have the ability to constantly test and redefine their capabilities to keep up with our customers’ needs,” Aden explained.
“What I love about working with AWS is that customers come first,” said Aden. The 2nd Watch leadership team also appreciates the high expectations AWS has of its APN Partners to provide end customers with value-added solutions and services that improve their businesses. “There’s an expectation to perform, and a bias for action on behalf of the customer that AWS wants to share with APN Partners,” Aden explained. The organization has worked closely with the APN team and a number of internal AWS teams, and has benefited by participating in a number of APN Programs. Aden specifically called out the AWS Acceleration Program to help drive go-to-market (GTM) initiatives. “The AWS Acceleration Program has been a very powerful tool for 2nd Watch’s associates and customers. We’ve found this has accelerated our customer adoption and improved the customer experience,” said Aden.
2nd Watch looks forward to continuing to support customers in their journey to the cloud by leveraging software enabled services to increase agility and efficiencies, while maintaining security and governance. The company has digital marketing solutions, a batch / HPC / big data solution, business application solutions, and a cloud native application solution all to be released soon.
To learn more about 2nd Watch, visit their AWS Partner Directory listing here.