Meet your AWS account team

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As you begin building a company on AWS, you may be contacted from someone at AWS who’s interested in learning more about what you are building and how we can help. That’s us, your account team.

We’re here to help keep you up-to-date on all that AWS offers, coach you on best technical and business practices (such as the AWS Well-Architected Framework), and make sure you’re not overspending on your AWS services.

Let’s get acquainted with the different people on your AWS account team who you’ll work with in your journey building on AWS. This post will provide clarity on each person’s role on the team and how best to leverage them to achieve your business objectives.

Account managers

Account managers (AMs) are your primary point of contact with AWS for business or technical matters. As your startup grows, your account team will be more involved; at AWS, our larger startups sometimes have multiple AMs supporting them. No matter your startup’s size, however, your AM handles your relationship with AWS.

There are a few career paths within account management, but you’ll start out with an Associate AM.

Associate account manager
Associate AMs inform companies about new releases and events related to AWS. If you’ve ever received an email on upcoming webinars or events, it likely came from an associate AM.

Associate AMs reach out to companies who might not have connected with AWS yet and are interested in learning how AWS can help support their business.

“I really enjoy the role of associate account manager because I can introduce customers to the vast amount of resources that AWS offers. It’s gratifying to see firsthand the opportunities that are created from these resources to help our customers build effectively and grow.”—Sarah Houghton, AWS associate account manager

If you’ve never engaged with AWS directly yet, an Associate AM may be your first contact with us. The more information you are willing to share about what you are building (what AWS services you are using or considering), the Associate AM can get you in touch with the proper teams within AWS.

Account manager
As your company grows, you’ll be assigned an AM. They’ll help you achieve your startup’s business objectives using AWS. AMs work with Associate AMs to make sure you’re getting the information you need when you need it.

“As an account manager, I partner with leadership at innovative startups building on AWS. I enjoy aligning on their strategic business goals and collaborating across AWS expert teams to help them achieve those goals and grow their business. It is incredibly rewarding seeing this partnership lead to successful customer outcomes: building disruptive product offerings, expanding to new markets, transforming end-customer experiences, and more.” – Jeff Savio, AWS senior account manager

When to engage an account manager
Account Managers should be your first point of engagement with AWS on non-support related issues. If you have a technical support concern, please follow the standard process of opening a support case (after the case has been opened, feel free to let the AM know of the case number so the account team can monitor its progress). Account Managers can help with billing-related questions, cost optimization opportunities, as well as work directly with solutions architects to help with technical-related questions.

Solutions architects

Account solutions architect
Your AM is paired with an account solutions architect (SA), who helps guide technical solutions for your startup. Solutions architects are a free resource for you. Engage us as often and regularly as you would like. We recommend customers engage SAs before you’ve begun building so we can review your use case and recommend the best architecture and AWS services. SAs work with many customers and have seen best practices on what has worked well. SAs can also engage specialist solutions architects and the service teams depending on the level of depth of the conversation. Solutions architects also gather feedback and submit it to the service team roadmaps as product feature requests (PFRs). Ninety percent of our roadmaps are driven by customer feedback.

Specialist solutions architects
Specialist SAs can help with individual AWS services, such as Amazon SageMaker or Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (Amazon EKS), or technology domains like security or machine learning. Sometimes, an SA brings in other specialists or service team members, depending on the use case, such as using a service in a unique way that we haven’t seen before.

An SA can also introduce you to relevant partners from the AWS Partner Network (APN), based on the focus of your company and the timeframe available. AWS Consulting Partners work with customers at all stages of the startup lifecycle, so even if you don’t have developers yet, or maybe you need assistance for a specific one-time project, they can help you continue to make progress.

“I love being an SA. I get to be a member of my customers’ teams and work side by side with them to solve interesting technical challenges. It’s extremely rewarding to be a part of a customer’s success and see our work implemented in production. I recently had a customer who was interested in finding areas where they could reduce costs. We did an architecture review and were able to find a solution that lowered their networking costs by over 50%.”

—Ben Gruher, AWS solutions architect

Technical account managers

The technical account manager (TAM) helps startups onboard to AWS and plan and build solutions following operational best practices around resiliency and cost optimization. You’ll be able to work with a TAM if your startup purchases an enterprise support plan or through enterprise on-ramp. TAMs can engage subject matter experts and help with case management. A TAM can also help keep your AWS environment healthy by showing you how to manage your AWS spend, optimize workloads, and manage events. As an example, if you know you’ll be launching a new feature or into a new market that will require scaling up, TAMs can help you engage our AWS Infrastructure Event Management (IEM) team to proactive help you plan for the event.

“I enjoy being a TAM because I can be a customer advocate. Being a technical point of contact, I get to help with operational excellence by providing architecture guidance, best practice recommendations, and proactive operational reviews. Recently a customer reached out to help them with Cost Optimization. After running a cost optimization workshop, I was able to help them with set of actionable items to reduce cost.”—Sudhan Rameshwaran, AWS technical account manager

Service teams

Service teams are an engineering organization within AWS. They design, develop, and operate the 200+ services AWS offers.

Product managers
Product managers within service teams often engage with customers to provide feedback on feature prioritization or gain insights into how AWS can help them offload some of their administrative or operational workload.

If you need to speak with a service team, your Solutions Architect or Technical Account Manager can help you reach them.

“As a product manager, I ensure that the features we build help customers address their business problems. I enjoy defining product roadmaps based on customer input and working with engineers to see these features delivered to our customers.”—Suresh Sridharan, AWS Cognito senior product manager

Business development

Most of our business development (BD) team members are former founders, investors, or operators who want to help companies grow and scale.

BD manager
A BD manager is experienced in a specialized field, such as fintech, healthcare/life sciences, or artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML). BD Managers come to AWS with deep connections in the startup ecosystem and can share their experience navigating the ups and downs of startup life. They can also help with relevant business introductions, partnership or co-marketing opportunities, or go-to-market strategy resources.

“I love meeting founders and supporting them with resources that are a fit for their stage of growth or for their industry. I’ve helped startups secure speaking opportunities at the AWS Summit and re:Invent, meet internal and external experts for product development and fundraising advice, and connect with go-to-market programs to partner with AWS to reach joint customers”— Amy Chen, AWS senior BD manager with early-stage startups

AWS support

AWS Support helps companies get the most out of AWS products and features. Are you a builder with a “how to” question or a problem to troubleshoot? Do you have a service issue? Our experienced technical support engineers work one-on-one to find solutions, fast.

AWS Support complements our SAs and TAMs to provide support cases 24/7 for problems affecting your company’s workloads. You can choose the right plan, based on your company’s needs, with pay-by-the-month pricing that avoids long-term commitments.

“As a cloud support engineer, I enjoy assisting customers to troubleshoot their complex issues; the varying customer issues provides good learning experience. Interacting with customers to understand their requirements can in turn enhance AWS products.”—Subodh Raut, AWS cloud support engineer

Building on AWS means you can collaborate with people on various dedicated teams. AWS provides business and technical resources to help companies grow, aiming for optimal solutions at minimal cost. We want what is best for the companies building on AWS, even if it means working with products and services originating outside of AWS. We want to earn your trust as long-term partners, not short-term sellers.

Justin Plock

Justin Plock

Justin is a Principal Solutions Architect at AWS, focused on fintech startups. He regularly meets with fintech founders to help ensure their business is secure and compliant with industry regulations. Prior to AWS, he was a Director of Cloud Enablement at a Fortune 200 insurance carrier and a Director of Engineering at a cybersecurity firm. He is passionate about helping startups develop securely and efficiently on AWS. He lives in Connecticut with his wife and two daughters.

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