AWS’ Borno says teamwork key to creating sound partnership strategy

Some people are able to succeed simply by going it alone, but those who break barriers and stand out from the crowd work with a team of partners throughout their journey, Ruba Borno, vice president of worldwide channels and alliances with Amazon Web Services said this week.

During a 90-minute keynote speech dedicated to the channel at AWS re:Invent 2022, she likened the ability of a fine-tuned partner program to that of a world-class marathoner who relies on a “coach who prepares the training plan, the nutritionist who ensures that the athlete has enough energy source to complete the race, and then on race day, the pacers who run alongside the runner.

“And much like in the world of sports today, the bar for business is getting higher and higher.”

Borno, the former vice president and general manager of Cisco’s customer experience centres, who joined AWS a year ago, added that in the current economic climate, “our customers are being challenged to deliver more and more with less and less.”

In order to reach this higher bar, she said, they cannot go it alone: “They need a team. And that team is comprised of you, our AWS partners.”

Today, the vast majority of business leaders say that their business models will be unrecognizable in the next five years, said Borno and “just like running, it’s all about pace – the pace of innovation, faster time to market.”

In her keynote, she cited findings from a new report from McKinsey & Company, released this week, as an example of the monumental change that lies ahead. as well as the abundance of opportunities, particularly for partners.

Those findings revealed that upwards of US$3 trillion worth of EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) is “up for grabs for companies that go beyond” having a simple cloud adoption strategy.

Authors of the report note that “large enterprises are getting serious about adopting cloud. They aspire to have roughly 60 per cent of their environment in the cloud by 2025. Given the scale of this aspiration, businesses and technology executives are asking themselves: How big is the value at stake in my industry? How quickly will value be captured, and who will capture it? What can I do to make sure my company captures more than its fair share of value?

“To help address these questions, we have assessed more than 700 digital use cases to determine the potential value at stake, developed six scenarios for how cloud value could evolve between now and 2030, and profiled more than 50 cloud programs at major companies to identify markers of success and progress.”

During her presentation, Borno highlighted a number of major announcements from AWS this week targeting the company’s partner network, including Amazon Security Lake and assorted enhancements to AWS Marketplace.

She described Amazon Security Lake as a service “that makes it easier for security teams to gather and analyze data to improve their security. What I find really exciting is that it was designed with our security partners in mind.”

The service, AWS says, automatically centralizes an organization’s security data from cloud and on-premises sources into a purpose-built data lake in that customer’s AWS account, so they can act on security data faster.

Companies, said Borno, are “stitching together more and more systems into their IT environment. And each addition can create new vulnerabilities. So as the threat landscape continues to grow, and the number of threat actors continues to increase, it’s never been more important for AWS and our partners to join forces and address this challenge for our customers. The challenge that seems like a never-ending race.

“And as customers form a patchwork of solutions to mitigate against these threats, it becomes more and more important for them to have the ability to see and understand how all of those pieces fit together.”

AWS customers, she said, “need a holistic view of all security related data. They want it across all tools and solutions. They want this access on demand. And they want it fast, no matter the size of the data set. And they want to retain ownership of their data, regardless of the security or analytical tools that they use.”

Also announced this week was AWS Marketplace Vendor Insights, a service designed to help customers streamline vendor risk assessments. According to a release, Vendor Insights serves buyers “who need help to efficiently validate that third-party software meets their business compliance needs,” but also “serves sellers who want to showcase their strong security posture, while reducing the operational burden from responding to buyer requests for risk assessment information.”

Among other speakers during the keynote was AWS CEO Adam Selipsky, who described the channel as being an “absolutely central plank” since the company was first formed in March 2006.

“Now we have more resources today than we had in 2006 when we launched, but it’s really the same idea, which is that we’re going to do a lot of things ourselves, but there’s going to be a vastly larger number of things that our customers need that we won’t provide.”

A key strategy, said Selipsky, is to continue to build “capabilities for partners. Ultimately, both we and the whole partner community exist for one reason, which is to add value to customers and make their lives easier.”

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Paul Barker
Paul Barker
Paul Barker is the founder of PBC Communications, an independent writing firm that specializes in freelance journalism. He has extensive experience as a reporter, feature writer and editor and has been covering technology-related issues for more than 30 years.

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