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CDN Top Newsmaker: AWS Canada’s Eric Gales

Channel Strategy

Probably the most exciting company in the channel in 2016 was Amazon Web Services Canada. Besides exciting AWS Canada may also be the quickest company in the entire IT industry in Canada.

In 2015 the announcement was made that AWS would put down roots in Canada and hired an experience, well respected leader in Eric Gales to fulfill that dream. Well, by the end of 2016 AWS Canada is a significant player in the marketplace with the channel signing hundreds of partners.

And, then Gales cut the ribbon on its first regions in Montreal. This facility ended up becoming AWS’s first region outside of the United States. An important milestone for the company and for Gales.

But that wasn’t all. Gales hired Rob Stevens, another highly thought of executive with tons of channel experience to become AWS Canada’s first channel chief.

The Montreal region is just one step towards a much larger footprint the company is building in the Canadian market, Gales said.

“We’ve been operating in Canada for 10 years and we have thousands of customers deploying more and more resources. And, so to build out our Canadian presence, we now have a full array of resources such as sales support, marketing, and partner network,” he said.

The AWS Canadian region was just another noteworthy data centre story in Canada. 2016 ended up becoming the year of the data centre in Canada with many companies opening up a data centre in the country.

However, what makes the AWS region in Montreal special is that it represents a cluster of data centres in a specific area. It’s unclear how many data centres will make up the Montreal region, but company officials confirmed the region will be able to run a hybrid environment.

What it also does is solve the data sovereignty issue with customers and channel partners. And, for that Gales becomes a CDN Top 25 Newsmaker after a one-year absence from the list. And, Gales also becomes the only executive to make CDN’s Newsmakers with three different companies: Microsoft Canada, VMware Canada, and now with AWS Canada.

AWS had an unprecedented year in 2016 releasing more than a 1,000 offerings and announcing three different channel programs. The three plans are called AWS Service Delivery Program, the APN Public Sector Partner Program, and the VMware Cloud on AWS Partner Program. APN is AWS’s designation for AWS Partner Network, the Seattle-based cloud giant’s umbrella channel program.

To support these three channel programs AWS also unveiled two brand new competencies that target solution providers with expertise in the Financial Services sector and with Internet of Things (IoT). And, inside the AWS portal site for partners, there will be an APN Partner Solutions Finder, where customers can search for and connect with authorized AWS channel partners.