Amazon Web Services has added the chance to purchase third-party professional services to its online software Marketplace.
Any services you purchase will appear on the same bill AWS sends you for cloud consumption and software licenced through the Marketplace. Sellers of services will get whatever their customers pay, minus an undisclosed AWS listing fee.
AWS believes this offer will prove attractive because those who buy software on the Marketplace may still need help implementing their new applications but may not have relationships with services organisations who can do the job. By putting consultancies in the Marketplace, and putting them a user’s AWS bill, same place, and the same bill, AWS reckons it can make life easier for its users and help its services partners too.
While the model sounds convenient, The Register has played with the new offering and it is currently quite limited. While over 100 services organisations are already aboard - including big names like Computacenter and CDW, plus vendors like Fortinet and F5 - most offer one or two services. And as your correspondent drilled into what they offer, I always ended up on a “Send request to seller” form rather than being offered a neat price that explained how much a services organisation would charge to install or manage software bought from the Marketplace.
Moheb Moses, a director of channel consultancy Channel Dynamics, told The Register the new offering is a challenge to technology distributors.
“Distributors consolidate offerings with their purchasing power and central processing, which they do cheaper and faster than anyone else,” he said. But he rates AWS’ consolidation and billing functions as probably better than distributors.
AWS’ offering could therefore challenge a fundamental part of the technology procurement chain.
Moses added that he feels AWS’ offering lends itself best to packaged services, rather than more free-wheeling consultancy.
“To sell something through AWS it has to be repeatable and consistent,” he said. “But a true consultant’s answer to the question of what something costs is always ‘it depends’ because the environment and the outcome is variable.”
“On AWS the answer can’t be ‘it depends’.”
Services providers that can think like vendors and create predictable, repeatable process-driven offerings should therefore see AWS’ new offering as an opportunity.
The Register’s examination of the offering suggests Moses is onto something: most of the services offering on the marketplace are for either support or implementation of software that lend themselves to productization.
Over to you, then, dear reader. Would you buy services with a click? Hit the comments. ®