AWS drops commission, adds features to Marketplace

Rubo Borno, vice president, worldwide channels and alliances at AWS

Amazon Web Services continued spotlighting its AWS Marketplace as a partner-centric route-to-market, announcing a series of features and programs for partners at its recent re:Invent event in Las Vegas.

Stressing that it’s far from a simple direct transactional engine, the company has, in recent years, pushed Marketplace as a place to easily find, purchase, and consume cloud-based solutions, including those that bring along solution providers along with ISVs.

In her keynote session, AWS global channel chief Ruba Borno announced plans to drop its rates in a bid to make the platform more attractive to partners, dropping its cut of the deal to 3 percent on private offers under $1 million (U.S.), 2 percent on deals between $1 million and $10 million, and 1.5 percent on deals north of $10 million. Regardless of size, all renewals will see AWS take a 1.5 percent cut.

Ryan Orsi, worldwide head of cloud foundation partners at AWS, said dropping the rates was about “removing friction” for partners.

Ryan Orsi, worldwide head of cloud foundation partners at AWS

“We are at a point in the maturity of the Marketplace service in general to be able to do this, to work out efficiencies,” Orsi said. “[Marketplace] is attracting even more channel partners that might have previously felt like the business model was not perfectly aligned to their business. So we’re expecting an influx of new listings in the marketplace and we’re also expecting more efficiencies from our current Marketplace sellers.”

Borno touted several figures supporting Marketplace as a channel go-to-market, sharing details of a recent report that shows that partners invested in Marketplace see a 234 percent ROI, close deals 50 percent faster, and see deals up to 5 times bigger than other partners.

“We are focused on creating value for you so we can co-create value for our customers,” Borno told partners.

Borno also outlined a series of new features and elements around Marketplace for partners, including SaaS Quicklaunch, which lets partners more quickly deploy validated “AWS-on-AWS” solutions from ISVs, and a new Marketplace API that allows partners to embed the marketplace in their apps and sites “so customers don’t have to leave your domain to transact business,” Borno said.

Eric Gales, director, AWS Canada

Eric Gales, managingdirector, AWS Canada

Eric Gales, managing director of AWS Canada, said Marketplace has proven to be a good way for partners in Canada to access ISV-created solutions from other markets and for Canadian partners to access other markets. But he said the company is still in many ways “playing catch-up” with other geographies within AWS since the Canadian organization only dates back to 2016. He said there’s tremendous growth opportunity for managed and professional services through the Marketplace in Canada.

“As we acquire customers into this AWS community, it creates more surface area for partners to ride on the back of that to some extent and make their services available in a very frictionless wave to customers through the marketplace,” Gales said.

AWS is not alone in the vendor community in touting its Marketplace as a growing route to market. At last month’s Cisco Partner Summit, the company’s leadership said it had crossed the $1 billion (U.S.) market on AWS Marketplace, despite outgoing channel chief Oliver Tuszik conceding that Cisco had been “late to the party.” 

Other significant players seeing growth on the Marketplace include Trend Micro and Okta.

Despite the size and scale Marketplace has thus far achieved, Orsi said the company views the product as “in its early days,” with plenty of room for expansion and growth in the future.

Robert Dutt

Robert Dutt is the founder and head blogger at He has been covering the Canadian solution provider channel community for a variety of publications and Web sites since 1997.