by Richard Kerr, Director, WW Partner Training | on
Organizations today are under immense pressure to boost revenue and operational efficiencies with fewer resources. As such, cloud adoption is increasing at an exponential rate thanks to its ability to provide businesses with consistency, agility, scalability and security. In fact, Gartner forecasts that global spending on public cloud services will grow to nearly $600 billion this year, indicating that those with cloud skills will remain in high demand despite macro-economic headwinds.
Promisingly, 75% of companies surveyed by Enterprise Strategy Group said they plan to increase their cloud headcount by more than 20% in the coming 24 months. However, there is tech talent scarcity that’s making it more challenging for businesses to plug the gaps and continue supporting their customers with future cloud migrations.
With in-demand cloud talent becoming increasingly hard to find, many businesses are turning to Amazon Web Services (AWS) Partners to benefit from their highly technical skills, innovative thinking, and differentiated solutions. Therefore, it’s never been more crucial for AWS Partners to develop a digital-first training strategy so their staff can provide full support to existing and potential customers. Unlike traditional training programs, teams can complete digital courses at their own pace and find resources that match their learning style, ensuring they are prepared to apply learnings.
To illustrate how valuable digital training is, we commissioned Forrester Consulting to conduct an independent study on the Total Economic Impact™ (TEI) of AWS Partner Training and Certification. In this article, we’ll explore the results of the study, entitled Cost savings and business benefits enabled by AWS Training and Certification (2022). Those results demonstrate how a composite organization, based on AWS Partners with experience in AWS Training and Certification, realized the positive impact that AWS Training and Certification can have on their revenue stream, operational efficiencies, and customer and employee experiences.
The benefits of investing in AWS Partner Training
Companies undergoing cloud transformation have many AWS Partners to choose from, so it’s vital to stand out. One of the best ways to build your reputation as the AWS Partner of choice is by creating a team of experts. By having AWS Certified delivery and technical team members, your organization becomes more attractive to clients who are comparing various proposals during the request for proposal (RFP) stage, which could equate to an improvement in win rate worth $60 million over three years.
With AWS Partner Training, you can ensure everyone—from tech and sales teams, to HR, Learning & Development, and beyond—has the in-demand cloud knowledge customers are looking for. The AWS Partner Training Program delivers a cutting-edge approach to learning, providing a range of flexible, scalable, and highly-interactive cloud skills training and AWS Certification preparation resources—both online and in-person. Plus, with over 600 free on-demand courses and learning plans to choose from, your team can develop their cloud skills wherever and whenever they need.
Moreover, the Forrester study showed that AWS GSI and SI partners realized a return on investment of 229% across three main areas—revenue, operational efficiency, and customer satisfaction—which we will explore in detail below. Read on to learn about the business benefits of the Training Program, according to the TEI study results.
1. Increased revenue, gross margin and customer lifetime value
In addition to strengthening your reputation, investing in your employees’ AWS expertise can help increase your revenue, gross margin, and customer lifetime value. Firstly, skilled and knowledgeable salespeople who are better versed in cloud will find it easier to uncover clients’ needs during the prospecting process, leading to more successful cross and up-sell opportunities. In just three years, partners who put their sales and technical teams through AWS Certification and Training programs experienced a win rate increase of 17%.
Secondly, well-informed partners are able to discover multiple downstream projects from a single migration project. AWS Training facilitates your expansion into new offerings and capabilities to keep up with evolving customer demands, which can add additional revenue of up to 5% annually. Interestingly, AWS Partners that took advantage of the training reported that their expansion into new markets is worth close to $45 million in year three post-investment.
Arguably, selling to your existing customers is one of the greatest strategies for weathering uncertain economic conditions as it’s far less expensive to grow your existing customer wallet-share than to acquire net new customers. So, advancing your team’s ability to identify new business opportunities with your current customer base is essential to maintaining your success.
2. Enhanced operational efficiency
Building on the revenue stream improvements, AWS Partners who took part in the study shared how they also noticed a hike in efficiency after going through AWS Training and Certification Programs. Greater cloud knowledge across your entire company accelerates processes—from sales to project completion—resulting in a potential operating margin increase of up to 34%.
By better understanding emerging technology and matching it to customers’ needs, your team can focus on higher-value tasks. On the sales side, your staff will have the necessary skills to conduct persuasive conversations, converting prospects at first contact to closed opportunities more rapidly. Putting learnings into practice, your delivery team can deliver up to 20% faster. Over three years, that recaptured time could be equal a staggering $25 million for your organization.
Furthermore, when your staff obtain AWS Certifications, you eliminate challenges associated with staffing projects, as one Partner noted:
“We filter through hundreds of thousands of people on projects. Having certified employees allows us to mobilize at scale. We now have a shortcut to at least a baseline understanding on what knowledge an employee has. That saves about 40% time compared to how long it took before.” — Partner Lead, Global System Integrator (GSI) Partner
Upskilling existing employees could help you fill 20-30% of your emerging cloud-related roles. Consequently, you’re not just saving a considerable amount of time, you can also avoid the hefty costs associated with hiring in particular, the higher salaries that experienced cloud talent demands.
3. Boosted satisfaction
As we’ve covered, there are many quantifiable benefits to investing in AWS Partner Training. However, AWS Training can also provide unquantifiable value in the form of increased satisfaction for three important groups: customers, employees, and new hires going through the onboarding process.
Partners report increases in customer satisfaction resulting from understanding of customer requirements and resulting solution innovation. The improvement accelerates with AWS Certifications where 62% of partners surveyed report customer satisfaction improvements due to staff ability to communicate the value of AWS to customers. Customers appreciate the ongoing guidance of a knowledgeable AWS Partner that can keep them ahead of the curve, meaning there may be more chances to forge long-term relationships.
Likewise, you can build better relationships with your employees by investing in them and establishing a pathway to further develop their careers. For instance, in the 24 months since completing AWS Training, 90% of learners credit AWS Training and Certification as a reason they were selected to work on special cloud projects at their organization in the past 24 months, thereby improving their job satisfaction.
Finally, new hires enjoy better onboarding experiences as a result of the many AWS Training and Certification resources available. Take an example from AWS Partner CMD Solutions who reduced their new consultant time to billing from ~ 6-months to delivering billable work within 2 weeks. Rather than needing to create training materials from scratch, you can simply share the existing materials and get them up to speed straight away, bolstering their confidence in the process.
Building a business case for training is the first step to boosting revenue and operational efficiencies
As customer expectations continue to evolve, AWS Partners must be at the forefront of reimagining their global workforce development strategy. Today, 80% customers say they care if their AWS Partners’ staff are AWS Certified, and prioritizing time for employee training requires a compelling business case plus an ability to credibly demonstrate the return on investment.
To help, download the full Forrester TEI study of AWS Partner Training and Certification, where you’ll find plenty of useful statistics that determine the value of the AWS Training. For example, the graphic below shows the three-year financial impact that AWS Partner Training and Certification had across nine partner organizations.
Additionally, you can watch the on-demand 2022 re:Invent session, Building a business case for workforce transformation, to discover an effective framework that enables you to forecast the impact of cloud training and earn stakeholder support.
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