By Oded Rosenmann, SaaS Business Lead – AWS
By Anubhav Sharma, Sr. Partner Solutions Architect – AWS
Increasingly, the software-as-a-service (SaaS) delivery model has become appealing to organizations because of its wide range of benefits. This includes improved time-to-market, increased agility, lower cost of application development, expansion of addressable market, and operational efficiency.
Amazon Web Services (AWS) allows SaaS providers to build new SaaS solutions, migrate existing applications to a SaaS-based delivery model, or optimize and enhance their existing SaaS solutions on AWS.
While SaaS remains a huge growth driver and provides benefits to end customers and software providers, the transition to this model can be challenging as technology and operations take on new responsibilities in an “as-a-service” environment.
To be successful, organizations need to rethink every dimension of how they build, sell, manage, support, and operate their solution.
Given the unique technical and business challenges of a SaaS-based delivery model, organizations may lack the in-house expertise to design and build a cloud-native SaaS solution, which can result in risky, slow-moving projects. To solve this problem, organizations can partner with companies who provide professional services and have experience in designing and building SaaS solutions on AWS.
With a goal of helping customers easily identity AWS Services Partners with deep experience in designing and building SaaS on AWS, we launched the AWS SaaS Competency in May 2020.
In this post, we will review a set of use cases and approaches, led by AWS SaaS Competency Partners who helped customers build SaaS solutions on AWS. We’ll look at how partners have built offerings that are tailored to help SaaS providers accelerate time to market and launch their solutions faster by removing the heavy lifting of designing and building SaaS solutions on AWS.
We will also share key learnings from success stories that highlight the impact AWS SaaS Competency Partners have on the ability of customers to successfully launch and grow their SaaS-based applications.
AWS SaaS Competency Partners
AWS SaaS Competency Partners have deep experience helping organizations design and build SaaS and cloud-native solutions on AWS.
These validated AWS Partners help customers reduce friction when migrating off legacy applications and establish foundations required to build SaaS solutions successfully on AWS. They also write production application code and design and implement end-to-end solutions architecture for cloud-native products on AWS.
“We help customers accelerate cloud adoption, including a heavy focus on transformation to a SaaS delivery model,” says Lahav Savir, Founder and CTO at AllCloud. “Since we joined the AWS SaaS Competency, we have matured our SaaS practice and enjoyed a triple-digit growth in the number of SaaS projects and their size.
“To speed our customers’ journey to SaaS, we are investing in development of solutions and accelerators that help customers reduce the complexity involved in building their SaaS solutions on AWS, by leveraging cloud-native services together with pre-built capabilities either we built or those developed by AWS SaaS Factory.
“This approach enables our customers to keep their operations lean and scalable, ready for the spike in growth,” adds Lahav.
AWS SaaS Factory
AWS Partners with the AWS SaaS Competency designation can enjoy unique benefits provided by the AWS SaaS Factory. This includes opportunity referrals, exclusive funding resources, access to AWS SaaS experts for collaboration in customer engagements, ready-to-use resources, and tools to accelerate adoption of AWS customers transitioning to a SaaS delivery model.
“Being a SaaS Competency Partner has benefits for both ourselves and for the customers,” says Jon Topper, CEO at The Scale Factory. “For the customers we work with, it’s easy for them to find us as a partner to work with. There are also funding benefits we have access to through our program membership that can take some of the cost and the risk out of building a SaaS platform on AWS.
“Through our relationship with the AWS SaaS Factory team, we have access to an entire team of people at AWS who are focused on SaaS, both in terms of business development and solutions architecture expertise,” adds Jon.
Since launch, AWS has experienced rapid growth for the SaaS Factory program and number of SaaS projects supported by AWS SaaS Competency Partners.
Customers who partnered with AWS Services Partners and leveraged their support increase their project success rate and accelerated time-to-market. This opens up endless possibilities for customers in how they can innovate, and to AWS Partners in how they serve customers with differentiating expertise.
Accelerate Your SaaS Transformation
According to the SaaS Journey Framework published by AWS SaaS Factory, moving to a SaaS model often requires a fundamental shift in strategic and operational mindset.
There are unique business and technical challenges to be solved, such as product planning, go-to-market strategy, metering and billing, development of a tenant isolation model, access and security of the SaaS solution, operational efficiency, and more.
AWS SaaS Competency Partners can accelerate the transition to SaaS with support of design services, builder services, or both. AWS Partners with the SaaS Competency designation have demonstrated proven customer success either designing and implementing the AWS infrastructure or providing hands-on software development services.
In many cases, partners can both design and build SaaS solutions on AWS. This enables you to leverage their support along different stages of your SaaS development journey. You can easily identify SaaS Competency Partners on the program home page and list the AWS Partners by these categories.
AWS SaaS Competency Partners have dedicated teams and practices that are focused on helping organizations reduce time-to-market when moving to SaaS. Some AWS Partners also made it easier for customers to find their SaaS professional services by listing their offerings on AWS Marketplace, including base2Services, CloudGeometry, Commit, Logicworks, NTT DATA Services, and The Scale Factory.
These AWS Marketplace listings provide details about the value and expertise AWS Partners bring to organizations transitioning to SaaS and make it easy for customer to get started.
Successfully Navigate the Transition to SaaS
According to independent Forrester Total Economic Impact (TEI) study, titled The Partner Opportunity for Building SaaS on Amazon Web Services, SaaS has become the architecture of choice for many application categories.
In fact, this research shows SaaS is now the number one technology area businesses are investing in as part of their digital transformation journeys.
AWS customers can benefit largely by partnering with SaaS Competency Partners across a variety of horizontal and vertical categories, including machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), healthcare, security, media and entertainment, and finance, to name a few.
In 2021 alone, AWS SaaS Competency Partners supported hundreds of SaaS projects for customers globally. Below, we will focus on a few examples that SaaS providers can learn from while planning to adopt this delivery model.
Partnering with AWS SaaS Competency Partners, a customer can increase project success rate and accelerate time-to-market.
Slalom helped an Australian-based company, Beem It, to create a new cloud-native SaaS payment platform using AWS services. This is good example of how AWS SaaS Competency Partners can help customers move from Dev/Test environments to production faster, by taking on the heavy lifting of the end-to-end solution architectural design and implementation.
Slalom worked under tight timelines and was able to deliver the application on an AWS serverless stack with a secure Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) compliant transaction mechanism for merchants and consumers in a highly available and scalable environment—all while keeping operating costs low.
“We had a tight timeframe,” says Dave Campbell, Director at Beem It, “Slalom Build said it was tight but not impossible; they came in on time and on budget—what more could you ask for?”
Onica by Rackspace Technology helped VoltaGrid build an application that’s being used to sell mobile power services to customers. Using the AI Ecosystem portal, VoltaGrid can monitor, measure, and report on each customer’s power consumption, fuel costs, and emissions in real time at remote locations.
VoltaGrid is growing at a rapid pace, and timelines for delivery of the solution were aggressive. With deep SaaS expertise and practices that are based on their successful work with organizations transforming to SaaS, the value Onica brought to the table helped VoltaGrid reduce time-to-market and deliver an excellent experience to customers.
“I had to build the solution fast, and by working with Rackspace Technology I was able to quickly and easily access the expertise I needed when I needed it,” says John Chavner, Director, Technology and Cloud Development at VoltaGrid.
You can learn more about challenges VoltaGrid faced when transitioning to SaaS and how Onica by Rackspace Technology helped make the journey to cloud-native SaaS on AWS successful in this case study.
Improve the Security Footprint
In a SaaS solution, you need to effectively and securely manage your tenant environments and data. Certain industries and verticals have strict security and compliance requirements. Partnering with AWS SaaS Competency Partners who have experience in this space can reduce cost and risk associated with meeting those requirements.
An example to learn from is the security and operational efficiency support Lancom Technology provided to Barwon Health to help them modernize and transform their document management solution into a SaaS-based offering called Prompt Documents. Given the nature of this SaaS application, security and scalability were the key priorities.
Lancom’s SaaS experts worked in close collaboration with Barwon Health to deliver these capabilities on AWS and create a reliable application architected to support Barwon Health’s growth plans for Prompt Documents. We invite you to read more about this SaaS transformation story.
Raise the Bar for Operational Excellence
In a SaaS-based environment it’s important to automate the operational footprint of the application. The objective is to define the elements that will need to be put in place to successfully operate the SaaS solution.
The outcome is a well-defined view of the operational experience that includes tooling, processes, and insights that will be needed to support this new environment. The emphasis here is on automating and streamlining the operational experience to lay the foundation for rapid innovation, agility, and market response.
The Scale Factory worked with Caplin Systems, who provide a SaaS-based FX trading platform to build an end-to-end work flow for their development teams on AWS. In this video, you’ll see how building an automated pipeline, using infrastructure as a code (IaC), allowed Caplin to deploy to production much faster and reduce the time to market considerably.
With a mindset of investing in agility early in the journey to ensure readiness for a spike in growth, EstateSpace needed to streamline DevOps processes while enhancing monitoring and observability. As highlighted in this case study, Mission Cloud Services designed a multi-cluster Kubernetes architecture which reduced deployment times and added significant cost savings.
Leverage AWS SaaS Competency Partners Support
AWS SaaS Competency Partners follow AWS best practices for designing and building SaaS solutions through their professional services practices. With dozens of AWS Partners with the SaaS Competency designation distributed globally, you can leverage support from local partners close to your home office.
AWS SaaS Competency Partners operating in a certain region can also access AWS local teams and provide go-to-market support to grow your SaaS solution and launch it on AWS Marketplace.
Visit the AWS SaaS Competency page to explore the list of validated partners. Filter by Builder and/or Design Service categories, and by geographic location to find the right AWS Partners that can support your unique needs.
If you are unsure which AWS SaaS Competency Partner is the right fit, or if you have any further questions you can reach out to the the SaaS Competency team at [email protected].
Join the AWS SaaS Competency Program
Join the AWS SaaS Competency program to highlight your SaaS expertise and specialization to differentiate your business. Start by reviewing the validation checklist with AWS SaaS Competency requirements and submit your application online.
Please reach out to the AWS SaaS Competency team at [email protected] for any questions.
About AWS SaaS Factory
AWS SaaS Factory helps organizations at any stage of the SaaS journey. Whether looking to build new products, migrate existing applications, or optimize SaaS solutions on AWS, we can help. Visit the AWS SaaS Factory Insights Hub to discover more technical and business content and best practices.
SaaS builders are encouraged to reach out to their account representative to inquire about engagement models and to work with the AWS SaaS Factory team.
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