[Checklist] How to Become an AWS Partner — Comply with the NEW AWS Partner Network Requirements

As you probably know by now, new AWS Partner Network (APN) requirements were announced on re:Invent 2018. Whether you are AWS Select or Advanced Partners, you would need to meet the new requirements this year in order to maintain your partnership status (see below the exact timelines).

If you will not meet the requirements, you will lose your Partner status and benefits. Below I will provide the updated requirements for AWS Technology Partners and highlight the new requirements that were added. In addition, I will share why these new requirements can actually help your company.

The NEW APN requirements— Highlights:

  1. Experience: Increased AWS direct revenue which is required for each of the tiers. Alternately, submission of “Launch Opportunities” (see below).
  2. Knowledge: AWS Technical Certifications shall be obtained.
  3. Customer success: Public customers references and Customer Satisfaction Responses are now required for both tiers.
  4. Technical Validation: Technical Product Validation shall be completed (for the Advanced tier only).

The Updated APN tiers’ requirements

In general, AWS added new requirements and made it more difficult to be an AWS Partner. The good thing about that. that it helps to differentiate the partners who demonstrated, technical proficiency and proved customer success.

I will provide below a checklist of the updated requirements for each tier and indicate which requirements are new and which remained the same.

Select Tier

This is where you start your APN journey. The tier “select” was announced in re:Invent and replaced the tier “standard.”

Requirements which haven’t been changed

  • Annual APN Program fee — an annual fee of $2,500 shall be paid to AWS (will be fully returned in $3,500 of AWS Credits — we have got the coupon within a month or so).
  • Product in GA — you should have at least one product in general availability. If your product is being used by customers (not necessary for paying customers) in production, that should do.
  • AWS support level — AWS Support Level shall be Developer-level support or more.
  • Sign AWS mutual NDA (pretty standard).

New Requirments which have been added

  • AWS Technical Certification — to obtain or maintain the “Select” status, you have to obtain at least one AWS Technical Certification (Associate, Professional, or Speciality level). ***This requirement has been recently waived.
  • Direct Revenue OR Launch Opportunities — your AWS annual billing should be $15K, OR you should have at least 3 “launched opportunities” with a minimum total MRR of $1.5K. In case you are not familiar with the APN Opportunity Management Tool, this is where you launch your opportunities. What are “Launched opportunities”? These are opportunities that your company’s closed-won opportunities. Please note that once you submit an opportunity, the opportunity’s status is “submitted” and NOT launched.
  • Public customer references — at least one public reference is required. A public reference can be a blog post for instance (see Epsagon’s public customer reference). This requirement can help in your next step of applying for the Advanced tier. For the advanced tier, as will be detailed below, you would need two public references. One of these two references can be a “reused” reference that you submitted as part of the Select application.
  • Customer satisfaction — you should obtain at least five customer responses via “Rate this Partner” bottom within your company’s listing at the APN Partner Solution Finder. *The customer responses don’t have to be obtained from five different customers. A few employees from the same company can provide responses that will be counted separately. ***This requirement has been recently waived.
The NEW Tiers requirements

Advanced Tier

Requirements that haven’t been changed

  • Annual APN Program fee — same as in the Select tier — an annual fee of $2,500 shall be paid to AWS (will be fully returned in $5,000 of AWS Credits).
  • Product in GA — you already obtain this requirement for the Select tier.
  • AWS support level — AWS Support Level shall be Business-level support.
  • Submit Partner business plan — identify and track specific objectives relating to APN membership. The business plan is reviewed/updated on an annual basis. You should work with your Partner Development contact on this.

New Requirments which have been added

  • AWS Technical Certifications — for the advanced tier you need to obtain at least four AWS Technical Certification (Associate, Professional or Speciality level). The certifications shall be obtained by four different individuals in your company and include a minimum of two certifications which are either “Professional” or “Speciality.” ***This requirement has been recently waived.
  • Direct Revenue OR Launch Opportunities — your AWS annual billing should be $350K, OR you should have at least 20 launched opportunities with total MRR of $10K. In case you are not familiar with the APN Opportunity Management Tool, see explanation above, under the Select tier. As mentioned above — “launched opportunity” is NOT a “submitted opportunity”.
  • Technical Product Validation — your product must pass a Technical Baseline Review. My team at Epsagon completed this validation as part of the Competency program. Essentially, this is a 2-hours call in which AWS Solution Architect will review your applications, infrastructure, security, and operational processes. Technical Baseline Reviews are renewed every 2 years.
  • Public customer references — before the announcement, the requirement was six internal references. Now, the requirement is two public references. This requirement can help you to be better prepared for the Competency process, where you need to submit two public references (a blog post for instance) and two internal references. The two public references could be “reused” for the Competency application.
  • Customer satisfaction — you should obtain at least 20 customers responses (as mentioned above— from 20 different individuals, not necessarily companies). ***This requirement has been recently waived.

What is the due date to meet the 2019 APN tier requirements?

The compliance due date is depended on your Membership Renewal Date (this date is indicated the APN Portal under the “Partner Scorecard”).

  • If your Membership Renewal Date is between April 1, 2019, and December 13th, you will be reviewed for compliance at your current APN tier on December 13th. From that day forward, all APN Partners will simply be reviewed for compliance annually on their individual membership renewal date (regardless of when they upgraded to their current tier).
  • Partners with a Membership Renewal Date between January 1st and March 31st will simply be reviewed for compliance on the Membership Renewal Date.
From AWS Presentation: “2019 APN Program Enhancements Deep Dive”

Keep track of your APN status

You can keep track of your tier requirements on the APN Portal (see below).

Partner Scorecard Overview in the APN Portal

How can the new requirements help your company?

Smoother & Faster Competency application

If you don't have Competency by now, the new requirements are getting you closer to complete the Competency application. Whereas the criteria for the Advanced tier has changed, the requirements for the Competency program remained the same. Therefore, by completing the Advanced requirements, you are almost all set for submitting the Competency application.

For the DevOps competency, for instance, the only additional requirement that you will need to work on as an Advanced partner in order to achieve the Competency is two internal customers references (as you already have two public references and you passed the Technical Validation). That’s all!

The new requirements are getting your closer to achieving Competency

Extended Benefits

With the new requirements, came new benefits that you can leverage! See below.

APN Benefits per Tier


While meeting the new requirements, you demonstrate technical proficiency, and proven customer success. Moving the APN bar higher helps you to better differentiate your company and be a part of an exclusive group of partners.



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Nofar Asselman

Startup Partnerships Lead at Microsoft Cloud (ex-AWS Hero) Focused on Channels, Partners & Alliances. Traveler & tennis lover