[Highlight your AWS Business] How to Launch Opportunities in the AWS Partners Portal

If you wish to become an AWS Partner or maintain your status as an AWS Partner, you probably know by now the “Opportunity Submission Tool” in the AWS Partner Network (APN) Portal.

On re:Invent 2018, new requirements for partners were announced. One of the main new requirements is “opportunities submission.” For a full list of the NEW requirements, check out this Checklist.

According to this requirement, unless your AWS bill meets certain thresholds (see below — “Direct Revenue”), you will need to submit opportunities through the APN Platform. The opportunities will substitute your AWS spent requirement.

Select Partners are required to submit at least 3 “launched” opportunities, and Advanced Partners are required to submit at least 20 “launched” opportunities, per year. See diagram below.

The new APN requirements

As Epsagon is an Advanced Partner, we had to submit at least 20 “launched” opportunities to maintain our Advanced status.

Below I will share, from my experience, how to submit opportunities, which opportunities to submit, and what is considered as a “launched” opportunity. You will soon find out that “Submitted Opportunities” ≠ “Launch Opportunities.”

In general, any opportunity that you have with an AWS customer, you can submit in the APN Portal. “Opportunities” may include the following:

  • Leads/opportunities — AWS customers that you are engaging with, in different stages (demo, trial, technical evaluation, business discussions, etc.)
  • Up-sell opportunities with AWS customers
  • New customers that have the potential to extend their AWS adoption with your help.

Once you have an opportunity (as described above), you can go ahead and submit it, following the below steps:

  1. Go to the APN Portal ⇒ click “my customers” tab. This is where you can add new opportunities and manage existing customer engagements on AWS.
  2. Click — “Add.”
  3. Fill out the required fields.
  4. Click — “Submit” — a message will display confirming your submission was successful.

In the past few months, AWS made a great effort to make it easier for partners to submit opportunities, introducing a bulk option, and decreasing the number of fields that are required for the submission.

New Opportunity Form

After you submitted an opportunity, AWS will review it and will decide whether to validate the opportunity or reject it. Usually, if the opportunity is authentic, it will be validated. The validation process may take a few days and up to a few weeks, based on AWS’s backlog. As it may take some time for your opportunity to get validated, I would recommend submitting it as soon as you can. If you need the validation process to be expedited due to the nature of the opportunity, your PDM could help you with that.

Once your opportunity is validated — you get an email with the details of the sales representative/ account manager of the specific customer. This is SUPER valuable as this is your way to contact AWS Sales teams directly concerning your opportunities. Connecting with such sales teams can be a great tactic for your AWS co-sale strategy. In my next blog post, I will share a few ways to leverage such engagement — stay tuned!

Only when you closed-won an opportunity on your end (i.e., your customer is paying you), you can start working on getting it “launched.” Remember, to launch an opportunity, you first need to get it validated by AWS. Once the opportunity is validated, you can update its status to closed-won, assuming of course that you closed-won the opportunity. After you updated the opportunity’s status, you’ll need to contact the AWS account manager. When you reach out, update that you launched the opportunity and ask him/her to change the status of the opportunity to “launched” on their end too. You will have their email in the portal under this opportunity. Once the account manager flips the opportunity to “launched,” only then this opportunity will be considered as a “launched” opportunity under the APN requirements. From my experience, it takes about 24 hours after the AWS account manager updates the status until it is included in the launched opportunities count on the APN Portal.

On the home page of the APN Platform, once you log in, and assuming you are the AWS alliance lead, you will find a summary of the tier requirements.

There you could see how many Launched Opportunities you have achieved so far. If the number of Launched Opportunities doesn’t match the opportunities that you have launched, that means that the account manager of the “missing” launched opportunities did not update the status in his/her end. In this case, you would need to reach out to him/her and ask them to update the opportunity’s status to “launched.”

Epsagon’s APN scorecard, after achieving the APN tier requirements

Whereas you only need to have 3 or 20 launch opportunities (based on your tier), I will suggest not to stop there. The Opportunities Submission tool is a great platform to engage with AWS Sales teams and build your co-sell strategy. In my next blog post, I will focus on how to leverage the opportunity Submission tool to drive successful customers outcomes.

  1. Submit opportunities at your earliest convenience, as it may take some time for them to get validated.
  2. Connect with AWS sales teams directly to launch an opportunity. Get support as needed.
  3. Don’t stop submitting opportunities when you meet the APN tiers’ criteria. Opportunities will be your gate to the AWS Sales team and co-sell initiatives.

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Nofar Asselman

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