Highlights from AWS re:Invent 2022: Global Partner Keynote with Ruba Borno

by Eric Crump, Senior Director of Sales - AWS Enterprise, Rackspace Technology

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This year’s AWS Partner Keynote was delivered by Ruba Borno, VP of Global Channels & Alliances. It was Borno’s first re:Invent keynote after taking over as VP of AWS Worldwide Channels and Alliances approximately a year ago. This keynote also coincides with the 10th anniversary of the AWS Partner Network (APN) programs. And to the delight of attendees, there was no shortage of announcements, launches and exciting partner news.

Together. Unlimited.

The theme of the keynote was “Together. Unlimited.” which underscores the reality that customers are being challenged to deliver more with less, and they cannot do that alone. It became clear that AWS views its consulting and technology partners as key contributors to its scale and growth — and to customer innovation — moving forward.

Borno delivered an excellent keynote, during which she teamed with customers, partners and AWS CEO Adam Selipsky to tell the Together. Unlimited. story. We got both Borno’s and Selipsky’s view on the new launches, offerings and keys to success for AWS Partners moving forward.

The Four Cornerstones of Supporting AWS Partners

Borno outlined her strategy for both teaming with and supporting her partners in four key areas:

  • Transformation
  • Innovation
  • Opportunity
  • Impact

Borno stated that these areas represent the four cornerstones for how AWS will work with its partners moving forward. It’s also a framework designed to challenge AWS partners to become “bar raisers” in these four areas. AWS partners should strive to lead through innovation and solving key customer, market and social challenges.

The great news for Rackspace Technology is that these four cornerstones align directly with our “Customer First. Cloud First.” approach to service delivery, as well as our five core values:

  • Customer-Driven
  • Excellence
  • Expertise
  • Agility
  • Compassion.

In short, our strategies and core values align nicely with those of the AWS Partner program. I see that as  an excellent combination for expanding an already amazing partnership as one of AWS’s key strategic partners globally.

With that, here are a few of my thoughts on the key takeaways from each of the four key areas Borno highlighted.

  • Transformation: It’s clear that global competition, digital transformation, the speed of business, COVID-19 and many other factors are driving many companies to reinvent themselves. Borno quoted a statistic that 76% of CEOs believe their business will be transformed to the point of being unrecognizable in five years. This is an exciting thought when we consider the amount of change and digital innovation that will be driven over a relatively short period of time. Companies will require help from cutting-edge partners like Rackspace Technology to help them through this change. Our Customer First. Cloud First. strategy puts us in a great position to help these customers through times of transformation, working backward from our clients’ challenges — and even their end-customers’ challenges — to blaze new trails, business models, revenue streams and customer experiences. The launch of the AWS Partner Solution Factory with pre-built industry solutions is providing a significant jump-start for industries while aligning directly with the Rackspace Technology strategy to accelerate transformation through the re-use of IP and IP frameworks.
  • Innovation: Innovation is the enabler of transformation. Rackspace Technology is helping our clients every day to innovate in ways they never believed possible. Borno highlighted the AWS commitment to security as job zero by underscoring its leadership in the Open Cybersecurity Schema Framework (OCSF) project to combat security threats at an entirely new level of sophistication. She also recognized the unprecedented collaboration across the technology industry with the launch of Amazon Security Lake. This is a beautiful example of the “Together. Unlimited.” theme in action. This Amazon service will allow us to provide best-practice design and architecture patterns for building and maintaining the most secure and compliant environments.
  • Opportunity: This was one of the cornerstones that Borno spent quite a bit of her keynote discussing. It’s the area most emphasized as it relates to the opportunity centered around AWS Marketplace. Rackspace Technology is an industry leader for AWS Marketplace. We currently have more than 40 offerings in Marketplace, and the list is growing.

    Rackspace Technology recognized early-on that Marketplace was going to be key to customers for simplicity of procurement, consumption of software and building rapid solutions with partners. We applaud Borno’s announcement as it relates to AWS Marketplace. The launch of both Marketplace Data Visualization Dashboards in Preview and AWS Marketplace Vendor Insights in GA is a game changer for partners like us. These offerings provide us with new capabilities to understand which Marketplace offers are successful and which business metrics need to be measured. And all partners benefit from the powerful risk and compliance capabilities provided by Marketplace Vendor Insights. This, in short, will allow us to focus our offers and accelerate our capabilities in Marketplace at a much faster pace.

  • Impact: While it’s the last of the four cornerstones, impact is also one of the most important. We all, as corporations, operate in a global economy. We all impact both global societies and the planet we all live on. We must align with like-minded partners and corporations, and we must challenge each other to continuously incorporate sustainability principles into all of our operations. As we grow, we must build sustainably — and with social inclusion in mind. We must always ask ourselves whether we’re doing enough, and committing proper levels of funding, time and R&D to these efforts. We must think: “Together. Unlimited.”

Near the end of our session, Selipsky conducted a panel discussion with CRN. In short, Selipsky reiterated many of Borno’s themes and highlighted three key areas he feels AWS Partners should emphasize to ensure success:

1 – Be like-minded with AWS and always work backward in solving customer problems and innovating

2 – Organize your capabilities and ability to execute as closely as possible to how AWS operates

3 – Work to achieve industry-leading competency

Rackspace Technology is an innovator and first-mover in the AWS Partner ecosystem. We were one of the first large AWS service providers and consulting partners to adopt Selipsky’s best practices years ago. And we completely align with Selipsky’s advice, philosophy and guidance. With our continued dedication to thought leadership and innovation, Rackspace Technology is well-positioned to continue our market leadership in solving our clients’ most difficult challenges and helping them to execute on their biggest aspirations. We are very excited to see what the future holds working with Borno and the AWS team. Together, we are truly unlimited!

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