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Amazon.com, Inc.’s (AMZN - Free Report) Amazon Web Services (AWS) rolled out a set of programs and competencies and a tool to boost its partner network.

These include three new AWS Partner Network (APN) programs, two new AWS Competencies and the AWS Partner Solutions Finder.

The Launches in Detail

The new AWS Partner Network programs include the AWS Service Delivery Program, the APN Public Sector Partner Program, and the VMware Cloud on AWS Partner Program.

The Service Delivery Program recognizes APN Consulting and Technology Partners that have proven technical proficiency and customer success with a particular AWS service. At launch, the program had more than 150 APN Partner solutions and practices across 15 categories.

The Public Sector Partner Program has been developed for APN Partners who serve government, education, and nonprofit customers across the world using the AWS Cloud. At launch, the service had more than 350 partners.

Set to be launched in 2017, the VMware (VMW - Free Report) Cloud on AWS Partner Program will enable users to run VMware software (vSphere, Virtual SAN and NSX) on the Amazon cloud apart from the internal servers.

In October, AWS and VMware got together to offer an integrated hybrid cloud solution, functioning much like a software-defined data center (SDDC).

The Internet of Things (IoT) and Financial Services Competencies include The AWS Financial Services Competency and the AWS IoT Competency.

Financial Services Competency has been designed for partners with proven industry expertise and serves customers from banking, capital market and insurance sector.

The Iot Competency has been developed to support partners with demonstrated excellence in technology implementation for a range of IoT use cases including intelligent factories, energy, automotive, smart cities, healthcare and transportation.

AWS Partner Solutions Finder is a new website for customers with which they can reach out to suitable partners per their business needs. Partners can be searched based on industry, location, products and use case. It also helps customers find out authorized AWS Resellers or certified AWS Managed Service Providers.

AMAZON.COM INC Price

AWS Holds the Key

We see the move as Amazon’s latest gambit to increase its market share in the lucrative cloud computing business. It intends to give both sellers and customers a solid reason to opt for AWS. 

Amazon Web Services is in the business of providing computing infrastructure so that companies don’t need to maintain their own IT infrastructure. It provides tools that support website production, social media and mobile applications that have taken the company to the top spot in the infrastructure as a service (IaaS) space.

It is the cash cow for Amazon. The business contributed $3.2 billion in the third quarter. It generates much higher margins than retail and therefore has a positive impact on Amazon’s profitability. Amazon remains the cloud infrastructure leader, well ahead of Microsoft (MSFT - Free Report) , Alphabet (GOOGL - Free Report) and IBM.

However, the speed at which businesses are moving to the cloud and innovating in the space has intensified competition. This also puts pressure on Amazon’s resources.

The stock lost 2.83% compared with the Zacks Electronic Commerce Market loss of 1.78%. However, we remain positive about AWS' growth prospects. Amazon’s continuous efforts to launch new features, open more data centers globally and constantly lower prices will give it a competitive advantage. We remain optimistic about the functionality, partner ecosystem and the experience that AWS offers and believe this will lead to continued customer wins.

Zacks Rank

Amazon currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 (Strong Buy) Rank stocks here.

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