How to become an AWS consulting Partner

The AWS Partner Network, or APN, represents the global community of partners who have made a conscious decision to deepen their understanding, skills, and engagement with the Amazon Web Services (AWS) platform. APN has been designed to help such partners build successful AWS-based businesses or solutions.

  • What is APN?
    • APN is essentially a group comprising professional firms that offer cloud-based solutions and services to their customers in collaboration with AWS. Being a part of this network offers a unique blend of technical, marketing, and business benefits tailored to support the unique needs and aspirations of businesses.
  • Benefits of Becoming an AWS Consulting Partner
    • Resource Access: Immediate access to a range of AWS technical and business training resources.
    • Visibility Boost: Enhanced visibility to potential clients through the AWS Partner Directory.
    • Exclusive Discounts: Partners can avail themselves of service discounts and promotional credits.
    • Dedicated Support: Gain specialized support to ensure project success and client satisfaction.

Who is an AWS Consulting Partner?

AWS Consulting Partners are professional, consulting, or managed services firms that help customers of all types and sizes accelerate their journey to the cloud.

These professional services firms include system integrators, strategic consultancies, agencies, managed service providers (MSPs), and value-added resellers. Unlock more benefits and programs as you progress through the AWS Consulting Tiers and grow with AWS Partner Network (APN).

AWS Premier Tier Partners are the most experienced AWS Consulting Partners and are recognized as leaders in their respective geographical, vertical, or horizontal markets. The AWS Premier Tier Partners have deep technical expertise with multiple Partner program validations and demonstrated success working with a larger number of AWS customers at scale in deploying solutions on AWS.

Eligibility Criteria

Before diving into the application process, it’s essential to know the prerequisites to become an AWS Consulting Partner. These criteria ensure that partners have the foundational skills and commitment to offer top-notch AWS solutions to clients.

  • Company Profile: Your business should be a legally established entity with an active AWS account. This signifies your operational engagement with AWS.
  • Business Case: It’s crucial to have a proven track record. Illustrate your expertise by highlighting AWS-related projects, and case studies, and showcasing client testimonials.
  • AWS Trained Staff: This is a testament to your team’s competence. A stipulated number of your employees should have completed AWS training and certifications. This not only demonstrates your team’s capabilities but also shows commitment to the AWS ecosystem.

Steps to Becoming an AWS Consulting Partner

Once you’ve determined that your firm meets the eligibility criteria, follow these steps to apply for the AWS Consulting Partner status.

  • Join the APN Portal: Start by registering on the APN Portal. This will be your primary hub for accessing partner-related resources, training, and more.
  • Complete the APN Training: It’s mandatory for partners to undergo certain training modules tailored to familiarize them with AWS solutions and best practices.
  • Gain Relevant AWS Certifications: Ensure that your team possesses the required AWS certifications, which vary based on the APN tier you’re aiming for.
  • Build AWS-based Client Experience: Before applying, make sure you have adequate AWS client engagements to showcase. This is pivotal as AWS values hands-on experience and positive customer outcomes.
  • Submit a Partnership Application: Finally, once all prerequisites are met, you can submit your application through the APN Partner Central dashboard. AWS will then evaluate your application and, if successful, grant you the coveted AWS Consulting Partner status.

By carefully following these steps and ensuring that all requirements are met, you can seamlessly transition into the world of AWS Consulting Partners, opening up a myriad of opportunities for your firm in the expansive cloud ecosystem.

What is the main job of APN consulting partners?

APN Consulting Partners are professional services firms that help customers of all sizes design, architect, build, migrate, and manage their workloads and applications on AWS. Consulting Partners include System Integrators (SIs), Strategic Consultancies, Agencies, Managed Service Providers (MSPs), and Value-Added Resellers (VARs).

Navigating APN Tiers

The AWS Partner Network employs a tiered system, each offering a progressively higher level of benefits, requirements, and resources. By understanding each tier, you can set milestones for your firm’s growth and strategize effectively.

  • Registered Tier:
    • Overview: This is the entry point for all new partners. It grants access to fundamental APN benefits, allowing firms to begin their AWS journey.
    • Requirements: Basic registration on the APN portal and adherence to AWS policies.
    • Benefits: Access to online training, AWS usage for proof of concept, and standard AWS support.
  • Select Tier:
    • Overview: One step above the Registered Tier, it is designed for partners who are deeper into their AWS journey.
    • Requirements: Employ staff with foundational AWS certifications, provide AWS customer case studies, and complete a foundational APN review.
    • Benefits: Greater visibility with the AWS sales and partner teams, eligibility for select funding programs, and go-to-market support.
  • Advanced Tier:
    • Overview: Aimed at partners with significant AWS momentum. These firms have an extensive track record of customer success.
    • Requirements: Higher standards in AWS certifications, customer references, and substantial AWS billing.
    • Benefits: Increased access to Market Development Funds (MDF), partner opportunity accelerator, and premium AWS support.
  • Premier Tier:
    • Overview: The apex of the partnership program, intended for industry leaders.
    • Requirements: Stringent technical, training, and customer engagement requirements.
    • Benefits: Highest priority in AWS lead & opportunity sharing, substantial MDF access, and strategic go-to-market support.

Tips for a Successful Partnership

Securing a partnership is just the start. The real challenge lies in leveraging it effectively for mutual growth. Here are some strategies to maximize your partnership:

  • Stay Updated: With AWS’s rapid evolution, continuous learning is non-negotiable. Encourage your team to stay updated with the latest AWS services and best practices.
  • Engage with the AWS Community: Network at AWS events, webinars, and other partner programs. Collaborate with peers and build a solid AWS-centric ecosystem.
  • Leverage AWS Co-Marketing Opportunities: Harness the promotional power AWS offers. Co-market through events, online channels, and AWS-sponsored initiatives.
  • Focus on Specializations: Instead of being a generalist, hone in on specific AWS services or sectors. Specialized expertise can help differentiate your firm and attract niche clients.

Benefits of Climbing the APN Ladder

Progressing through the APN tiers is not just about prestige; it brings tangible benefits crucial for your firm’s growth:

  • Increased Visibility: Higher tiers result in better positioning in the AWS Partner Directory, leading to more client inquiries and collaborations.
  • More Training Resources: Advanced and Premier partners have access to exclusive training materials, workshops, and bootcamps, ensuring they remain at the forefront of AWS technologies.
  • Greater Financial Incentives: As you move up, the financial perks become more lucrative. From service discounts to access to Market Development Funds, the monetary benefits can substantially offset your operational costs.

In essence, while each tier comes with its own set of requirements, the rewards are more than worth the effort, positioning your firm for immense growth and visibility in the AWS ecosystem.


To become an AWS consulting partner, you first need to join APN( AWS partner network). This is an exclusive members network and you need to pay around $2500 as an annual fee to join over there. To become an AWS partner, your AWS annual billing should be at least $15,000. If not, you should have at least three launched opportunities with a minimal total MRR of $1,500. We had our annual billing larger than $15,000, so this requirement was easily checked. At least one public customer reference. Apart from these, you also need 2 x AWS Accredited Technical Professionals.

Pitfalls to Avoid

As you embark on your journey to become a successful AWS Consulting Partner, there are certain pitfalls you should be aware of. Avoiding these common mistakes can streamline your partnership experience:

  • Overcommitting: It’s easy to be overly ambitious and promise more than you can deliver, especially when trying to secure client projects or move up in tiers. However, failing to meet expectations can damage your reputation.
  • Not Utilizing AWS Resources: AWS provides a plethora of resources, from training to marketing materials. Underutilizing these resources can hinder your growth and value proposition.
  • Ignoring Customer Feedback: Every project is an opportunity to learn. Not actively seeking or acting upon client feedback can lead to stagnation and potential client dissatisfaction.
  • Avoiding Recertification: AWS certifications are time-bound. Failing to renew them not only affects your tier status but can also impact the quality of services you provide.


Becoming an AWS Consulting Partner is a commendable goal that can open the doors to a plethora of opportunities in the ever-growing cloud landscape. With AWS’s expansive suite of tools, services, and support, partners are well-equipped to deliver top-notch solutions to clients across various industries. By understanding the tiers, leveraging the benefits effectively, and being wary of common pitfalls, firms can thrive and establish themselves as industry leaders within the AWS ecosystem.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

To provide further clarity, here are answers to some frequently asked questions about becoming an AWS Consulting Partner:

  • How long does it take to become an AWS Consulting Partner?
    • The time frame varies based on the tier and your existing credentials. For firms already meeting all requirements, the process can be relatively quick, spanning a few weeks. However, for others, especially those aiming for higher tiers, it can take several months of preparation.
  • Can small businesses also become AWS Consulting Partners?
    • Absolutely! AWS offers a tiered system to accommodate businesses of all sizes. Small businesses can start at the Registered Tier and gradually move up as they expand their AWS expertise and clientele.
  • What’s the difference between AWS Consulting Partners and AWS Technology Partners?
    • While both are part of the APN, Consulting Partners primarily focus on delivering professional services like system integration, architecture design, and managed services. In contrast, Technology Partners provide software solutions that integrate with AWS services.

Remember, the AWS partnership journey is not just about meeting requirements; it’s about continually aligning with AWS’s commitment to customer success and innovation.

Atiqur Rahman

I am MD. Atiqur Rahman graduated from BUET and is an AWS-certified solutions architect. I have successfully achieved 6 certifications from AWS including Cloud Practitioner, Solutions Architect, SysOps Administrator, and Developer Associate. I have more than 8 years of working experience as a DevOps engineer designing complex SAAS applications.

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