By now the local presence of Amazon Web Services in South Africa should be well known to you.

The cloud services provider has been working with a number of local organisations, whether they be massive firms or smaller startups, and the impending availability of data centres in the country gives additional cause for optimism for what AWS has to offer.

Uniquely positioned to speak about the value of AWS, and its partner network in particular is iOCO, with the systems integration specialist recently achieving End User Computing (EUC) Competency status, making it one of the first in the region to do so.

We recently got the chance to chat to iOCO’s executive director and head of cloud, Richard Vester (pictured below), about the newly achieved status, the cache it holds and what lies on the horizon for 2020.

Here’s what he had to say.

Hypertext: Firstly, what prompted iOCO to want to be a part of AWS’ partner network?

Richard Vester: The AWS Partner Network (APN) helps companies build, market, and sell their Amazon Web Services offerings by providing valuable business, technical, and marketing support.

As an APN Partner, we’re able to differentiate our business, reach new customers faster, and deeply engage with existing customers by leveraging numerous APN Partner Programs.

The APN is the mechanism that AWS uses to scale the delivery of services to the end customers via partners, which is why we chose it.

Hypertext: iOCO recently achieved AWS End User Computing status. Can you explain what that process was like and the value of being one of the first in the region to do so?

RV: In order to gain any AWS Competency, you have to meet the criteria set out by AWS for the specific competency.

These include case studies of projects that were successfully delivered in the area that the competency covers, which in this case was End User Competency (EUC) Solutions, using the AWS EUC Competency Services.

The Competency requirements are verified by an external audit company to ensure that all the requirements met for the specific Competency.

As more companies move to the cloud, and AWS specifically, they need partners that can help them achieve their goals. This status offers them the peace of mind that they have access to the highest levels of skill.

Hypertext: What does this now mean for iOCO. How does this status improve upon what the company already does?

RV: This allows us to provide even higher levels of service to our customers and enables us to get more support from AWS for our customers.

Having the competency sets us apart from other AWS Partners in the region when it comes to EUC solutions, and will make it easier for AWS to recommend a partner if they have customers with a need for EUC Solutions or Services.

Hypertext: Looking to the rest of 2020, we’re expecting local AWS data centre presence to be available soon. What value does that offer for iOCO?

RV: The value of the local data centres is all for the customer. They will no longer have data residency or latency concerns. We are excited to be part of this pivotal point in the IT landscape for the region.

This will accelerate local adoption with more mission critical workloads moving to AWS. The AWS Region brings advanced cloud technologies that open up limitless opportunities for organisations of all sizes to innovate.

Customers will be able to use AWS services to run applications and leverage advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning and IoT to drive innovation.

Hypertext: In terms of iOCO’s plans for the year, what does achieving this status mean? Does it fast track any goals or solutions you may have in the works?

RV: We will continue to invest in our AWS practice the same way we have been doing over the past couple of years. The EUC Competency is one of the building blocks in terms of leveraging our strengths to become the partner of choice for migration and management services.

Hypertext: In your opinion is this competency a key element for any company wanting to be an AWS partner locally?

RV: It’s key for any company who says they have a complete AWS offering. Competencies are the building blocks for partners to grow and reach higher levels within the partner ecosystem and a way to differentiate themselves from other partners.

[Image – Photo by chuttersnap on Unsplash]