Risk Focus loves to partner with vendors. We think that partnerships with good technology firms give us better insight into products via training and interaction with product, dev, and support teams. We are solution providers and system integrators, not resellers. Our partnerships are generally not predicated on selling product. Instead, we try to be an honest broker of best practices that takes advantage of good partnerships to the benefit of our customers.
We choose our partners based on a couple of criteria: we want to partner with companies whose offering is technically excellent, solves a problem that is within our core competency, is gaining or has market traction, and whose mission statement is complementary to ours. Most of our partners don’t do professional services; they see it as a distraction from their core mission. There’s no danger of “competing” with these partners; our roles are very clear.
One of our more significant partnerships is with AWS. Though Risk Focus has been an AWS partner for only a short period of time, some of our folks have a love affair which has lasted for years. For example, I built my first serious company on it in 2009 and have been amazed each subsequent year at the continued acceleration of the offering, both in breadth and depth. Thus, it is natural for Risk Focus to form a partnership with AWS.
Though we’ve been using the platform underpinning our internal efforts and working on AWS with our clients for years, we didn’t actually join their partner program until last year. These programs are amazing. They are all a bit gamified, including levels and badges. Not as fun as Pokémon Go, but there are some real advantages to advance in status. With advanced levels come more serious training, access to advanced product info, and potential interaction with leadership in the partner companies. Though we’re not about to have dinner with Andy Jassy, even at AWS this can be useful.