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Ace the AWS MSP Program Validation Audit with CloudHealth

Earlier this year, Amazon Web Services (AWS) updated requirements to the AWS Managed Service Provider (MSP) Partner Program. CloudHealth makes it easy for MSPs to meet many of the requirements, pass the audit, and become an AWS MSP Partner.

Earlier this year, Amazon Web Services (AWS) updated requirements to the AWS Managed Service Provider (MSP) Partner Program (new requirements are detailed in Validation Checklist v4.1).

CloudHealth makes it easy for Managed Service Providers to meet many of the requirements, pass the audit, and become an AWS MSP Partner. But why bother?

60% of organizations are willing to pay a premium to use managed cloud services for public clouds that are certified by the public cloud provider.

IDC Worldwide Managed CloudView 2019 Study

Benefits of becoming an AWS MSP Partner

The goal of the MSP Program is to recognize AWS Partner Network (APN) Partners that provide next-generation managed and professional services to AWS customers. According to AWS, attaining an AWS MSP designation helps you grow and promote your business across four key areas: 1) plan and design, 2) build and migrate, 3) run and operate, and 4) optimize.

As an AWS MSP Partner you will:

  • Transform your AWS-based business. Evolve your offering to align with the concept of Next-Generation Managed Service practices.
  • Earn industry and analyst recognition. Give customers confidence in your ability to guide them as a member of the industry-leading MSP program.
  • Increase visibility with customers. Your logo and company information will be highlighted on the AWS website, and you’ll receive a badge to display your expertise.
  • Gain go-to-market support. Co-funded activities such as marketing campaigns and AWS-hosted events drive brand recognition and new business.

AWS MSP Partner Program prerequisites

There are several prerequisites that you have to meet before scheduling an MSP Program Full Audit:

  1. APN membership: The Partner must first become an Advanced or Premier Tier APN Consulting Partner, which comes with a $2,500 USD annual fee and a list of its own requirements.
  2. Customer references: Have at least four AWS customer references (with at least two that are publicly referenceable).
  3. Self-Assessment: The Partner must complete a Checklist Self-Assessment and email it to AWS.
  4. *NEW* Pre-Assessment: After AWS reviews the self-assessment (which takes up to 10 business days), AWS will connect you with a third-party auditing firm that will conduct the Pre-Assessment remotely. The Pre-Assessment typically takes six to eight hours and costs $2,000 USD.

AWS MSP Partner Program Full Audit

After completing all of the prerequisites, AWS will schedule a two-day Full Audit of all of the items in the checklist. The audit can be held remotely or onsite, and costs $3,000 USD (plus applicable travel fees). Make sure to have experts from your organization attend who can speak in-depth about the requirements.

AWS MSP Partner Validation scoring

A core component of the audit process is a scoring system where an MSP can lose 200 points for failing to demonstrate capabilities for mandatory requirements. Partners can also gain bonus points for demonstrating non-mandatory services and capabilities.

Sample selection of the AWS Managed Service Provider Partner Program Validation Checklist:

Business Practices Mandatory (subtract if doesn’t meet capability) Bonus (add if meets capability)
1.1 Company Overview APN Partner has a company overview presentation to set the stage… – 200
1.2 Next Generation Managed Service Evangelism APN Partner educates and evangelizes how managed services are different in an AWS environment… + 40
1.3 Next Generation Managed Services Offering APN Partner must have a public web presence that describes their AWS managed service practice… + 20
2.1 Financial Health APN Partner regularly assesses the financial health of its business through… – 200

How CloudHealth can help

As an AWS Advanced Technology Partner, CloudHealth helps you easily demonstrate your capabilities across multiple mandatory and non-mandatory requirements on the AWS MSP Partner Program Validation Checklist.

By leveraging the CloudHealth Platform, you can demonstrate capabilities that will secure you almost 2,000 points on the Checklist.

Specifically, with CloudHealth you can demonstrate:

  • 4.2.2 Customer Review (200 Points)
  • 4.3 Cloud Center of Excellence (20 Points)
  • 5.1.3 Solution Capabilities (200 Points)
  • 5.1.4 Solution Capabilities (20 Points)
  • 7.2 Application Migration Capabilities (200 Points)
  • 8.1.4 Security Management​ (200 Points)
  • 8.1.10 Security Management​ (200 Points)
  • 8.2.1 Security Event Logging and Retention (200 Points)
  • 8.2.3 Security Event Logging and Retention​ (200 Points)
  • 9.8.2 Continuous Compliance​ (40 Points)
  • 9.9.1 Event Management ​ (20 Points)
  • 9.12 Asset Management (20 Points)
  • 9.14 Customer Reports​ (20 Points)
  • 12.3 Solution Provider Billing Solutions​ (20 Points)
  • 12.7 End User Reporting (200 Points)

When you pass the audit, pause and give yourself a pat on the back. Phew! That was a lot of work, but it was worth it. You aced it!

You’re all set for 12 months until it’s time for your Annual Performance-Based Renewal. This process is simpler than the Full Audit, which only has to be done every 36 months.

Download our AWS MSP Partner Validation Kit, detailing each requirement on the AWS MSP Program Validation Checklist that CloudHealth helps you meet.

If you’re looking for more ways to find success, see our eBook: A Guide to Success for Managed Service Providers