Channel Insider content and product recommendations are editorially independent. We may make money when you click on links to our partners. Learn More.

Amazon Web Services today expanded the scope of its partner network, while simultaneously announcing a raft of new offerings intended to increase the number of application workloads running on what is already the world’s largest public cloud computing platform.

In addition to increasing partner benefits, AWS at the re:Invent 2014 conference launched new managed service and software-as-a-service (SaaS) partner programs. AWS is also designating 28 of its partners as 2015 Premier Consulting Partners, which recognizes partners that the cloud giant said provide superior customer service and expertise in either building new applications or migrating existing ones to AWS.

AWS plans to fund up to half of professional services fees for eligible Advanced and Premier Partners, and all of their AWS usage fees for eligible customer proof-of-concept projects. Further, AWS is now providing eligible APN Partners with free usage credits for solutions and additional marketing tools to promote the adoption of those solutions. AWS is also now providing best practices guidance for cloud transformation.

The 28 partners that AWS has identified as 2105 Premier Consulting Partners are 2nd Watch, Accenture, Aquilent, Booz Allen Hamilton, Bulletproof Networks, Capgemini, Classmethod, Cloudnexa, Cloudpack, Cloudreach, Cognizant, CSC, Datapipe, Dedalus, DLT Solutions, Infosys, Matrix IT, Melbourne IT, Minjar Cloud Solutions, Nomura Research Institute, NORDCLOUD, Serverworks, Slalom Consulting, Smart421, Smartronix, Storm Reply, tecRacer and Wipro.

Accenture also used the conference as a venue to announce that it is tightening the integration between the cloud management tools it developed and the ones AWS created.

“We now deepening our relationship with AWS,” said Michael Liebow, global managing director for the Accenture Cloud Platform. “Our biggest challenge right now is finding enough people to hire that know the platform to keep up with demand.”

Looking to increase the number of workloads running on its cloud, AWS unfurled a range of new offerings, including a preview of an instance of a MySQL database, dubbed Aurora, which has been optimized for the AWS cloud in a way that runs five times faster than a version of the open-source database running on premise. AWS also announced that it is making available to customers, at no charge, a range of application development and lifecycle management tools that it developed internally.

Finally, AWS also says it is making available additional security and governance tools, including an encryption key management service.

Now that AWS has made an effort to provide virtual private network connections that can be used to create hybrid clouds, the AWS opportunity for solution providers is both substantial and quite competitive. In fact, at AWS, a number of vendors have announced tools to help facilitate the building and management of those hybrid clouds, including the following:

Long-Term Commitment to the Cloud

Speaking at the event, AWS senior vice president Andrew Jassy said that what most AWS competitors fail to take into account is the level of long-term commitment to the cloud business Amazon has, which manifests itself in a willingness to price services aggressively while also helping customers contain costs.

“We’ve sent 2.6 million notifications to tell customers that they should not be paying for a service on AWS that they are not using anymore,” Jassy said. “That represents about $350 million. We don’t think you would see a traditional technology vendor do the same thing.”

Michael Vizard has been covering IT issues in the enterprise for 25 years as an editor and columnist for publications such as InfoWorld, eWEEK, Baseline, CRN, ComputerWorld and Digital Review.