CSPs, IT distribution

Amazon Business Service (Not AWS) Attracts 300,000 Customers

Prentis Wilson
Prentis Wilson

You already know about Amazon Web Services' (AWS) momentum. Now, take a look at Amazon Business -- the online alternative to Staples and Office Depot. Over time, it's a safe bet the Amazon Business-AWS combo could compete with distributors that sell traditional hardware coupled with cloud services.

Consider this: Within 11 months of launch, Amazon Business has attracted 300,000 business accounts, according to VP Prentis Wilson. The figure surfaced amid the U.S. Federal Trade Commission's attempt to blog Staples' buyout of Office Depot, according to Bloomberg.

Rumors have swirled in recent weeks that Amazon may buy or partner with Office Depot's corporate business unit, but statements in an SEC filing seem to cast doubt on such a move, according to the Boston Herald.

Amazon's Growing B2B Reach

Either way, one thing is clear: Amazon's influence in the B2B market continues to grow across cloud services, e-commerce and now corporate supply replenishment. The Amazon Business market place, for instance, stocks everything from 3D printers to janitorial supplies.

Most of the Amazon Business marketplace momentum, at least so far, appears to involve small to midsize customers. Of the 300,000 business accounts, only one involves a company with more than $250 million in revenue, according to Wilson's testimony, Bloomberg reported.

Amazon's momentum, in fact, greatly influenced Staples' decision to buy Office Depot in February 2015 -- though U.S. regulators are striving to block the deal, alleging the combo will trigger higher prices for business customers.

Amazon Business Meets Amazon Web Services

Over the next few years, watch for Amazon to connect the dots between its Amazon Business and AWS. The business marketplace, for instance, could track a range of IT devices sold into a corporate account.

Upsell and cross-sell opportunities could involve AWS Simple Storage Service, (S3) or perhaps the emerging Amazon WorkMail platform -- which hopes to counter Microsoft Exchange, Google Gmail and other email systems. (A WorkMail partner program, by the way, is under development according to sources close to the company).

Traditional IT distributors are working on similar end-to-end strategies that link IT product sales to cloud services. Examples of distributor-driven clouds include Avnet Cloud Marketplace, Synnex CloudSolv, Tech Data TDCloud and WestCon Comstor's BlueSky.

Over time, resellers and MSPs could gain single distributor dashboards that offer traditional hardware and software plus cloud and managed services solutions.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.