Needless to say, I was super excited the other morning to wake up to an email with a subject line stating “Welcome to the AWS APN Ambassador Program”. Recently, I’ve been in talks with a few of the coordinators of this program in regards to participating – I gave them a list of my certifications, a list of my public contributions that revolved around AWS and a brief description of all the things I do internally to support AWS – and in the end, they decided I’d be a good fit!

So what is an APN Ambassador?

Well, to summarize the official description on the APN Ambassador page, this program is basically a community – a community full of technical experts that reside within the AWS Partner Network. For the most part it’s full of consulting partners, with myself being the first ISV partner to participate. Basically, The APN Ambassador program is much like other types of advocacy programs out there – full of people who share technical expertise through blogs, whitepapers, presentations, speak at events, contribute to open source projects and essentially advocate through social media.

Wait, isn’t that an AWS Hero?

Well, technically both the AWS Heroes and APN Ambassadors are both community contributors – the difference with the APN Ambassadors however is that you need to employed by an APN Partner. I find this unique as a lot of advocacy/influencer type programs encompass both partners and general community members – and at times, the partner path to these sometimes excludes contributions that were created “from the day job”. The APN Ambassador fully embraces the work that partners do and fully accepts whitepapers and blog posts that you may have crafted as part of your role.

What are the benefits of being an APN Ambassador?

Well, honestly, I’m only 3 days old into the program so I can’t be too certain – but from the few people I’ve spoke with and the reading I’ve done I think I can list a few:

  • Early access to information on new AWS Services and Best Practices
  • Access to thought leadership and exclusive networking with AWS teams
  • Access to some usage credits
  • Access to AWS Partner Solutions Architects
  • Participation in dedicated Ambassador sessions during re:Invent and select summits.
  • Participation in roadmap conversations and subsequent betas
  • Dedicated briefings and feedback opportunities

So yeah, some nifty little benefits in that list – honestly, when I was inquiring about the program it was nice to hear that these dedicated webinars and briefings weren’t always technical related – in fact, they mentioned that recently they had Jeff Barr talking about how he forms an authors blog posts. This certainly sounds like a nice break from the technical firehose of other programs.

And honestly, although I’m not fully onboarded yet I’d bet the farm on the most beneficial aspect of this program being the people – like any of the programs I’ve been in, having access to those that are way smarter than myself, and forming friendships has been the absolute top advantage of them all.

Time will tell..

As the heading states time will only tell how this program pans out – but from what I’ve seen thus far I’m pretty excited to be part of it! Here’s hoping we can get back to in-person events so I can finally meet some of the other ambassadors in person! In the meantime, expect some deeper, more technical content around AWS and its’ services as I begin to get a little more access to some of the brightest minds! Thanks for reading!