What AWS re:Invent 2018 Told Us About the Marketplace in 2019

As we ring in the new year, we’re ready for all the announcements and opportunities that Amazon announced at re:Invent to come to fruition in 2019. For us at Tackle, those opportunities are focused exclusively on helping getting our customers onto the AWS Marketplace and track their sales effectively.  With the enormous number of announcements that come from AWS and AWS partners during re:Invent, we wanted to cut through the noise and highlight what’s coming to the Marketplace in 2019 and what that means for software vendors like you.


Over 200,000 Buyers Can’t Be Wrong

The week started with a session for ISV’s educating on how to take advantage of the Marketplace to get access to AWS’s 200,000+ customers. Chris Grusz, Worldwide Leader, Business Development for AWS Marketplace and Brad Lyman, Sr Manager – Product for AWS Marketplace, walked through improvements they are making to how software companies can sell and market through their listings.


A few notable Highlights:

In 2019 AWS is becoming more proactive in the way they help sellers market their products. They call it the Seller Demand Generation Engine, and here are the key takeaways

  • Marketplace Awareness Campaign – overall effort by Amazon to increase awareness of the marketplace, drawing more buyers to the platform to purchase software.
  • Integrate MP into overall AWS Go-to-Market strategy.
  • Solutions marketing. When a customer has a need, but not necessarily knowledge of how to fill it, the MP team will help connect them directly with the ISV’s products to suit.
  • Co-marketing with sellers through AWS events, webinars, etc
  • Best practices documentation around selling, less bespoke guess work around marketing your marketplace efforts.

All of these are powerful signals from AWS that they are serious about making Marketplace how enterprises buy software over time and they want to support the ISV’s who are helping make that happen!


How the Best got Better on the AWS Marketplace

On the Monday evening before re:Invent kicked off proper, we here at Tackle hosted the AWS Marketplace Innovation Meet-Up, focused on the ISV community.  This was the first event of its kind, bringing together a group of high profile sellers to share their stories about how they are taking advantage of the AWS Marketplace, along with leadership from Amazon to share how they plan to support ISVs going into 2019.


Top Left to Top Right: Christine Maxey, VP of Customer Success at Tackle.io, Benjamin Andrew – Global Lead, Security & Networking Categories, AWS MP, Kirk Punches – Sr Dir Strategic Cloud Alliances, PagerDuty, Todd Osborne – VP of Alliances and Channels, New Relic, Bill Serino – Chief Revenue Officer, Unifi Software, Ray Komar – VP of Technical Alliances, Tenable, Bottom Left: Brad Lyman, Sr. Manager, Product Management , Bottom Right: Dillon Woods – CTO and Founder at Tackle.io

In a panel hosted by Christine Maxey, our VP of Customer Success, AWS Marketplace Sellers and Tackle.io customers New Relic, PagerDuty, Tenable and Unifi software all shared how they are changing the way they sell via the AWS Marketplace, with input on the AWS side of things from Benjamin Andrew, Global Lead, Security & Neworking Categories for AWS MP. They discussed the tremendous opportunity they’ve found on the Marketplace, and how Tackle.io’s tools and expertise helped get them there.

“The tackle folks handed us check lists, they organized the meetings, connected us with these folks here, and these folks there… they were our sherpa through this whole process…”

“I can’t stress enough, the amount of churn and time and the mental processing that we would have spent without Tackle would have been 3x. The tackle folks handed us check lists, they organized the meetings, connected us with these folks here, and these folks there… they were our sherpa through this whole process. It’s a new process and takes a lot of effort, but working with the team at Tackle who had done it before, the advice and the speed to market was invaluable.”
– Ray Komar, VP of Technical Alliances, Tenable

After the panel, Brad Lyman from AWS Marketplace shared his perspective on the rapidly evolving marketplace and our very own Dillon Woods, founder and CTO of Tackle spoke about how we will embrace those changes as we continue to innovate within Tackle’s own platform.


A few things you can expect from Tackle in 2019 include:
  • Simplifying the metering process when you are selling through the Marketplace
  • Continue to innovate how our customers track sales through our reporting platform.
  • Extend our custom integrations with Slack, Salesforce, Zuora and Zendesk and look for the next group of key business integrations (Marketo, SAP, Custom CRM).

We plan to make these Marketplace innovation meet-ups a more consistent activity as we look to share best practices across the ISV community on how to grow your business and sell more via the Cloud Marketplaces.  If you would like to participate in these meet-ups either as an attendee or a speaker, please reach out to us at sales@tackle.io and we’ll let you know as we line up more events.


You Can’t Succeed Unless You Sell

Later on during re:Invent, the team at Amazon presented a deeper dive on some of the latest features that have become available from the AWS Marketplace for sellers to take advantage of.



Some highlights are:
  • Consolidated billing/Contract
  • 5/50/500 model = 50% of budget tied up by 5 ISV’s
  • 8 Categories most provisioned
  • Digital Demand Support from AWS
  • Provide a Billing Platform


New features either live or coming in the new year include:
  • Channel Partner Private Offers: Approved resellers can now be authorized to create Private Offers for your products. Amazon will handle split disbursement of payment and commission, no additional work needed.
  • Q&A for Product Pages: Sellers can now interact with customers, answering questions and addressing concerns/feedback on their product pages.
  • Rich Media Support: Listing pages will now allow embedded video, letting sellers show product walkthroughs and overviews to help buyers familiarize themselves with the software before purchase.
  • PAYGo SaaS Listing Options: Lets buyers and sellers agree to a payment contract that has flexibility to grow along with the buyer’s need. No need to create a new contract every time they go beyond the initial terms.

As always, you can count on the team at Tackle to be on the front line of integrating these updates into our products. When new features become publicly available, Tackle is always first to document how these changes affect our customers, and how they can take advantage of new selling tools to continue to grow their Marketplace revenue as a part of their overall sales strategy. Knowledge is power, and when you partner with Tackle to onboard and manage your listings, you’re gaining access to the deepest well of marketplace knowledge outside of AWS themselves.


The View from the Ground Floor

When we weren’t deep into the work sessions at AWS re:Invent, we spent a lot of time talking to ISV’s 1:1 or on the show floor and looking to understand the emerging patterns from sellers and buyers about the AWS marketplace. While everyone’s experience is unique, there were definitely some common threads that we heard a lot about from the exhibitors.

From the buyer’s perspective:
  • The number of buyers who have purchased at least one software product through the marketplace has greatly increased from last year.
  • Vendors with a “marketplace badge” on their booth were perceived as easier to do business
  • Though awareness of the marketplace in general has increased, many buyers are still learning how easy it is to transact with new programs like Private Offers, Flexible Payment Terms, etc.
From the seller’s perspective:
  • Sellers who are not yet in the marketplace have heard success stories from their peers who have gone through the listing process.
  • Vendors looking to progress through the APN partner tiers now see a marketplace listing as “table stakes,” the minimum effort they need to undertake for advancement.
  • There is still confusion among vendors about what listing types are available and the pros and cons of each.
  • Sales leaders are starting to incorporate the marketplace as a buying option into their standard pitch.
  • The lore of Private Offers are spreading and more and more ISV’s want to take advantage of doing custom deals with enterprise buyers leveraging the AWS Marketplace contract and financial infrastructure.  Our next blog will be some ideas on how to leverage Private Offers to accelerate your deals and reach more customers faster.

Within both groups of users, the consensus is clear: everyone wants to be on the Marketplace, but it can be somewhat tricky without a guiding hand. The need for Tackle has never been clearer: with our skill at getting software to market quickly and our expertise at how best to utilize all available listing options, we cut through the chaff and set our partners up for lasting success, giving them a competitive edge as the Marketplace continues to grow.


Software Marketplaces are No Longer the Future — They’re the Present

The evidence continues to grow that the AWS Marketplace is accelerating in disrupting the way enterprises buy software.  We at Tackle are laser focused on helping software companies catch this wave and will continue to focus on removing the friction between the marketplace and software companies to enable the buyers to get the cloud economy software experience that they desire.

The week of re:Invent was a gut check for us to really understand how we fit into the overall picture of software marketplaces as they continue to evolve, and by all indications our expertise is valued more than ever. 2019 is going to be a huge year for Tackle.io and the AWS Marketplace. To stay up to date with all of the big things we’re cooking up this year, please give us a shout at sales@tackle.io. You’ll always be up to speed with all things Marketplace!

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