Those deeply entrenched in the development and distribution of enterprise software are realizing the sales/distribution business is quickly shifting from traditional direct-sell or distributor models to public Cloud Marketplaces.
Anticipating this shift in purchasing behavior, Microsoft is directing tons of resources into its public marketplace in an effort to become the largest Cloud Provider in the world.
Have you read about the new features in Microsoft’s commercial marketplace (both Azure Marketplace and AppSource)? If you publish cloud-based software or services to either Marketplace or are considering such, read on for our summary of some top changes, also summarized by Charlotte Yarkoni noted in her blog post just before Inspire in July, 2019.
Highlights of new features rolled into Marketplace include new pricing models, a rewards program and a new route to market, including monthly and annual SaaS billing, custom metered options, standard contracts, and free SaaS trials that convert to paid engagements.
A Single Onboarding and Management Experience
Microsoft has a number of portals and tools available to support its partner ecosystem – portals like One Commercial Partner, Partner Sales Connect, Microsoft Partner Network, etc. In fact, some might say it’s too many! Well, Microsoft took notice and is working hard towards a unified, 360-degree view of the partner relationship. This will be in the “new and improved” Partner Center, which is rolling out new features and integrations frequently.
From this singular entry point, publishers can publish and manage their transactions and customer engagements. The recent improvements remove friction from the end-to-end process by simplifying the customer-publisher-reseller arrangement through a single transaction and a single invoice. Check out Partner Center for more details.
New Commerce Options
The new commerce options benefit publishers of SaaS offers the most because it allows publishers to provide custom pricing to meet customer needs and scale through the global reach of Microsoft’s customer and channel communities. Having that SaaS offer in-market really opens up the channel, particularly if you are an IP co-sell ready partner (which is meaningful to the Microsoft sales teams and resell/CSP partners).
If you are a software company with a SaaS product that helps Azure customers better run their overall cloud environment or have a SaaS product that consumes some Azure resources, you can now sell it directly on the Azure Marketplace.
This is a great step, as it unlocks Microsoft’s reach for a wide array of fast-growing companies, and will give Azure customers more choice as the community begins to adopt these capabilities.
A New Marketplace Rewards System
Anyone who has partnered with Microsoft knows they are very programmatic, and one program we love is the new Marketplace rewards program. This program makes it extremely clear what benefits you get for driving revenue through the Microsoft commercial marketplace channels.
Like many affinity-type programs, the more you grow with Microsoft and the Microsoft Rewards program, the more benefits you unlock to further accelerate your growth. The Rewards program includes many types of benefits across Marketing, Sales/co-sell and technology.
Keep a lookout for more content from tackle.io as we continue to expand our learnings across Azure Marketplace and AppSource. You can also go directly to the source – Microsoft has a number of helpful documents to help you on your journey to the commercial marketplace.
If you need more help, another main resource that can be used to help navigate the Microsoft commercial marketplace is Tackle! If all of the information about the Microsoft commercial marketplace has you overwhelmed, or you do not have the resources needed to list, do not worry. Tackle is here to help!
Team Tackle can provide expertise throughout the life of your listing: we do the hard work, so you don’t have to. The Tackle platform automates the hard engineering labor to get the product on the marketplace and maintains your listing efficiency. Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org to hear more about how the service can benefit you and save you valuable time, money, and resources.