It’s no secret that consumers today are evolving in the way they evaluate and buy products and services. The evolution of the media industry and introduction of 3rd platform has driven significant changes in the buying decisions of consumers today. They are making their decisions more and more based on who can provide the best information accessible online coupled with a seamless buying experience and are often willing to for go price as the first priority. This is no different for consumers choosing their cloud offerings and services.
In order to meet these increasing demands and offer the best possible solutions to their customers, many organizations have built their own platforms or marketplaces, designed to help end-users and solution providers quickly search for, and pick which cloud they want, when they want it, and for what cost. There are a lot choices available for cloud platforms deployed marketplaces in market today. So what makes a successful marketplace?
First, let’s take a look at what a cloud marketplace is supposed to do. It’s created to act as an online store that features products from various companies where customers can find and buy software and services that are supported by the sponsoring company. So, really all a business has to do is develop a clean platform that lists their cloud offerings and services, with the ability for a consumer to purchase them, right? Sounds easy enough.
In reality, a marketplace should do much more than that. Today, most cloud marketplaces offer product descriptions, features and benefits, pricing, FAQ’s and support. Some marketplaces even offer interactive features such as the ability to upload videos and demos, offer trial downloads, suggest cross-sell and upsell options and solicit and give reviews, and this is a great start! But this provides many limitations for buyers.
Let’s take a closer look at some of what typical brokerage platforms offer today:
Subscription Models Only
Pay-upfront (subscription) transaction model only
Limited choice of cloud providers--less flexibility
Limited ability to combine solutions
Limited consumption models
Provision through the Brokerage Platform
Creates a middleman
Manual processes that breaks
Access to services that are in the platform only
Provisioning within the platform
Making it difficult or impossible to manage multiple tiers
To build an effective marketplace that is both user-friendly and competitive requires a lot more than just subscription model offerings and provisioning built in to it. Not only that, but customers also expect their preferred marketplace to also require a wide breadth of offerings and support.
A true cloud marketplace should help partners not only grow their cloud practice, accelerate cloud adoption, and transform themselves into a trusted advisor for their customers, but help grow their cloud practice by promoting their products and services to reach more potential customers.
And this is why most aren’t finding success with their platform. They’re lacking these key capabilities.
Customers want to be able to leverage integrated packages and bundles to encourage the adoption of cloud solutions, reduce the complexity and risk of moving to the Cloud, and reduce the time required to provision new cloud services and modify existing services. Most importantly, they want to have on hand the resources to position themselves as a single-source cloud provider and trusted advisor to current as well as prospective customers.
Here are the top 9 grievances that customers are finding that their current cloud marketplace lacks:
1.) Pay-as-you-go (consumption) and pay-upfront (subscription) transaction models.
2.) A platform that is cloud provider agnostic to provide more flexibility
3.) Models that don’t limit their customer’s options
4.) The removal of the middleman
5.) Automatic process; no lag
6.) Access to all providers’ services
7.) Automatic provisioning
8.) An interactive platform (videos, demos, give reviews)
9.) The offering of free trials and mobile enable solutions
To fill this void, Avnet has developed a cloud marketplace that spans all of the above. We’re proud to introduce the Avnet Cloud Marketplace, an online portfolio representing all cloud products for sale through Avnet Cloud Solutions that also offers:
- Self Service Ordering of Cloud Products (Subscription and Consumption)
- Cloud Account and Service provisioning
- White Label Marketplaces for Partners, ISV’s and customers
As noted above, what really sets the Avnet Cloud Marketplace apart from the rest is that it supports both consumption and subscription billing models, and is powered by our ACT Platform. Not to mention it is a marketplace that includes cloud-provider agnostic offerings. For example, products and solutions featured in the AWS and SoftLayer marketplaces can only be deployed on AWS or SoftLayer, respectively. However, if you purchase a product or solution in the Avnet Cloud Marketplace, YOU choose the cloud provider, and you also have more flexibility to build and combine solutions.
Another important difference to note is how the Avnet Cloud Marketplace interacts with cloud providers during the purchase and provisioning process. Most marketplaces act as a middleman by serving as a brokerage platform. This increases the potential for problems during the buying and provisioning experience because the provisioning takes place on the marketplace site. The Avnet Cloud Marketplace eliminates the middleman and offers a direct connection with cloud providers, which means the purchasing and provisioning process is automatic with no lag time, and less potential for problems to occur.
If you’re looking to one-up your cloud strategy, make sure the cloud marketplace you are leveraging offers consumers what they really want. Through the Avnet Cloud Marketplace partners can source, purchase and provision software as a service (SaaS), infrastructure as a service (IaaS), licensed and subscription software offered by ISV’s, bundled cloud products, and integrated packages consisting of software and appliance technology designed, deployed and billed together with cloud infrastructure as a total solution.
See how you can get started today, and find success in your cloud strategy by visiting Avnet Cloud Solutions.