Adam Matuszak,

Is publishing on the Marketplace going to resolve all my issues?

Publishing a product on the Cloud Marketplace is like launching a ship. If there are any problems with the product, you risk drowning and finding yourself among other abandoned products that no one transacts with. The good news is that publication is a good time to rethink your offering and correct the problems. If you manage to do this, you will publish your solution and mature the offer along the way. First, you should identify the problems that would cause you to drown, and there are usually more than just not having enough customers to transact with.
Is publishing on the Marketplace going to resolve all my issue?

Publishing a product on the Cloud Marketplace is like launching a ship. If there are any problems with the product, you risk drowning and finding yourself among other abandoned products that no one transacts with. The good news is that publication is a good time to rethink your offering and correct the problems. If you manage to do this, you will publish your solution and mature the offer along the way. First, you should identify the problems that would cause you to drown, and there are usually more than just not having enough customers to transact with.

Excruciating Onboarding

For companies with a mature offer, onboarding on the Marketplace is a simple, quick, and pleasant process. However, for some companies, it will be a confrontation with their weaknesses. If you cannot simply and clearly define the price list of the product and all its components, this will affect your publication timeline. In addition, not having a publicly available offering and an automated procurement process can also become problematic. There is a list of challenging steps. Some of them are:  passing the validation to become a Marketplace Vendor, undergoing solution validation, and choosing and configuring pricing model. Even providing a standard contract(EULA)  in a PDF file may prove difficult for unprepared companies. At one point or another,  the onboarding process will highlight various attributes your product lacks to succeed on the Marketplace.

A bright future of possibilities or a dark abyss of difficulties?

Now that we know that the Marketplace onboarding will illuminate the aspects of your products that will influence their success, let’s focus on which issues will pose the biggest challenges and how you can resolve them. Of course, each product is unique, and there is no single correct approach. However, as always, the most important part is to make conscious decisions.

Unclear cloud architecture and consumption

When the solution is deployed, is it running on your cloud or the customer’s cloud? Do you have separate instances of the solution for each client? If a customer subscribes to your product, how will it affect your cloud consumption? What if 10 customers subscribe? In the past, we have observed that engineers tend to focus more on architecture and cloud consumption, meanwhile, the major cloud service providers always ask about the amount of spending that your marketplace listing will generate. Some call it cloud spend, while others refer to it as drag. They provide calculators to help you determine generated consumption accurately, but it can be a complex and challenging process. This is where partners like you can assist customers in figuring out their cloud consumption. Engineers also tend to get too involved in the cloud architecture to protect their product, which can make it overly complicated and unsuitable in the cloud marketplace. Therefore, it’s essential to ensure that your architecture is well-described, you have diagrams, and that you understand the impact of your product on cloud resource consumption.”

Unclear pricing

We have observed that cloud marketplaces have four defined pricing structures, which sometimes do not cater to the exact needs of the ISV. Usually, ISVs have many different plans, add-ons, and other SKUs. This can result in confusion and difficulty for the ISV to understand how they can efficiently price their product on the cloud marketplace. However, we have found that ISVs can use private offers, which enable them to maintain their internal pricing while availing themselves of the Marketplace’s benefits for cloud consumption.

Unclear benefits – In the absence of value price is everything

Can you briefly describe the advantages of your solution, presented clearly in two paragraphs or less? Can you create a functionality table that will fit on the client’s screen? Customers will have doubts if they do not clearly understand what value your product will bring. Gigantic descriptions, monstrous tables, endless additions, and extensions will only deter potential customers. You know that your product is unique, but can you describe it in enough words to keep the customer’s attention?

No default ELUA

ISVs sometimes struggle with the standard  end-user licensing agreement (EULA) Marketplaces provide. This can cause significant delays when the client is dissatisfied with the blanket EULA and cannot create one independently. Legal teams and other key stakeholders need to review these documents to develop an agreement that satisfies both the customer and the ISV. To avoid this, it’s best to think about this in advance. You can often change the EULA attached to a private offer, but Cloud Providers require a boilerplate document to be attached to the product.

Security compliance

With all the software being vetted by cloud marketplaces, we have seen reduced security and compliance concerns. Generally, these softwares have already gone through an extensive screening process, which allows customers to buy them with peace of mind. This can help clients save time, as they do not have to keep reviewing security policies repeatedly.

No automated procurement

Although skipping automated procurement in your product integration is not an issue, having it makes your listing more attractive. Providing your listing with a trial version or starter plan will help boost customer confidence in trying out your solution. It is a better user experience if the customer does not have to wait 2 weeks to gain access to the product when they have already clicked ‘Subscribe’. However, products vary, and it is not always possible to ensure that the procurement process is automated. It is worth making every effort to make it as quick as possible.

Summary:

Publishing a product on the Cloud Marketplace can be likened to launching a ship – it’s a pivotal moment where the success or failure of your offering becomes apparent. While it may initially seem daunting, it’s also an opportunity to refine your product and address any issues before setting sail. Onboarding can reveal weaknesses in areas such as pricing, architecture, and value proposition. However, proactively tackling these challenges can steer your product towards success in the marketplace.

As you navigate the complexities of Marketplace onboarding, clarity is key. Ensure your cloud architecture is well-described, pricing is transparent, and the value proposition is easily understood. Addressing licensing agreements and security compliance concerns can also streamline the process for you and your clients. Ultimately, by making informed decisions and actively addressing any obstacles, you can chart a course toward a bright future of success on the Cloud Marketplace.

Behind F33
Greg Bigos, CEO

Greg Bigos is the CEO of F33, bringing over decades of experience in delivering ERP solutions for manufacturing, logistics, and retail industries.



Contact Greg
Behind F33
Wit Jakuczun, CTO

Wit Jakuczun is the CTO/Chief Data Science Officer at F33 with a PhD in Applied Mathematics and over 18 years of experience in mathematical modeling, data analysis, and simulations.

Contact Wit
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