Let’s first break down what a marketplace really is. In marketplaces, cloud providers such as Azure, AWS, Force.com, Teams, ServiceNOW, and more offer their software and service offerings along with related third-party applications.
Sounds simple, right? Well, with marketplaces, the devil is really in the details. Challenges often arise when organizations, especially enterprise-sized organizations, buy, design, implement, manage, and optimize products purchased from a first-party’s marketplace. Let’s take a look at the marketplace complexities faced by companies:
Buying from Marketplaces
Marketplaces do ease the actual purchasing process, however it is the guidance behind a purchasing decision that ensures the overall foundation of the software environment is stable. Buyers who purchase directly from a first-party run the risk of not fully understanding the complexities and dependencies of their purchase – and continuing to do so without changing course.
Organizations that buy from a first-party may purchase products that might not have the full functionalities required. It may not be the most cost-effective option, or the buyer may not understand the governance implications of using the software.
To further compound these challenges, buyers typically don’t use one central marketplace – they need to consult different marketplaces based on which cloud provider they’re purchasing from. This contributes to added procurement complexity, the potential for errors, and reduces the ability to take advantage of volume discounts, bundles, and promotions.
It can also become difficult to manage and optimize all of your licenses when purchasing many applications from multiple sellers and marketplaces. This is especially true if employees aren’t consulting your organization’s IT team before purchasing products, resulting in Shadow IT. The challenges with tracking software assets and licenses can lead to significant compliance and governance hurdles.
Designing Packages That Deliver on Needs
It’s extremely rare that first-party sellers assist buyers in selecting and designing the right cloud software package. Instead, it’s common for them to provide minimal, and potentially biased suggestions, for cloud software purchasing. Keep in mind that when you buy directly from a seller, they have their own bottom line in mind.
First-party sellers may offer packages that aren’t the right size, or that are missing key functionalities in order to encourage buyers to spend more. Enterprise IT environments in particular must be concerned with this, since they have complex needs and a pressing desire to ensure everything is right-sized.
Companies also need guidance to ensure the software will perform at its best in their environment. Knowing what to buy is just as important as understanding where it is going to be deployed. This requires careful design which considers the overall objectives and details about a company’s specific environment.
Implement Software into Your Infrastructure
Of course, post-purchase one needs to actually implement the product and ensure it is being used to its fullest potential within the business. This is where a trusted advisor is key – making sure your new purchases work with all of your existing third-party apps and across the environment where it is being deployed. Companies need a skilled partner who can take a close look at their existing environment and identify any potential snags that may occur when rolling out a new application.
Managing and Optimizing the Solution
So far we’ve only talked about buying and deploying cloud software –we haven’t mentioned the importance of ongoing optimization. In today’s clouds, many traditional resellers are struggling to shift from being a transactional shop to providing ongoing support and managed services – in contrast, SoftwareONE has always placed support and services as paramount in regard to its customers’ relationships. Our traditions lie more in doing what is right to bring the client to the next level on its Digital Transformation journey.
Increasingly, software’s value is being found in its design, implementation, and ongoing optimization. Software must be able to meet specific needs, and offload some daily management duties, such as patching, updating, and providing reliable support to administrators and end users. It is invaluable to have a partner that’s involved in the software’s design and ongoing support. This helps a company enjoy the full value of their investment, and also ensures the persistent optimization of their software as their requirements and environments change.