Providing Enhanced Customer Value Where

Marketplaces Miss the Mark

SoftwareONE Provides Enhanced Customer Value Where Marketplaces Miss the Mark

Over the last few years, industry pundits have predicted that today’s most popular cloud platform providers such as AWS, Azure, Google, and IBM are going to cause the demise of software resellers with their marketplaces. There is no denying that marketplace and the cloud in general have disturbed many business models and put in question the value of entire segments of the industry. Traditional software purchasing models are, for instance, a dying breed due to the ease of use and convenience of purchasing promised by marketplaces.

However, when it comes to choosing business class software products, we would argue that the expertise needed to make sound choices, deploy assets properly, and optimize them for ongoing performance does not disappear with any marketplace. Quite the opposite, as the ability to purchase software becomes more ubiquitous, organizations need more than just tools - they will need knowledgeable support, advanced management and security, and additional visibility and governance. Marketplaces are great for transactional businesses, just like resellers used to be, but software is at the heart of what powers every business unit and every IT organization, which by definition goes beyond transactions and getting the lowest price.

For over thirty years, SoftwareONE has been at the forefront of all major software-based revolutions. We recognized early on that the reseller business would not offer enough value to our customers and we have continued to transform our business to deliver not only the best value but the right solutions to address the pain points experienced by our clients. Today, our business is about bringing the necessary expertise for clients to confidently run their business with the help of the right software-based solutions. This requires providing guidance in the form of advisory services and increasingly being able to help clients migrate, deploy, optimize and support their applications and software estates. In today’s cloud-first world, just because it’s easy to purchase the components of a cloud environment doesn’t mean you’ve purchased the right pieces or that it will be simple to deploy or optimize or for that matter, receive tangible support when you run into issues.

We help our clients with all of their software and cloud-based technology needs from ideation to providing 24x7 global support to their teams. We provide significant value and a customer experience geared to assisting companies with getting the best return on their software investments and optimize their infrastructure for digital transformation initiatives. Let’s take a look at how companies benefit from the knowledge, expertise and services that only a trusted partner can provide.

Don’t Underestimate the Complexity of Marketplaces

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.

Providing Long-Term Value

At SoftwareONE, we have never viewed ourselves as just an intermediary. Instead, we look to continually focus on adding value to the cloud and software purchasing process and providing support for managing and optimizing your organization’s entire software deployment. Here are just a few of the key value-adds that we offer:

Cloud and Professional Services

Through our offerings such as Managed Cloud, Managed Security and User Productivity, we help organizations move to the cloud in a secure manner while ensuring employees are leveraging the optimized work environment through dedicated customer success managers. In turn these services take the burden off of the internal IT team and allow the organization to focus on more strategic opportunities.

Licensing & Consultative Services

While any publisher can provide guidance on licensing, SoftwareONE provides a robust, bias-free end-to-end program to ensure licensing optimization and compliance. We’ll take inventory of your entire portfolio, understand your business needs, and consider all your cloud and on-premises deployments to get a deeper understanding of each publisher you use. Combined with PyraCloud, organizations will have access to a central location to manage their entire software portfolio, allowing them to stay on top of complicated budgeting and licensing environments.

Software Lifecycle Management (SLM)

We have combined the best of Software Asset Management (SAM) and procurement to provide customers with end-to-end software estate guidance and advisory services. We offer not only the right tools but the right people, processes, and technology to ensure a top-of-the-line, successful Software Lifecycle Management (SLM) initiative.

A Pure Software Focus

Software is in our name; we’re completely focused on all kinds of software. As a result, we have no bias regarding particular hardware or software, and can make suggestions for the best software using the hardware or cloud infrastructure that you already have or are looking to use. If you need a suggestion regarding hardware, software, or cloud environments, we’ll offer our expertise that’s thoroughly merits-based - not based on promotions and bundles that upsell our own offerings.

Holistic Geographic Coverage

We are a global company, which is key in today’s always-on, global cloud environment. We provide on the ground coverage in 90 countries and the ability to transact in more than 150 countries, meaning we can help you at any hour of the day, no matter where in the world your software needs are taking place.

At the end of the day, SoftwareONE and our team provides a wealth of software-specific knowledge that’s free of bias and focused on optimizing the performance of your business. We’re your partner in strategy, and an advisor for all the software and cloud touchpoints in your business’s day-to-day operations to ensure you build a lasting IT infrastructure.

Discover Managed Cloud

Learn how we provide enhanced customer value beyond what a marketplace offers to ensure your software estate is optimized.

Read more

Comment on this article

Leave a comment to let us know what you think about this topic!

Leave a comment

Author

Neil Lomax, President of Sales SoftwareONE

Neil Lomax

President of Sales

IT-Business

Related Articles

bridging-the-it-skills-gap
  • 27 augusztus 2020
  • Mathew Showers
  • Managed Cloud, Digital Transformation

Bridging the IT Skills Gap: How to Keep Up with the Market and Stay Efficient

The IT skills gap is widening and your organization must know how to keep up. Learn more about how to stay efficient while bridging the IT skills gap.

the-new-normal-of-business

The New Normal of Business: How Software Lifecycle Management Meets Demand

SoftwareONE has been named a global Leader by Gartner in their 2020 Magic Quadrant for Software Asset Management Managed Services. Learn why.

backup-solutions-for-nonprofits
  • 26 augusztus 2020
  • Mathew Showers
  • Managed Backup, Digital Transformation

Embracing the New Frontier of Backup Solutions for Nonprofits

Choosing a cloud backup management plan to simplify your cloud journey will help achieve the larger goal of Digital Transformation. Learn how BackupSimple can help your organization transform in order to free-up resources and keep…