As an ISV, if you have decided to explore cloud marketplaces as an alternative sales channel to capitalize on committed spends and address customer expectations, you have taken your first step towards global expansion. However, it is equally important to have a comprehensive understanding of the commercial marketplace you are planning to sell your SaaS solutions at. Through the course of this article, we will look at the different options and aspects available in the Microsoft commercial marketplace that ISVs can leverage to sell their solutions in the cloud in Microsoft AppSource and Azure Marketplace.
Decoding the Microsoft Commercial Marketplace
Let’s start by understanding what exactly is the Microsoft commercial marketplace and the two major storefronts that you can leverage. The commercial marketplace enables Microsoft, ISVs and others partners to list offers, enable trials and directly transact with Microsoft customers. Depending on the nature of the customers, scope of solutions and offers, you can select the right storefront for your needs, between Microsoft AppSource and Azure Marketplace.
Publishing your solution in the right storefront will enable you to:
- Get visibility among the right customers
- Leverage Microsoft resources well suited for your needs
- Access the ideal partner network to mark success
Therefore, each storefront caters to a particular audience and offers specialized publishing options to ensure a high return on investment to make your Microsoft commercial marketplace journey successful.
The difference between Microsoft AppSource and Azure Marketplace
As two storefronts available as a part of Microsoft commercial marketplace, Microsoft AppSource and Azure Marketplace essentially differ in the type of audience they are ideal for. This suggests that their target market is quite different. Consequently, the solutions published on either are different in their scope, type and intended objectives.
If you look closely, the nature of your SaaS solution is bound to change when the target audience changes, and, subsequently, the storefront also changes. The major difference between Microsoft AppSource and Azure Marketplace comes from the audience focus on businesses for the former versus individuals for the latter.
Microsoft AppSource captures its customer base in the form of businesses, where business decision makers are critical. Invariably, it includes business and industry solutions that have a larger impact on the overall organizational success. Since they have a business focus, solutions on Microsoft AppSource extend beyond Azure to include Microsoft Teams, Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365, and Power Platform services.
Azure Marketplace, on the other hand, is meant primarily for IT professionals, enterprise architects and developers who are looking for SaaS solution capabilities to augment their performance and other aspects of their work. These solutions are majorly built on Azure or used within Azure subscriptions themselves.
Therefore, depending on whether your solution is ideal for individuals or businesses, you can take an informed choice about which storefront to tap into. Furthermore, based on the customer persona and demands, the type of services and solutions, publishing options and in-app experience differ for both the storefronts.
How to choose between Microsoft AppSource and Azure Marketplace
The last section will help you understand how, as an ISV, which of the two, between Microsoft AppSource and Azure Marketplace will work best for you. If you are of the opinion that the best option is to publish your solution on both the storefronts, you need to think again. It is very rare that your SaaS solution will be ideal to such diverse target audiences.
However, if you feel your solution can be leveraged by both individual IT professionals and developers, as well as, businesses and organizations, you can go ahead with publishing your solution on both. In most cases, your solution will be ideal for one and you can check out the below practices and considerations to make the right choice between Microsoft AppSource and Azure Marketplace.
Microsoft AppSource as your storefront
As an ISV, you need to answer a few questions to understand which storefront will make more sense for you. The following considerations point to the fact that you should go in for Microsoft AppSource:
- You are targeting the line of business decision makers as your key customers, from specialist roles.
- Your solution is built for and can be extended to a range of Microsoft products, including Azure, Dynamics 365, Office 365, PowerBI, and Power Apps.
- You are particularly offering a finished line of business apps and professional services.
- You wish to publish contact me, trial and consulting service offers.
If your SaaS solution and ISV business plan checks each or most points from above, Microsoft AppSource is your go to storefront as your solution is ideal for businesses and you will find the right audience and visibility there. If you end up in the Azure marketplace, your solution will garner little or no interest, because of its limited value/ impact for individual users.
Azure Marketplace as your storefront
On similar lines, there are a few considerations and questions that can help you decide whether your solution is ideal for the Azure marketplace. Ask yourself questions and if they point towards the following propositions, Azure marketplace is suitable for you:
- You are targeting to serve IT professionals, enterprise architects and developers with your SaaS solution.
- Your solution is built for Azure and may not be meant for other Microsoft products or suite of professionals services
- You are offering infrastructure solutions and professional services which are ideal for an individual audience
- You wish to explore a range of publishing options, including, contact me, consulting services offer, trial, virtual machine, solution templates, and managed apps
Do you agree that the above mentioned considerations are right for your SaaS solution, then Azure Marketplace is the ideal storefront for you.
Get started with Microsoft Commercial Marketplace
Irrespective of whichever storefront you decide to go for, between Microsoft AppSource and Azure Marketplace, you will need to take care of the necessary technical requirements, API integrations, agreements and other aspects of the readiness checklist. Often, ISVs spend a lot of time and engineering effort in making their solution cloud marketplace ready. This generally leads to a loss of revenue and lost market opportunity.
Fortunately, with SaaSify, you can take the leap in just a week. We can help you make the right choice between Microsoft AppSource and Azure Marketplace. That’s not all, we will help you with all the necessary API integrations and requirements, without any major engineering changes to your software. Once you partner with SaaSify, you just need to sit back and start earning revenue quickly with our white labeled solution.
You will not only reach the Microsoft commercial marketplace, but will also benefit from our customized brand visibility, tracking and analytics, robust integrations and much more. If you are ready to hit the Microsoft commercial marketplace, be it Microsoft AppSource or Azure Marketplace, book a demo today with SaaSify to accelerate your global expansion.
This blog was originally published on SaaSify.