Marketplace is an interesting concept and it seems to be progressing well in a modern cloud-based and internet aware economy. Moving forward even more software and manufacturing vendors are moving into subscriptions business. Check my recent articles about XaaS – What is the right system for maintenance BOMs and what is the role of online Bill of Materials in future maintenance and support operation.
I’m learning more about Microsoft Commercial Marketplace these days and how vendors can sell services to using this marketplace. A marketplace seems to be a good place for how to make it easier for customers to discover, try, and buy cloud-based software and services from our partners.
Enterprises, governments, and organizations of all sizes find business solutions, innovative technology, and enablement services through the Azure Marketplace and AppSource web stores, Azure portal’s in-product experience, Cloud Solution Providers, and Microsoft Sales teams.
Partner Center is the hub of a Microsoft partner’s experience. For organizations who go to market with Microsoft and take advantage of the marketplace, Partner Center is the portal through which publishers create and manage offers, provide test drive demonstrations, and view analytics on offer performance.
It made me think that this is a good place to sell SaaS to address the needs of manufacturing companies. Especially smaller and mid-size companies that are looking how to consume cloud / SaaS applications with limited IT resources by using applications available on demand.
I navigated to the marketplace and tried to make a search for PLM services (apps). Marketplace sells applications and consulting services.
Search for PLM gave me 84 results for application and consulting services, which in fact only 3 have something to do with PLM.
None of these applications is available on-demand, which means everything I can do is to get sales to contact me. Even Aras PLM link says “Get it for 0.10$ per hour”, it is not clear what does it mean and what you can get for this price.
What is my conclusion? The marketplace is a great idea. I’m very much interested to learn about the advantages of buying via marketplaces vs buying from vendors websites. I can see a group of potential customers looking on how to get SaaS applications tailored together with infrastructure services and consulting services as a single package. This is can be an opportunity for places like Azure Marketplace. But it is not happening (yet) as I can see. Just my thoughts…
Disclaimer: I’m co-founder and CEO of OpenBOM developing cloud-based bill of materials and inventory management tool for manufacturing companies, hardware startups, and supply chain. My opinion can be unintentionally biased.