Cloud marketplaces have been growing in popularity in recent years and this growth shows no signs of slowing down. Experts expect the sector to be valued at $623 billion by 2023. It’s easy to understand why cloud marketplaces have taken off when you consider the increased adoption of IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS cloud computing technology in recent years.
To manage their cloud businesses, CSPs require a robust and intuitive environment for end-customers and resellers to seamlessly order, provision, and bill everything-as-a-service. The reality is that without the right tools in place, many cloud businesses are underutilizing the potential of their marketplace.
Here are 5 ways to streamline your solution to increase engagement, automate processes, and drive competitive advantage.
1. Complete Visibility
Marketplaces generate a lot of data that can power informed decisions (or conversely, lead to critical oversights if not appropriately managed). CSPs require automation tools to run real-time cloud reporting and transform that reporting into profits. With the right analytics and reporting tools, CSPs can compile comprehensive reports to analyze and process information.
Specifically, the right automation tool can transform your business by providing:
- Slice-and-dice reporting for flexible data analysis
- 360-degree control and visibility for your cloud business
- Branded, intuitive marketplace for customer/reseller self-service
- One unified platform to oversee billing, provisioning, product catalogs, and custom add-ons from multiple partner centers
- Automated provisioning for any service, from any cloud provider
- Seamless 3rd party integrations through APIs
With a single point of management, CSPs can create a custom ecosystem and provision any service from any cloud, freeing up time from manual tasks and empowering your network of cloud resellers to customize their offerings.
2. Centralized Billing Management
Gartner research found that 95% of businesses and IT leaders see cloud billing as the most confusing part of cloud services. Confusion can result in critical oversights or errors that have serious financial implications.
To minimize confusion and facilitate even the most complex billing scenarios, CSPs need a centralized billing management tool. With a billing engine, CSPs can gain access to flexible pricing and service plans for billing, subscription management, and easy reconciliation.
A robust billing platform can eliminate common pain points experienced by service providers and cloud distributors. It will allow you to address niche market needs and plan your GTM strategy by combining your subscription-based technology, products, and services into a single billing management solution.
With the right billing tool, distributors and service providers can create a tailored approach and differentiate from competitors by combining products and services that perform better when integrated. Resellers and end-users benefit from an intuitive marketplace where they can purchase multiple products through a singular purchase path.
3. Activate and Elevate Subscription Models
Subscriptions have become the established pricing model for CSPs, thanks to the evolution of information and software as a service. However, with so many subscription models — from usage-based to flat-rate, to tiered pricing — managing the subscription lifecycle can be complex. CSPs need automated tools to streamline and manage their subscription-based pricing model.
With a fully automated order-to-activation process, CSPs can streamline their subscriptions, billing, and provisioning. A cloud automation platform centralizes all subscription activities into a singular dashboard, making it easier to activate and manage subscriptions. This frees up time to focus on higher-value tasks like cross-selling or improving the end-user/reseller experience.
4. Search Engine Optimization
Cloud businesses need their marketplace to be discoverable and available to their target audience. Search engine optimization (SEO) influences the discoverability/ranking of your marketplace listing and can be a powerful lead generation tool when done correctly. SEO prioritizes search-friendly URLs, targeted keywords, quality images, and informative content to drive the right audience to your marketplace.
Effective SEO strategies can make a big impact on your bottom line, but can also be time-consuming to maintain and perfect over time.With an SEO-enabled marketplace, CSPs can create their customized storefront through ready-to-use templates and custom plug-ins to tailor pages for specific buyer personas. Make your marketplace fully responsive so it looks great to your end-customers, is easier to navigate, and yields greater ROI. Prioritizing SEO makes it possible to reach higher rankings while improving brand awareness and marketplace performance.
5. Mobile Responsiveness
Mobile e-commerce is a growing trend and is expected to generate 53.9% of e-commerce revenue in 2021.
With that in mind, it benefits CSPs to adopt a mobile-first mindset to allow end-customers and resellers to interact with their marketplace organically. interworks.cloud optimizes your marketplace responsiveness so that it functions seamlessly across desktop, smartphone, or tablets.
Mobile-responsive marketplaces benefit your business not just by increasing sales from on-the-go customers — they also provide a better customer experience due to their relative ease of use. In short, platforms with built-in mobile capabilities allow CSPs to hit the ground running, saving time and money.
Make the Most of out of Your Cloud Marketplace with interworks.cloud
CSPs want a robust and user-friendly Marketplace for end-customers and resellers to purchase, bill, and provision cloud services.
With the interworks.cloud platform, CSPs can turn their marketplace into a self-service portal with custom branding, centralized billing, and key features like SEO-optimization. To see how the interworks.cloud automation platform can work for your organization, request a live demo here.