The march to the cloud is accelerating and undeniable. And every link in the IT distribution chain, from software developers to customers, is adjusting to the new cloud distribution model. At the center of this new chain are various types of new and traditional distributors, from traditional hosting companies like HostWay and Hostnet, to managed service providers (MSPs) like Apptix and ApprRiver, to telecommunication companies like Sprint, Telenor, and America Movil, to non-traditional service providers like Dell and Staples.
While there is great diversity in the distribution, they all share some common challenges and needs. They all want to sell a rich basket of independent software vendor (ISV) goods that are well integrated with each other and are easy for distributors and their customers to manage. They also want to enhance customer and user interface (UI) experiences. These needs create a challenge for both the new distributors and ISVs that want to reach these new diverse distribution channels. Each ISV and distributor needs to integrate their systems one by one, integrating provisioning, billing, portals, and inter-application interoperability. This is an issues that will be getting a lot of attention at the CloudBeat conference next week.
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The cost and time to connect these ISVs with cloud distributors is a barrier to growth and adoption. Several companies, including my own, Parallels, recognized this problem a few years ago and helped create the APS standard (applications packaging standard) to build a replicable model for connecting ISVs to distributors. To date, more than 400 ISV applications are APS packaged, distributing their offers via hundreds of distributors around the globe.
Following the APS standard, an ISV can build a connector once to easily enable distribution through APS-enabled disruptors. APS integrations can automatically set up user accounts when a customer purchase is made and assists with billing information, as would be expected from such a standard. APS goes further to ensure the customers and distributors have an excellent experience. APS allows two different services to exchange information so that services like Symantec anti-virus and Microsoft Hosted Exchange automatically know how to work with each other when a customer purchases both. ISVs can also embed rich customer HTML5 screens, further enhancing the user experience.
With APS, both ISVs and distributors now have a means of not only enabling the distribution of cloud services in the new cloud distribution model, but also enhancing the overall customer and service provider experience for advanced cross product integration capabilities and rich UI experiences.
On September 9, at VentureBeat’s CloudBeat conference, I’ll be participating in a panel with Uday Keshavdas, Director of Business Development at Box, and Joan Fazio Senior Director of Emerging Channels and Verticals for Commercial Marketing at Symantec, and we look forward to continuing the discussion there.
Alex Danyluk leads Marketing and Alliances for Parallels Automation and the APS ISV/SaaS partner ecosystem, enabling 9000+ Parallels Partners to serve 10M+ SMBs with over 400 ISV offerings. Alex has more than 25 years of experience in business services. Prior to joining Parallels, Alex was Director of Microsoft’s Communications Sector, Director of AT&T’s Hosting Services, Sr. Director of Qwest Business Voice, and Sr. VP of Marketing for Dantis, a Managed Hosting Provider.
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