Today, buying boxed software on a retail store shelf is like using a dot matrix printer or a dial-up modem—still possible, but increasingly rare. The reason is simple: The cloud has revolutionized the software industry, changing everything from the way applications are developed and deployed, to the way they are bought and sold.
These changes can be a double-edged sword. There are now many more ways for developers to reach their customers, but determining the most effective strategies can be expensive and time consuming. To start selling as quickly as possible, many vendors go with the obvious choice: Direct sales to customers via their websites, and more often than not, a sales team.
Given the complexity of selling cloud-based software—billing, provisioning, and API endpoints, not to mention contractual agreements, must all be in place before any sale can be made—going indirect through the channel seems, at first glance, much less appealing. The data back this up: In the previous world of on-premise licensed-based software, 70 percent of software sales were channel based. Currently, only 23 percent of SaaS sales go through a channel.1
That’s a major reason why AppDirect is launching its Developer Certification Program, an initiative that lays out a set of rigorous standards that help ensure cloud-based applications are ready to be integrated and sold by channel partners, including service providers such as telecom companies and value-added resellers (VARs). In order to be considered for AppDirect certification, a vendor’s app must go through a comprehensive assessment in three areas that are critical for customer success: technical integration and user experience; marketing and sales readiness; and customer service commitment.
AppDirect works with trusted service providers to offer leading applications to more than 30 million businesses worldwide. When an application is certified, these service providers benefit from knowing that an app is ready to be sold, and used by their customers, from day one. This means faster time to market and quicker ROI for both developers and providers, as well as more satisfied customers.
We’re proud that Trend Micro, a global leader in security software and solutions, and Mozy®, an industry-leading online backup service from EMC Corporation, are among the first partners to be accepted and certified under the new program. Working together with trusted brands like these, we can help build the global ecosystem for cloud services and empower even more businesses with the technology tools they need to thrive. You can read more details about the Program here.
We look forward to working with many more developers to set the standard for cloud-based software sales in the channel, and beyond.
Matt Kane is the Head of Developer Services & Partnerships at AppDirect.
1“SaaS Now Revolutionizes the Channel,” Sand Hill, April 2014