Software Distribution Platform

A software distribution platform is a solution that enables software vendors and resellers to distribute software as a service (SaaS), infrastructure as a service (IaaS), and other digital offerings to customers. This platform plays a critical role in both direct and indirect sales. It is synonymous with the term reseller platform.

Software distribution platforms can offer a range of features and functionalities. To be most effective, however, a platform should automate back-end processes, such as billing, and make it easy to instantly provision cloud-based solutions. Software distribution platforms that support resellers should also streamline partner onboarding, management, and payouts.

What are the key elements of an effective software distribution platform?

A dependable and effective software distribution platform drives your subscription commerce business model.

Your company could have all of the other elements needed for success in subscription commerce in place, but the lack of a platform for distribution and eventual customer deployment will quickly sink any effort. This system is the backbone of every subscription commerce strategy—nearly every other process involved in subscriptions and recurring revenue eventually connects back to it.

When you can recognize the most useful components of a software distribution platform, you can make more confident and deliberate choices for your business. Important needs to keep in mind include:

Launching and managing a white-label marketplace

Whether your organization wants to start off with a turnkey marketplace or develop a more unique solution through application programming interfaces (APIs), your software distribution platform should make the process simple.

Streamlining the purchasing process

Keeping potential customers engaged and satisfied is crucial for securing recurring revenue. The purchasing process should be easy, even when the software package or bundle selected is complex. The best platforms support an efficient checkout process regardless of order complexity, applicable discounts, or payment method.

Every software vendor can benefit from a software distribution platform that serves as a one-stop-shop for customers. Make sure the solution your business selects can support a wide variety of service types and enable efficient sales, delivery, and management for customers.

Giving developers the right level of access and control

If your subscription commerce strategy includes third-party developers, it’s critical to offer onboarding and management tools that simplify key tasks like integration testing and reporting.

By implementing effective self-service functions for developers, your company can reduce its burden related to back-end processes while maintaining control via approval procedures. At the same time, developers will feel empowered to take on tasks like onboarding services and managing content. Every tool made available to reliably address these needs makes the process that much easier.

Crafting a more positive customer experience

An ongoing customer relationship is the foundation of subscription commerce. To keep securing recurring revenue, your business has to offer an exceptional customer experience. Features like single sign-on allow every end user to launch any and all of their purchases through just one process. Simplifying this workflow can make it more familiar and comfortable over time, encouraging continued use—and steady recurring revenue.

Similarly, a central user administration function streamlines role and app assignment, as well as the addition of new users and the monitoring of usage and adoption. With SaaS, IaaS, and related categories of digital services only growing more common, businesses want to keep both sign-on and overall management as easy as possible.

Automatic provisioning and fulfillment is another cornerstone of a thoroughly positive customer experience. A software distribution application that eliminates the lag between purchase and use supports customers who want to put their new tools to work immediately.

Automating back-end processes

A high-performing software distribution platform won’t place additional stress on your own staff. Tasks like invoicing, accepting payments, managing refunds and credits, and generating reports can all be largely or wholly automated. That allows your team to focus on duties where their experience and expertise are most needed.

Introducing add-ons and increased functionality

While the foundational needs related to a software distribution platform largely remain the same from one business to the next, there are many ways in which your company may want to customize its marketplace.

Incorporating user reviews and ratings can give peace of mind to potential customers as they seek out dependable and useful offerings. Adding digital overlays to your system can encourage adoption, and answer common questions via the guidance included in them, from customers, resellers, and developers in a self-service format. This capability can help to distinguish your marketplace and offerings from those of your competition. Your company can upgrade and change its distribution platform over time, whether to add or delete features based on current relevancy.

Establishing your distribution strategy

AppDirect provides the foundation, structure, and opportunities for customization that enable the launching and scaling of your company’s software distribution platform. Support from our experienced teams can help you move through the entire process, from crafting a sales strategy to scaling an already successful initiative.

Request a demo today to learn more.

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