5 Azure Marketplace Improvements We'd Love - WeTransact

With over 90,000 resellers and 1 billion customers, the potential of the Microsoft Marketplace is obvious. But it’s not perfect. Here are 5 improvements we’d love to see.

character inspired in uncle scrooge pointing out to a whiteboard explaining improvements

When you look at the opportunities for companies on the Microsoft Azure Marketplace, it’s easy to see the business value. Being able to extend your reach to IT professionals in more than 100 countries is one good reason to join – and partnering with Microsoft is a no-brainer.

Whilst the potential of the marketplace is clear, getting the execution right can be a major hurdle. Getting listed is one thing, successfully navigating the Microsoft ecosystem requires expertise and insight. We’d like to see this improve, to make doing business easier. Here’s our wishlist.     

1 - Give indirect resellers better tools for doing business

Microsoft uses a network of resellers to extend its reach and make products and services accessible to a broad customer base. There are two types of reseller on the Azure Marketplace: 

  1. Direct resellers have a direct relationship with Microsoft, and they’re authorized to sell Azure products and services to end customers. This type of reseller manages every aspect of the customer relationship: including billing and support.
  1. Indirect resellers sell Microsoft Azure services through a distributor or another reseller. The indirect reseller purchases Azure services from the third party and resells them to their end customer.

Because indirect resellers form an additional layer between Microsoft and the end customer, this type of reselling creates complexities and heavier processes. The additional burden is enough to deter many companies from investing in the marketplace. 

At WeTransact, we’d like to see a better-informed and more streamlined process for indirect resellers, one that could lighten the load and make it much easier to do business.

2 - Provide more extensive developer API documentation 

APIs allow different software systems to communicate and share data or functionality – in this case, Microsoft Azure and third-party products and services. 

API (Application Programming Interface) documentation provides developers with the instructions and knowledge needed to connect with software, services, and libraries. 

Not having clear and detailed API documentation makes it difficult for companies to quickly and efficiently integrate products within the Azure ecosystem. 

We’d like to see more detailed and open API documentation to allow faster development times and tighter integrations.

3 - Reduce the number of unknown bugs and errors 

In any IT system – especially a marketplace – bugs and errors can play havoc with customer experience and product functionality. 

When such errors occur, and they’re unknown, there’s often a scattered approach to support and workarounds. More than that, the impact can result in the loss of new sales and existing customers.  

To minimize the effects of bugs and errors in the Azure ecosystem, Microsoft and its Partners need to take a joined-up approach to resolving them. Things like server availability in Partner Centers, the same pages not loading, and storefront glitches, all have an impact.

So that companies don’t lose time or money as a result of unknown bugs and errors on the marketplace, we’d like to see improvements to the way in which these issues are handled and resolved.

4 - Improve support for companies on the marketplace

There’s no question that the Azure marketplace is a fantastic platform for software companies looking to expand their business, and build new revenue streams. With the right execution, listing and selling on the marketplace opens up a number of valuable business opportunities.  

That said, the enormity of the marketplace means that customer support is not always as streamlined and efficient as it could be. One of the immediate challenges is knowing who owns what, and where to go for the right support and advice. You can feel that friction as your business interacts with many different layers of the Microsoft ecosystem.  

We’d like to see more efficient and effective support for companies on the marketplace.

5 - Ensure features and functionality are best of breed 

Microsoft Azure Marketplace isn’t the only one-stop shop for IT professionals. There are, of course, positive aspects to AWS Marketplace and Google Cloud Marketplace. 

Microsoft won’t always be the innovator or leader, but it can match the competition by adding comparable features and functionality. So vendors, resellers, and IT professionals get the best marketplace experience, that’s what we’d like to see going forward.

Better ways to do marketplace business 

Microsoft has a huge ecosystem. The reseller network is heavily focused on the direct experience for enterprises. But with thousands of partner apps on the Azure Marketplace, we’d like to see changes that enhance and improve the all-round experience, especially for indirect resellers and the way they do business. 

Getting listed on the Azure Marketplace is one thing. Kick-starting your marketplace transactions is another. Get behind an effective go-to-market strategy and boost your chances of success with expert guidance and proven tech from WeTransact.

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