Microsoft Commercial Marketplace: Essential FAQ Guide

Discover the ins and outs of the Microsoft Commercial Marketplace with our essential FAQ guide. Uncover SaaS, transactions, and payment options.

cartoon image of a character opening a faq guide book

The Microsoft Commercial Marketplace is essentially a large online store for businesses. It's where companies can either sell or buy digital products and services. Understanding how it operates is important, whether you're new or already familiar with it. Here's a simplified breakdown of common questions among all software companies:

  1. What is SaaS in the Microsoft Marketplace?

SaaS, or Software as a Service, in the Microsoft Marketplace refers to software hosted online (in the Cloud) rather than installed at the customer's site. If your software operates in this mode, it's considered SaaS in this context. The great thing is, that you can continue with your current software provision, onboarding processes, pricing strategies, and consultancy services. The Marketplace is about billing and contracting, not about software integration.

  1. What Does 'Transact' Mean in Microsoft Terms?

'Transact' or 'Transactable' means that your solution is available for sale via the marketplace. Microsoft simplifies the payment process by adding your product to their billing cycle with their customers/users and then transferring the funds to you, minus a 3% fee. This system streamlines the payment process for sellers.

  1. How Many Marketplaces Does Microsoft Operate?

Microsoft runs one central Commercial Marketplace, which includes sites like AppSource and Azure Marketplace, referred to as 'Storefronts.' While these sites target different user groups — AppSource for business decision-makers and Azure Marketplace for IT professionals — they are interconnected and utilize the same billing system.

  1. Is Manual Provisioning Compatible?

Yes, if your solution requires manual setup before use, the Marketplace can accommodate this. The sale will be marked as pending until you're ready to activate the solution for the customer, which gives you control over the initial setup process. You have 30 days after a customer purchase to activate billing. If you miss this deadline, you can ask the customer to purchase again, and then you can activate it at your convenience.

  1. What Payment Options and Subscriptions are Available?

Sellers can choose from various payment options, including upfront, monthly, or annual payments. Subscriptions can be set up on a monthly, 1-year, 2-year, or 3-year basis. Beyond these standard options, Custom pricing allows for further flexibility to suit specific business models, check point 7.

  1. Does It Support Consumption-Based Pricing?

Yes. The Marketplace is designed to support pricing models based on customer usage, accommodating both manual and automated reporting of usage for billing purposes.

  1. Can I Charge Customers in Different Ways?

Absolutely! The Marketplace offers flexibility for custom pricing strategies, through Custom Pricing on Microsoft Marketplace, such as daily, quarterly, or asynchronous billing. This is facilitated by Metering API reporting capabilities, which allow sellers to tailor pricing to their specific needs. Of course, you’ll need to build all of this on your Technical Integration or use the WeTransact SaaS Platform.

  1. What About Traditional Software Sales?

Old-school software sales are still in play. If you sell your software on per tailored contract basis, the Marketplace supports that via Private Offers, allowing you to maintain your unique terms and conditions, or to keep them private. WeTransact makes as easy as 1-2-3.

Conclusion: With a clear understanding of these FAQs, navigating the Microsoft Commercial Marketplace becomes a more straightforward and strategic revenue channel. It's an excellent platform for businesses looking to expand their digital presence and reach.

Looking to know more about the Microsoft Marketplace?  Sign up for our newsletter now.