Enterprise application marketplaces are sprouting up like Spring-time Daffodils. The latest entrant is Amazon Web Services’ AWS Marketplace. Amazon the e-tailer is no stranger to broad e-commerce initiatives, having conquered books, home goods, electronics, digital media and most recently mobile. (Aside: All indications show Amazon’s new Android Marketplace is off to a great start after a somewhat lukewarm industry reception.)
Many of the newest cloud apps are launched in the AWS cloud. AWS has done a great job courting startups onto their cloud platform. With the AWS Marketplace, Amazon is helping its customers be more successful by giving visibility to both small and large companies who choose AWS for their cloud infrastructure. The AWS Marketplace will also further cement customers into the AWS cloud, since Marketplace participation requires an AWS account. You can’t sell a non-AWS hosted application in the AWS Marketplace. Recently AWS has been publicly advocating the idea of “take your data/app” with you, but in reality moving a complicated SaaS application with a large data footprint from one cloud to another is no small feat. The AWS Marketplace is one more glue point between ISV and AWS.
Apple’s extremely successful iOS App Store, along with iTunes, paved the way for the current marketplaces targeting enterprise customers. Salesforce.com is the poster child for business application marketplace success.
I found six “cloud” themed business oriented marketplaces which are described below in alphabetical order. Across these six marketplaces we do see a recurring theme: marketplaces are tied to their underlying technical platforms, and there are none that support a “cross platform” environment. Google, Box and Salesforce each allow the others to sell into their customer base, but all require a technical hook into an API or account.
- AWS Marketplace
- Box.com OneBox
- Chrome Web Store
- Google Apps Marketplace
- Salesforce.com AppExchange
1. AWS Marketplace
What is it?
The AWS Marketplace aggregates and curates thousands of applications powered by the AWS cloud.
Amazon has powerful e-commerce tools for subscription management, billing, shopping carts and customer ratings which AWS customers can use to get more third-party customer traction. The AWS Marketplace compliments DevPay and paid AMI’s with a robust e-tailer user experience.
- AWS Account
- Application must be running within the AWS cloud
Application publishers choose their own price. Currently ISV’s can sell a paid AMI in which case Amazon generates revenue from the EC2 costs when the application is running on an EC2 instance. For turnkey SaaS applications, the AWS Marketplace acts like a referral business, in which case the revenue to AWS is indirect.
The AWS Marketplace and Amazon Partner Network both launched within days of each other. Amazon is accelerating innovation on multiple fronts for its juggernaut cloud platform. The startup community is pretty much a lock-in. Now the goal is to expand to the enterprise, and Partner Network and Marketplace are two steps toward that goal.