As an independent software vendor (ISV) creating applications to sell in the cloud, you face a few key challenges when striving to make your business successful:
- How do I find the best Service Provider channels for my offerings without wasting a lot of time and energy?
- When every Service Provider seems to have its own unique infrastructure and marketing models, how do I work efficiently to secure profitable relationships?
It turns out that a great deal of the churn involved in taking cloud-based applications to market can be eliminated by simplifying the way you package your applications. By choosing a standard packaging format like APS, you can become part of a supply chain that is tailored to the cloud and appealing to Service Providers who want minimal overhead for their installation and support offerings.
Ready to join the APS revolution? Click here to learn about how to get started.
Already on board? Learn about APS 2.0 and how the latest architecture can help maximize your SMB profits.
To learn more background, read on. This section leads you through the benefits of choosing APS to package your applications and to help them find the broadest and most lucrative markets possible.
What is Packaging?
Packaging is the step in preparing a software offering for distribution where you can specify attributes that enable the software to be purchased, provisioned, and administered, as well as to generate billing. APS standardizes this crucial step, and in doing so, simplifies the ways your software interacts with both Service Providers and end users, allowing for greater efficiencies in the handling of your offerings.
APS allows you to specify the following standardized package definitions to your software:
- Automate the provisioning of a new customer instance at the time of purchase, including...
- Auto-install simple cloud-based software hosted by the reselling provider.
- Auto-provision multitenant SaaS services, either hosted by the reselling provider or syndicated (remotely accessed for resale).
- Define the billable attributes in your offering, and specify the process for polling these attributes.
- Define the end user's administrative and end user portal experience for a unified experience across all services offered by the reselling provider.
Three types of applications and services can be packaged:
- APS Webspace Application (partition inside a web server)
Use this packaging type for applications that you have designed to work in a shared hosting setting that requires a web stack (http, https, php/python, etc.).
- Example web servers: Apache, IIS
- Installer type: File copy + configuration
APS Dedicated Application (stand-alone OS image)
Use this packaging type for applications that require a non-shared environment.
- Example environments: VZwin, VZlin, PSBM, ESX, Hyper-V
- Installer type: file copy + configuration
APS Connector Application(interface to an external service)
Use this packaging type as a way to programmatically control external (remote) service.
- Example environments: Externally hosted services or locally hosted multitenant service
- Installer type: Configuration through API of external service
Removing the Barriers to Providers
As an ISV, you have an investment in efficiently and effectively developing, packaging, and releasing cloud-based applications. But your reach is only as far as the venues you have for distribution—the partners with whom you build relationships to take your applications into the cloud.
How do you attract these partners and nurture these lucrative relationships? The key is making it easy for all of you to do business together.
Look at it from the perspective of a cloud Service Provider, whose role is to host your offerings and market them to business users. If your application is costly to adopt for resale, a provider will be less inclined to market it, or even to select it as one of their offerings. On the other hand, if you package your applications using a standard that is familiar and convenient for Service Providers, the risk to them is reduced to almost nothing.Standardizing your application packaging scales your revenue by reducing overhead for downstream providers.
In other words, Service Providers scale their delivery only if they minimize their overhead. Many providers invest in automation systems that make all provisioning and support into self-service activities for their business customers. Thousands of Service Providers already use APS-ready platforms and the optimal ISV partner is one who can provide applications that are already APS-packaged and ready to go.
Need the details? The Support page provides technical documentation about APS packaging and solutions.
Extend Your Resale Reach via APS Providers
Once you understand the APS "handshake" between ISVs and Service Providers, it's easy to see how sales of your application can proliferate. If a provider can implement and support your applications at little or no cost, what's stopping them from selling those applications into more and more markets?APS-based automation tools can scale your revenues by scaling your "zero-touch" services to more subscribers.
Just as APS removes barriers between you and your Service Provider partners, it also removes barriers between those partners and the lucrative new markets you both seek for your product.
Part of a Future-Ready Standard
APS creates new revenue opportunities for ISVs by introducing a "pluggable" approach to distributing SaaS applications. Once packaged in the APS format by a software vendor, an application can be easily "plugged" into an infrastructure of any hosting/telecommunications provider that has adopted a platform supporting the standard "socket" for the APS applications.
This versatility means that your Service Providers who use APS will be easier for you to do business with, and they will find you to be easier to work with as well. By organizing your businesses around a common standard for packaging, you enable each other to scale the profits you receive from your cloud-based applications because they can be marketed and supported in a more unified, simplified way.
Flexible Business Models
APS does not define the business relationship between you and the distributor of your offerings. Partners are free to engage with one another within a variety of business models in the distribution of APS-packaged offerings. Some APS partners who have developed their own APS automation platform, such as 1&1 and Strato, have a direct reseller relationship with ISVs. Other partners provide additional choices, including Parallels, the leading automation platform for APS-enabled applications. Parallels supports multiple business models with its reseller partners, including direct reseller relationships, referral-based relationships, and license resale revenue. To learn more about the Parallels APS ecosystem and how they can help you promote your application to thousands of their distribution hosting/telecommunications partners, visit www.parallels.com/cloudservices.
Go-To-Market Accelerator Program
Runa Capital and Parallels Announce Joint Investment in a New Go-To-Market Accelerator Program for Independent Software Vendors of Cloud Applications and Services for Small and Medium Business (SMBs)
Global venture capital fund Runa Capital and hosting and cloud services enablement leader Parallels announce the availability of financial and co-marketing support for ISVs who certify and package software under the Application Packaging Standard (APS) program.
Learn more at: www.parallels.com/news/id,30144