What is APS?
APS Packaging is a set of specifications for provisioning, managing, and integrating cloud-based apps and services. The standard was designed from the ground up for new world of SaaS distribution, and supports the full service life cycle of SaaS offerings. APS enables efficiencies and extends reach by helping ISVs and service providers sell together using a common platform. APS is an open standard, and all APS specifications are available on this site for free.
What does “packaging” mean?
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.
What does the APS Standard enable when used to package an application?
Three types of applications and services can be packaged:
With hundreds of applications to choose from, there is likely to be an application available to meet your specific go to market need. The APS Certified Application Catalog provides a comprehensive list of applications cataloged into the following key areas, including Back Office, Collaboration, and Infrastructure applications.
What types of applications can be APS packaged?
Three types of applications and services can be packaged:
The APS Application Catalog provides a comprehensive list of applications already APS packaged.
Does APS change the functionality of an application?
APS does not change the way an offering works. Rather, it simply explains to APS-compatible platforms how to interact with it. It is this level of technical integration that enables new business distribution possibilities, and keeps the ISV business model for distributing cloud offerings completely between the ISV and the distributor.
What are the benefits of APS for an ISV?
ISVs can benefit from using APS in multiple ways:
What are the benefits of APS for a service provider?
Service providers can benefit from using APS in multiple ways:
How does APS make it easier for ISVs and service providers to do business together?
APS helps ISVs and service providers get on the same page by giving them a common platform for distributing applications. If an ISV's 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 the ISV packages its applications using a standard that is familiar and convenient for service providers, the risk to the provider is reduced to almost nothing.
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.
How does using APS improve my revenue potential?
APS gives service providers and ISVs a common strategy for scaling their products across deep and broad markets. These businesses can dramatically increase profits through participation in a "cloud supply chain" for developing and supporting cloud-based applications. By standardizing the way cloud-based applications are packaged (provisioned and configured) you can streamline and scale your offerings and operations in the cloud, no matter what part of the supply chain you occupy.
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.
By this method, APS also boosts the potential reach and volume of SaaS offerings into multiple markets. If a provider can implement and support an ISV's applications at little or no cost, what's stopping them from selling those applications into more and more markets?
What are the business models for distributing APS applications?
APS does not define the business relationship between ISVs and the service providers who distribute their 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. Others, such as Parallels Automation, enable APS and providers can select the individual applications to fit their unique markets.
As a cloud service provider, how do I realize increased net ARPU using APS?
By providing a packaging standard that allows for compatibility with mainstream cloud-based application automation systems, such as Parallels, APS empowers you to maximize your net average revenue per user (ARPU) by minimizing your application life cycle cost.
The upshot of automation as it is enabled by APS is that you can offer "low-touch" or "zero-touch" application delivery by converting provisioning, billing, and customer service tasks to self-service for your business customers.
You can choose from hundreds of APS application to meet your go-to-market plans. As new applications become available, turn-key automation of these applications reduces your time-to-market as well as your total cost of service. Automation translates to higher net ARPU, meaning you can scale to more and more APS applications and markets without taking a hit to your bottom line.
How does an ISV onboard with APS?
APS packaging an application is simple. ISVs can leverage an APS Packaging Certified System Integrators for assistance, or they can learn how to package APS applications themselves. With sandboxes and training available, along with SI support links, documentations, and hundreds of examples applications already APS-packaged, this site provides everything ISVs need to easily align their offerings with your APS-ready platform.
How does a service provider onboard with APS?
Service providers who use an APS-ready platform can get involved with APS in the following ways: