How ISVs Can Work More Effectively with Public Cloud Vendors

How ISVs Can Work More Effectively with Public Cloud Vendors

Are you ready to consistently deliver the right cloud solution? Many ISVs and new SaaS companies choose to team up with the largest public cloud vendors such as AWS, Microsoft Azure or Google Cloud Platform. That’s because public cloud vendors have greater resources to help you build, scale and optimize your solution—and stay agile while adapting to the needs of your customers.

But working with a public cloud vendor isn’t always enough to ensure your success. In my conversations with numerous ISVs, they said they don’t always receive enough support from cloud vendors. They believe this is because it’s a challenge for these vendors to build a scalable mechanism to recruit, enable, and help develop more ISVs in their respective communities.

Many ISVs like you, especially those who are new to cloud, have either recently founded or started to scale their businesses, which often requires additional support in several areas:

  • Providing technical guidance to build well-architected solutions
  • Delivering reactive and proactive technical platform support
  • Offering professional services support for ISVs that move to cloud using an IaaS, PaaS or SaaS approach
  • Helping to gain more visibility or exposure for their products
  • Reducing platform cost via technical and cost optimization practices
  • Increasing sales and revenue by leveraging collaborative selling or co-selling

Yet it’s important to keep in mind that even the most comprehensive cloud vendor programs can’t always fully support your ISV business needs throughout your cloud journey. This includes your technical, marketing, operations, sales, and business growth needs.

How to engage with cloud vendors to maximize success

There are two major ways cloud vendors aim to create “stickiness” and grow a long-term business relationship with ISVs.

First, ISVs can partner with public cloud vendors, to use their platform and build your products, while providing access to partner programs to help you go to market. These partner programs can help you leverage vendor technologies to evolve and improve your offerings to meet end-customer demands. They can also help you find ways to gain more visibility for your solutions in any market you target.

Second, you can choose to remain a “regular” customer of a public cloud vendor with the hope they’ll do their best to deliver exceptional customer service for the long haul. Let’s take a closer look at these two approaches.

ISV as a partner

When deciding whether to work with a cloud vendor as a partner, a lot depends on your maturity level, and the competency of the vendor’s platform and technologies. Cloud vendors assign ISVs to partner tiers based on how much you’re willing to invest in the partnership. Here are some typical scenarios:

  • Named strategic accounts: A public cloud vendor’s partner development managers (PDMs) manage ISV relationships according to their size. For example, a large, global ISV relationship can be highly lucrative for a vendor. Usually, each PDM manages a small number of ISVs—often fewer than 10 to 20 accounts.
  • Partner recruit managers (PRMs): These managers want to quickly identify ISVs with the highest potential growth and adapt their engagement level accordingly. This is a low-touch approach compared to named strategic accounts. Still, an ISV can work with a vendor partner contact to guide them and allocate required resources as needed to support their growth plans.
  • Self-driven partner path: Many ISVs aren’t managed by either a PDM or a PRM. For example, there are informational materials and programs offered by AWS, Azure or Google partner networks that can help ISVs in different tiers grow their businesses. One drawback is these programs are usually focused on platform training and partner business professional training based on the ISV’s competency level. Even so, ISVs can choose their preferred program and partner tier.

ISV as a customer

If you don’t opt-in and register as a partner in a vendor’s partner network, then the public cloud vendor will treat you like any other customer. In this case, there’s not much the vendor can or will do to assist you beyond offering technical support. Even then, vendors typically won’t provide much architecture or design support unless you pay extra for a premium support plan.

Like other enterprise customers, ISVs that invest a lot of money on a given cloud platform will often be managed by account managers or executives with the goal of increasing their spend on the platform. The drawback here is they focus less on providing a great customer experience and meeting your needs as a customer than on helping you grow your business and find new avenues to go to market.

In evaluating both approaches—ISV as partner or customer—you’ll find clear gaps in the level of engagement you can expect from public cloud vendors.

A better way: Work with a leading distributor

The good news is that as a technology distributor, Ingram Micro Cloud can improve the level of engagement you experience with a cloud vendor in both partner and customer scenarios. In my next blog, I’ll detail how Ingram Micro Cloud can fill in the gaps and add more value to the ISV-public cloud vendor relationship.

Based on best practices, you’ll learn how the right distributor can help your company build well-architected solutions more quickly and easily. Plus, the right distributor can help you go to market more successfully, giving you the opportunity to increase revenue through a variety of vendor and distribution channels.

Start getting more of the support you need

Ingram Micro Cloud’s Activate program provides you with the valuable resources and expertise required to help you build well-designed cloud solutions—and scale your cloud business through our global footprint.

Our unique program fills the holes in your relationship with public cloud vendors and expands on some of the existing benefits you get from them—all to take your business partnership to the next level. Ready to take the first step? Sign up for our free Activate program today.

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  • Category Company & Partnership News

  • Written by Arash Heidari

  • Published on March 10, 2021

Arash Heidari

Arash Heidari, Global IaaS Practice Lead, Ingram Micro Cloud

Arash focuses on ISVs, which includes building the IaaS ISV strategy and helping global ISVs grow and scale their business through more effective distribution.