OneView Cloud Expense Management, the latest module available in Nebula’s OneView Technology Expense Management platform, has launched in the Microsoft Azure Marketplace. Given the incredible growth of cloud-based SaaS solutions and the rise of self-service B2B marketplaces – we wrote more about the trend here – this is a no-brainer as the geo-expansion approach for Microsoft ISVs, like Nebula, to reach a global customer base.
A self-service, cloud-based platform such as a commercial marketplace like Azure Marketplace and AppSource can unlock new customer segments, reduce purchase complexity and provide far greater insights into customer requirements to drive innovative new products and services.
According to Andre Witte, CTO at Nebula, many of the bigger vendors are launching these B2B marketplaces in response to business’s need to leverage digital channels to streamline customers’ buying journey. The evolution of the technology procurement process is one of a self-service mindset, where solution seekers increasingly conduct more of their own discovery, research and trials and then purchase and deploy technology on their own or via a streamlined purchasing and deployment experience.
The journey to Azure Marketplace success
“Our buyers are already developing and deploying services in Microsoft Azure, so it made sense for us to leverage the Azure Marketplace in order to open ourselves up to a global market,” explains Witte. But, he confesses, the move was far from smooth. “It took us many months to get a handle on the technical and commercial aspects of integrating and selling through a B2B marketplace. Once we got started on the development and integration on our side of things, we quickly realised that there was an expectation that we already had a fully automated subscription billing, metering and orchestration infrastructure in place. As an independent software vendor (ISV), we actually had to build out an entire service to be able to integrate our OneView SaaS solution into the Marketplace,” Witte continues.
“But, rather than seeing this as a hurdle, we’ve seen it as an opportunity. We are now offering an ISV enablement solution, called Stactize, to other ISVs who are embarking on the same journey as us to help them fast-track their Marketplace development process.
“Here I need to credit Microsoft,” notes Witte. “When we reached out to our Microsoft partnership development manager, we were connected with the right Microsoft engineering teams to talk through the challenges we were having and connected us with the right support circles to get things across the line,” he explains. The teams also included Nebula in their Insiders Program in order to keep aligned and informed. Had this not been the case, the process of going to the Marketplace would probably have taken an additional six months.
“We are excited to see partners like OneNebula capitalising on the opportunity to grow its business through Azure Marketplace. The inclusion of OneView from OneNebula is a true demonstration of the power of the platform that brings software publishers and buyers together to seamlessly connect, deploy and implement world-class solutions, anywhere,” says Lionel Moyal, Commercial Partners Lead at Microsoft South Africa.
“In the past, we’ve focused locally, but this commerce platform allows us to think globally and open ourselves up to the rest of the world. And given that the OneView technology stack is Microsoft focused, Azure was a natural extension.”
Want to sign up for a Cloud Expense OneView trial? Go to our Azure Marketplace listing, here.