By Geoff Mair
Last week, there were a couple of new marketplace announcements that are very interesting. When I say interesting, I mean that these announcements show that there is going to be a lot of competition for marketplace and app store dominance and it won’t all be Apple or Google.
For example, Amazon recently announced its Amazon Appstore for Android devices that run versions 1.6 of the operating system and above and is due to launch in the US in 2011. If anyone has the potential to be an independent player in the device world, it would be Amazon. Let me explain. Amazon is already successful in the commerce and online world so it makes sense that the company is combining its two skill sets and going after a marketplace for the Android platform and device.
Not to be outdone, Apple wants to step up its game in this space. Last week, Apple launched an app store for the Mac OS and desktops. However, I don’t think the Apple App Store will have the same sort of traction and sales for desktops that it had for devices (i.e. iPhone, iPod, iPad).
Why is that?
Because consumers already have tried and true ways of buying their software today and I am not sure that Apple providing an app store for desktops is really going to change that. If there were other ways to buy software for Apple phones then the Apple App Store might not have been as big. They have a captive market for the App Store because it is the only way you can purchase and install apps onto their devices.
The one thing that the Amazon Appstore and Apple’s Mac App Store and as a matter of fact every other marketplace announcement out there is that that none of them are focused on selling to businesses and how businesses purchase software and applications. That is one of the core differentiators in what we are offering in the Partnerpedia Community Marketplace platform.
Businesses don’t typically purchase their software with credit cards and in small transactions; they buy them with purchase orders (PO) and quotes and they are larger dollar transactions. Our platform handles that type of business purchasing process that the other marketplaces are not handling.
License management is also lacking in some of these marketplaces. The Partnerpedia Community Marketplace has the ability for businesses to purchase bulk licenses and distribute them across the organization. As well, the partners that publish the software have a way to see where the licenses have been distributed and ensure that there is license compliance going on.
Also, I think a lot of these marketplaces are missing support for a more complex sales process.
What I mean by a more complex sales cycle is the ability for a customer to request information or generate a lead and have that information go into the partner’s sales pipeline and have them work on it as though it were a lead that came in from any other source. Partners then directly interact with that customer through this system in order to generate a quote and get into that PO process where they actually get dollars for the deal.
Based on our field research and experience with IT purchasing it is clear that there is an opportunity for a new style of marketplace to emerge that is focused entirely on business application sales and we are working with our customers to make this vision a reality. The B2B or enterprise software market is ripe to be plucked. Gartner noted that worldwide enterprise software revenue is on pace to surpass $232 billion in 2010 and is projected for continued growth in 2011 with revenue forecast to reach $246.6 billion. And the B2B market for software has represented a larger chunk of the market from a both a license and revenue standpoint, according to research conducted by Michelle Warren Principal, MW Research & Consulting.
So it is clear that the vendors who crack the code on B2B in the app store world will be as or more successful than the B2C marketplaces out there today.
For more information, or to download a free whitepaper visit: www.partnerpedia.com