Understanding AWS Marketplace

by Alexander Weiß

The Amazon cloud is not just a service you can consume, it is more than that. Around the Amazon cloud a whole ecosystem has evolved. One feature of the ecosystem is, that you cannot only act as a consumer but also as a vendor. For example you can offer your SaaS services on the AWS Marketplace. In the following posts I’ll explain what AWS Marketplace is and how it is working.

Your first question probably is: what can I sell or buy in AWS Marketplace. Well, there are three different types of products:

  • For-pay software: You deliver a pre-configured AMI and your customer has to pay for using the AMI. You can set the price and the accounting can be done hourly or monthly. If you offer your software on more than one instance type you can set different prices for each one. The buyer has to manage the AMI himself, so he needs some technical knowledge or IT support.
  • Free or Bring your own License software: (was für eine Leistung erbringt der anbieter??) If the product is free, you don’t charge for the software use. If a license is needed for running the software, the user has to own the appropriate license. Here again, the buyer is responsible for the administration, so technical knowledge or IT support is advised.
  • Software as a Service: The seller runs the Software on the AWS infrastructure. The Amazon Marketplace guides the user to the website of the service. Accounting lies in the responsibility of the seller and the seller has to manage the AWS infrastructure
AWS Marketplace homepage

AWS Marketplace homepage

The requirements

The first requirement is quite obvious: The software must run on AWS infrastructure and it should be mature and ready for productive use. If you want to beta test your software, AWS Marketplace is not the right place for you. Besides that you have to keep the software up to date and malware free. Amazon also expects a service of good quality when it comes to customer relations. You should have a record of satisfied customers and customer support should be available. Your business should also operate in a clearly defined way and base on ethics.

Besides these organizational needs there are also some technical ones. The operating system of the AMI has to be Linux and the AMI should be backed by EBS. Windows support for AMIs is in development.

Benefits of AWS Marketplace for Buyers

  • Selection: You have access to a wide variety of offers. They are reviewed by the Amazon Marketplace Team and rated by fellow customers.
  • Simple Provisioning: There is probably no faster way to get your desired software package up and running. It just takes a few minutes to have a fully functional service.
  • Simplified Billing: No extra bills for the services you purchased on the AWS Marketplaces. You just get one bill from Amazon. It includes the items you purchased directly from Amazon and those you bought from third parties through the Amazon Marketplace.

Benefits of AWS Marketplace for Sellers

  • Product Discoverability: If you sell your product on AWS Marketplace you’ll benefit from the marketing efforts
    Amazon undertakes. Raising the awareness of Amazon Marketplace is one of the goals Amazons marketing has. Another advantage for you is that you offer your service on a well-known platform.
  • New users: As soon as your product is available in AWS Marketplace hundreds of thousands  of customers have access to your offerings. Your marketing efforts do not have to be restricted to a specific region, because the AWS Marketplace user base is spread over the whole planet.
  • Simplified Software Delivery: Putting your product into Amazon Marketplace is effortless. It can be done within seconds. You can list your pre-built and pre-configured Amazon Machine Image with one click in the store.
  • Simplified Billing: Amazon provides a full billing service. They take are of writing the bills, metering, collections and disbursements. Utility billing models are available. Using them doesn’t require developing new code.

I’m going to stop now, because I don’t want this post to get overly lengthy. In my following posts I’ll write about how to sell your software via AWS Marketplace and how you can buy software there.

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