Parallels APS Connect event 2014
Twice each year leading independent software vendors (ISVs) and Parallels Automation (PA) Partners are brought together to discuss the latest trends in cloud services, what is and isn’t working and how to successfully go to market with innovative technology. It is an invaluable opportunity to meet and mingle with vendors, service providers and thought leaders in the cloud technology space.
Often this event provides a unique opportunity to generate interest in a solution and secure new distribution partners to bring products to market. This November was the largest event yet, with 23 organizations presenting solutions to the 12+ gathered Parallels Partners. The format allowed 20 minutes for each ISV to introduce their service, outline the value proposition and present their go to market strategy. Four ISVs presented one after the other with a 30 minute break then provided for networking.
Some key trends and learnings from the event included:
- While Office 365 continues to be a dominant force in the hosted email space worldwide, it is telling that out of all units sold only a small percentage included ancillary products/services. With large distribution partners offering markedly similar offerings it is important for distributors to differentiate their offering by providing added value. Many ISVs market their products as key Added Revenue Per Unit (ARPU) multipliers to mailboxes.
- The current prevailing marketing strategy of many ISVs and service providers tend to revolve around technical and functionality-driven material, targeted towards sophisticated buyers and IT professionals. With purchasing decisions increasingly made across the business it is important to shift focus to use-cases, solution selling and value proposition language.
- Customers and partners continue to see flexibility in deployment as important considerations to make during their evaluation of ISVs. This includes data jurisdiction considerations in regards to EU customers, white-labelling options to increase product ownership, multi-tier deployment capabilities and general ease of use and low learning curve for sales reps.
- Data jurisdiction for hosted service is an issue. With the continued question-marks posed over just who has access to Office 365 data it is important for customers in the EU especially to know their data sits outside of the United States.
- ISVs with stellar products and services are only halfway to the finish line. In order for a Parallels Partner to consider adding a new product to their portfolio there must be a fully certified and tested APS Package available for use. The current standard for these integrations is APS 2.0
The market and demand for cloud services continue to grow, with companies looking for new ways to deliver solutions to their customers and maintain a competitive edge in the marketplace. As the core offerings of large service providers such as web hosting, email and telephony become commoditized, it will fall to unique and innovative ISV solutions to provide that differentiation and additional value.
For more information on APS connect click here.
Image: This years APS Connect was held at the Passenger Terminal in downtown Amsterdam.