As a founder of a company, investing all my time and energy in a brand new business, my partners, customers and friends are asking me why I believe so strongly about the emerging B2B Cloud Marketplaces economy such as GCP Marketplace or Salesforce AppExchange. Even though the B2B Cloud Marketplaces economy is already a very big business (USD 3 billion in 2021), the Cloud economy is much more famous for its IaaS resources services than Marketplaces. Cloud Marketplaces are still obscure to most people, even in the BtoB IT industry. Let me explain why I develop such a conviction.
In the past, I co-founded a software company publishing applications onto the store of ServiceNow . Being the very first European company dedicated to the ServiceNow store, we became noticed. Several companies came to see us to help them to develop their integration apps with ServiceNow cloud in order to sell them through the Marketplace. As a software vendor ourselves, we did not promote such a service but nevertheless they recognise us as experts in the cloud marketplace field. We were happy to help them, working much more like a partner rather than a service provider. We managed on their behalf the entire process from coding to helping them to sell their products. We even had software vendors coming to see us to rewrite from top to bottom their entire PHP coded software which was a 15-year old technology. They wanted us to replatform their Intellectual Property (IP) on a PaaS and needed advice and expertise to do so.
After all those successful collaborations, the business case for Bravenn was slowly emerging, helping companies to publish their app onto Cloud Marketplaces with our technical expertise and GTM (GoToMarket) know-how. Software vendors needed help and were recognising our value and expertise.
In the meantime, as we were managing our own products onto the store, we could see how the Marketplace was attracting leads from all over the world. Even though we were based in France, our leads were not only from France but also from Australia, USA, UK, Spain, Germany, Singapore, etc. From day one, we were addressing the world through the pane of the Marketplace. It was truly amazing to be able to demonstrate the value of our products to an Australian bank or Los Angeles local council! Of course, our products and services had to be in our customers local language but the fact that the actual contractual and financial transaction was through our partner (ServiceNow in our case) meant we did not have to worry about being registered as a supplier with the customer procurement organisation or wondering if our prospect was really interested in our products. By definition, prospects of the cloud marketplace are customers of the cloud and therefore very qualified leads. In short, the whole Marketplace selling process was simpler and shorter, enabling us to be truly global and efficient.
Our company was then acquired by a large company which gave us the freedom to start over, with a new business plan, Bravenn, the marketplace gateway was born.