Avangate’s SkyCommerce Platform has been updated once again, just two months following its Spring release, but this time with major changes the company said addresses a dramatic shift in the way companies and consumers alike are buying.
“Businesses are now buying more like consumers—it has become a business-to-individual buying model,” said Carl Theobald, Avangate CEO. “Spending is shifting away from central IT, yet technology spending is up because the lines of business are now making those buying decisions. The days of the RFP are gone.”
As a result, companies need to move more quickly to be able to innovate to win business, especially online. And that’s what the latest version of SkyCommerce addresses: the need for companies to be agile in their ecommerce, including the ability to build specific sales packages and work with customers worldwide—creating a “customer-centric commerce solution,” according to Avangate.
The latest release includes improvements to Avangate’s subscriptions setup and management for multidimensional usage-paid billing. Also included is expanded customer management, creating more ties to collaborate with the ecosystem, including the ability for vendors to help handle renewals on behalf of their resellers.
“The channel is playing an increasing role for many vendors; resellers are handling solutions while smaller customers are going direct because they have individual needs,” said Michael Ni, CMO and senior vice president of Marketing and Products at Avangate. “The midmarket isn’t being served, so MSPs and other service providers are shifting their game. Meanwhile, vendors want resellers to have the tools and the desire to keep the customer relationship ongoing. With this feature, the vendor can ensure the right customer goes through the reseller—all renewals, etc., come on behalf of the reseller. It’s keeping the reseller engaged without spending the extra time.”
The latest release also offers the ability to conduct transaction at any “touch point,” or place online where a company’s goods or services are listed, advertised or discussed. “Customers are being communicated with at many different touch points—social media, online reviews, etc., and those customers expect a consistent experience and want to buy at any of those touch points, and this release enables customers to transact at every touch point,” Ni said.
Also included is international support, with localization best-practices, localized payments and taxation services, as well as distribution networks to drive sales to international, as well as micro-vertical markets, according to the company.
Ni noted the cloud-based SkyCommerce offering assists the often siloed and disparate systems most companies already have in place. “With SkyCommerce, it’s not about replacing the systems, it’s about aligning them. We provide an orchestration layer that aligns existing systems and incorporates the rules—it feeds the systems what they need to know to make this happen. It centralizes the complexity and business logic that is fragmented today,” he said.
SkyCommerce is aimed at the midmarket, with the midmarket being Avangate’s fastest growing business segment, Theobald said. However, he added, departments or business units in larger enterprises also can benefit from the agility that SkyCommerce can offer.
“In the midmarket, we have folks that are big enough that they should be taking advantage of online commerce opportunities but they can’t or don’t know how, or they don’t have the IT budget and/or personnel, especially if want to go international,” Theobald said. “For the larger guys, it’s all about the speed. They need to be more innovative and do it more quickly without having to wait for IT to catch up to them.”