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More than 3,000 partners use the AppSmart marketplace, and more than half are active users.
April 19, 2022
AppSmart is enhancing self-service tools as its executives encourage partners to sell more SaaS-based offerings to their customers.
San Francisco-based AppSmart recently unveiled Experience 360, which includes self-service tools for quoting, ordering and commissions. AppSmart has also added account management support as a service, in which its team takes responsibility for implementation and customer support.
Renée Bergeron, senior vice president and general manager, said the updates allow sales partners to operate more autonomously.
AppSmart’s Renée Bergeron
“We’re a software company and platform company, so we’re leveraging our platform as the basis for everything the adviser does. We’re giving them all of the self-service tools and capabilities if they want to operate in a self-service mode. We still have the entire team to do assisted sales for them,” she told Channel Futures. ” … They’re used to operating on platforms, whether as a consumer or in business. They like having the ability to go quote at their fingertips without having to talk to someone.”
Bergeron said the tools can get partners the quick quotes they need for simple solutions. However, she said AppSmart is also trying to accommodate partners as they handle larger, more complex deals.
“A lot of partners are solving some complex problems. We have all of the pre-sales engineering capabilities across connectivity and cloud to help them figure out the right architecture and the best solutions to solve their customer’s problem. And then we can do a very specialized quote on these complex solutions,” she said.
Bergeron also shared data on how partners and their customers have been adopting AppSmart’s technology marketplace. She said more than 3,000 partners are on the marketplace. Moreover, she said more than half of those partners are active users.
“We see them on the marketplace every week, every month,” she said.
MOReCOMM’s Jay Morris
Jay Morris, chief aggregation officer of MOReCOMM Solutions, said the value of the marketplace approach differs based on the customers and partners using it. For example, he said some customers – such as larger enterprises – may require more information that requires the partner to interface with a person from the supplier. And some tech advisers, like Morris, will need to provide their customers with quotes with more vendors than those that are on the AppSmart marketplace. However, Morris said transactional and automated sales customer purchasing is the way of the future.
“It just depends on the customers partners are working on and the type of information that those customers require. But we’re headed to an automated world, and it’s going to continue to get better, and the systems are going to continue to improve, and the information is going to become broader and more complete as time goes on. It’s great for some right now. It doesn’t fit every tool bag, but it all had to start somewhere, and we’re headed in the right direction,” he said.
By Bergeron’s account, the future is already here, with marketplace activity doubling in the last year.
AppSmart has emphasized the cloud, SaaS and security providers it has enlisted for its 600-plus supplier marketplace. She cited Gartner data that the connectivity market growth is flat and the mobility space is only growing at a 2-3% CAGR. On the other hand, Gartner last year forecast nearly 22% year-over-year growth for public cloud services.
And some traditional agents, she said, have leaned into the change.
“I think it’s still early days for the agents that have focused historically on connectivity, but from [first quarter] this year to [first quarter] last year, the business has 400% growth,” she said.
Bergeron said AppSmart has set up “success plans” with the partners that want to adopt SaaS and IaaS offerings. And she said those partners are succeeding.
“All of them are shattering milestones for us. They start with one solution and five customers, and once they see that in effect, then they’re moving to all their customers and moving to the second solution,” she said.
Read more about:Agents
Senior News Editor, Channel Futures
James Anderson is a news editor for Channel Futures. He interned with Informa while working toward his degree in journalism from Arizona State University, then joined the company after graduating. He writes about SD-WAN, telecom and cablecos, technology services distributors and carriers. He has served as a moderator for multiple panels at Channel Partners events.
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