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AWS Marketplace vs. Azure Marketplace: The Differences

If you’re an ISV thinking about listing your solution on a hyperscaler cloud marketplace, you’re probably comparing AWS Marketplace vs. Microsoft’s Azure Marketplace

While both marketplaces offer ISVs an opportunity to unlock new revenue streams, Azure and AWS have their differences. Here’s a look at what the two hyperscaler marketplaces have in common, as well as how they’re different. 

 

Both AWS and Azure Marketplaces are hyperscaler marketplaces

Because both AWS and Azure are hyperscaler marketplaces, the process of listing, co-selling, becoming transactable, and buying software is similar – though both marketplaces’ have their nuances. 

 

Azure Partner Solutions Designations vs. AWS Partner Paths

Azure allows ISVs to become certified in 9 different Partner Designation categories, and even more Specializations. 

AWS has a similar program called AWS Partner Paths, where ISVs can earn a “AWS Partner Qualified Software” Badge. The 5 categories include Software, Hardware, Services, Training, and Distribution. 

Joining one of these programs is the first step in proving your unique value proposition in the target hyperscaler ecosystem.

 

Both marketplaces allow you to make private offers 

One big advantage of selling via the marketplace of  AWS and/or Azure is the ability to make a private offer. Private offers are customizable, and as you probably guessed by the name, private. This allows ISVs to make an offer to customers that meets their unique requirements. It’s a good option for sales with complex implementations and allows you to move beyond a one-size fits all selling model. 

 

Both Azure and AWS have similar fees to partner

Selling through any marketplace, hyperscaler or SaaS marketplaces, requires that a percentage of each transaction is paid back to the marketplace host. The good news is these rates continue to drop as competition to attract ISVs to each marketplace increases. Azure recently dropped its commercial marketplace fee to 3%, from 20%, in 2021. AWS’s fee is between 1.5%-3%. SaaS marketplaces are still fairly high in some cases (Salesforce, for example, is still hovering at 15%). 

 

AWS and Azure offer tools to help ISVs thrive

By working with AWS and Azure, you will receive access to their security tools, GTM resources, extensive documentation, and more. You can also unlock credits and incentives by participating in qualifying programs. Navigating the content and finding what you require in the moment of need can be complex so asking your Partner Develop Manager (PDM) or a partner for assistance can help streamline.

 

AWS and Azure have similar app offerings

Both hyperscalers have a wide range of app categories, including networking, storage, SaaS, security, databases, DevOps, Internet of Things (IoT), serverless computing, machine learning, and AI. For ISVs, this allows you to narrow your focus and ensure prospects and partners can find your listing based on their requirements. 

You will find more solutions targeted towards gaming on Azure, which isn’t surprising, given the company’s investment in Xbox and acquisition of Activision Blizzard. Meanwhile, on AWS, solutions for retail and eCommerce are more common, which also makes sense, given the tech giant’s hugely popular B2C marketplace. 

 

Both AWS and Azure have accelerator programs for ISVs

AWS and Azure both believe in ISVs, which is why they have competitive programs to help drive success: AWS ISV Accelerate and Azure’s ISV Success Program.

An accelerator program helps ISVs improve their solution and build a co-selling strategy quicker, with the support of the hyperscaler’s in-house resources.

 

AWS ISV Accelerate

For AWS ISV Accelerate, you will need to complete the following steps:

  • Join the AWS Partner Network
  • Enroll in the Software Path
  • Review the extensive list of requirements (e.g., you will need to have 2 customer references and 5 launched opportunities from the past 12 months, sign an NDA, and more)
 

Azure’s ISV Success program

To be eligible for Azure’s ISV Success Program, you need to complete the following:

  • Publish an offer to the marketplace
  • Complete your billing profile, which includes setting up a $1,500 fee
  • Meet eligibility requirements, such as having a B2B app that is built on or integrated with Microsoft Cloud, a commitment to  spend 3 months in app development within the next 12 months, and agreeing to Microsoft terms and conditions 

 

AWS Marketplace is older than the Azure Marketplace.

AWS Marketplace launched 2012, so in some ways, Amazon has a leg up over Microsoft. Azure trailed closely behind, launching in 2014. As of 2024, the Azure marketplace had over 41K products and services listed and AWS just over 42K. 

 

Co-sell ready and becoming transactable has different meanings on AWS and Azure

On AWS, being co-sell ready means you are already transactable on the marketplace. At this point, AWS AEs can theoretically start selling on your behalf, but you will need to put in hard work and meet certain revenue targets to access an AWS PDM (partner development manager), who can introduce your solution to AWS AEs. 

On Azure, the process of becoming co-sell ready is different. Being co-sell ready is a first tier of readiness. While your offer is live on the Marketplace, you have not become IP co-sell ready, which requires:

  • Hitting revenue benchmark of $100k in a continuous 12-month period
  • Passed Microsoft technical validation
  • Submit a reference architecture diagram for review
  • Become transactable on the Azure marketplace

To get Azure AEs attention, you will want to reach IP co-sell ready status.

 

The co-selling teams at AWS and Azure are slightly different

Whether you’re working with AWS or Azure, you will want to invest in building your in-house cloud alliance team, who will navigate through the marketplace ecosystem for your company. 

With AWS, you will want the attention of a PDM (partner development manager), who can introduce you to AWS AEs. Your PDM is your point of contact within the AWS ecosystem. 

With Azure, you might work with a CSM (customer support manager), as well as various partner development managers. Azure has three types of PDMs:

  • PDM-R:  Partner Development Manager-Recruit
  • IPDM: Inside Partner Development Managers
  • PDM: Partner Development Managers

While with AWS you will work with just one PDM, Azure allows you to work with multiple PDMs, who introduce your solution to Microsoft sales reps. Microsoft PDMs usually have very narrow focus (e.g., by company size or by vertical), so it’s unlikely that you will work with the same PDM on co-sell deals.

Although each of the main hyperscaler marketplaces are unique, the value is the same. Listing and co-selling through these partners increases your audience, unlocks access to incentives, committed spend and helps to streamline your sales process. 

 

Invisory for AWS and Azure Marketplaces

Invisory helps ISVs of all sizes and maturity levels navigate the complex world of listing and going to market on Azure, AWS and Salesforce marketplaces. If you’d like to learn more please reach out.  

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