Leveraging SaaS Marketplaces

26 February 2023

When we started to build Cirrus Backup for Microsoft 365, we knew we wanted to make it as easy as possible for customers to find the right plan, purchase it, and start protecting their data.  

Simplicity is one of the fundamental cores of the platform.  

But how do you make it simple to buy something online which is consumption-based (per-user pricing) and available globally, including in markets where we don’t necessarily have a commercial presence, with minimal overhead? We didn’t want to have to build complex payment and fulfillment systems. 

So we didn’t. 

We worked closely with Microsoft to have our products listed and transactable on their Azure Commercial Marketplace, and we worked with large distributors like Ingram Micro to list and transact through their Cloud Marketplace. The two approaches are quite different and work differently for different Cirrus resellers. More on that later. For now, let’s just call all these options ‘the marketplace’. 

Where these systems are the same, is that they allow a customer or partner to easily sign up for Cirrus online, purchase a plan through familiar marketplace tools and get protected in minutes, without time consuming or complex procurement processes. Trust me, as organisations grow, their Procurement Handbook gets heavier, and the red tape keeps on coming. But if you already purchase from the likes of Microsoft and Ingram, then purchasing Cirrus is just a tick in a box. Leave the Procurement Handbook on the shelf to gather dust. 

Once you are onboarded to the Cirrus platform, we take care of protecting your data. At the end of each month, our system sends a report on protected accounts to the marketplace, and the marketplace bills you, just like it already does for your Microsoft 365 licences, your Azure consumption, and other SaaS products you consume. It’s just a line item on your bill. 

Now I mentioned that the two marketplace approaches work differently for different partners. There are so many permutations, we might need another post to cover that, but for now here is a simple overview: 

Purchasing via a distributor marketplace such as Ingram Micro Cloud Marketplace is perfect for our Managed Service Provider partners, who likely already have an account with Ingram. As they already purchase SaaS products, purchasing Cirrus for their customers here will be second nature. 

Purchasing via the Azure Marketplace depends on the type of partner making the transaction. For CSP Indirect Provider partners, we can create ‘private offers’ which they can then sell to their customer base. They allocate licences in the Microsoft Partner Centre, bill their customers in the manner that suits them, and are billed for Cirrus usage directly from Microsoft (rather than CT4). This billing can also be allocated to an Enterprise Agreement with Microsoft Azure Consumption Commitment – another large topic for another day! 

Whichever method is used, purchasing via marketplace makes the process simple and seamless, and doesn’t interfere with your existing billing methods. 

View Cirrus on the Azure Marketplace via this link, or search 'Cirrus' in the Ingram Micro Marketplace.