How can VARs find a range of SaaS applications for their end-customers? The answer could be SaaSMAX -- an online marketplace for the channel.
For a small startup company, SaaSMAX sure knows how to make a lot of noise. And I mean that as a compliment. The cloud marketplace -- which offers third-party SaaS applications to VARs -- has a growing ecosystem of partners. The company's message seems to be echoing -- regularly -- across all the major social media channels. So what's in it for channel partners?
CEO Dina Moskowitz developed her concept for the company about three years ago. Her key thought: A lot of SaaS companies and VARs don't know how to reach each other. That's where SaaSMAX comes in.
The resulting marketplace pitch: SaaSMAX claims to be the "ultimate Value Add SaaS Marketplace for business cloud software vendors, resellers and software buyers." Resellers and SaaS vendors can "manage deal registrations, affiliate tools and commissions, all in one place." SaaSMAX also offers targeted marketing campaigns and support to its marketplace participants.
"App vendors are coming from around the world," Moskowitz recently told Talkin' Cloud. "One just signed up from india and that’s our first. They are pretty much finding us."
That's not surprising. Moskowitz seems to be popping up at a range of IT channel events in North America. SaaSMAX also is very active on social media and also hosts numerous educational webcasts. The company's message always seems to be echoing across the Web. Once you discover the company's website, you'll find that it's certainly influenced by the consumerization of IT.
Still, SaaSMAX is not a market giant. Last I heard, the company had about 10 employees. I don't have a feel for their revenue growth rate or long-term financial strategy.
In some ways it's easy to compare SaaSMAX to emerging cloud services aggregators like Ingram Micro Cloud and Tech Data TDCloud. But I think each of those companies is addressing cloud channel challenges from different angles.
Both Tech Data and Ingram Micro offer a lot of hands-on cloud guidance to their VARs and MSPs, much in the way they support partners that resell on-premises hardware and software.
In contrast, I think SaaSMAX wants to greatly automate the dance between VARs and SaaS application providers -- similar to how eBay automates the dance between online buyers and sellers. Yes, SaaSMAX will offer some education to partners -- but generally speaking, I think it will be a one-to-many approach -- like the company's webcasts, for instance.
So where does SaaSMAX go from here? I sense some Q4 2013 moves are coming... and we'll be watching...