Channel online communities developer Partnerpedia has launched Community Marketplace, a platform to help vendors develop and run their own app stores to help link their partner communities with applications and services to sell with potential customers.
A turnkey software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution, Community Marketplace lets companies provide their own branded online marketplace around partner communities to help customers easily find partner-built solutions.
Sam Liu, vice-president of marketing with Partnerpedia, said there is increasing interest in the vendor community around a vendor-driven go to market channel for their partners. The success of Apple and its app store has other vendors taking note, and Liu said the secret sauce for Apple’s success was its solution partners, and the unique model it developed to market and sell their applications online.
“Apple, the Google Android marketplace, they built those themselves for north of $2 million and in 18 to 24 months,” said Liu. “We’re providing a white-label cloud solution that can be deployed in four months at a cost that’s a fraction of the go to market.”
The Partnerpedia solution is designed for large companies selling through the channel with solution partners to other businesses, said Liu. And it’s different from a consumer-focused app store, he added. While a consumer would pay for an app with a credit card and download it as is, a B2B app store needs to support lead management, custom development and service support, not to mention inquires.
Liu sees the app store model gaining popularity in the business market, particularly with the coming deluge of tablet devices set top hit the market, many of which will land with business users.
“The marketplace is a way for all partners to monetize on the investment they’ve made in a vendor’s brand,” said Liu.
Many vendors take a percentage of sale (negotiated between the vendor and the partner) on the marketplace, or charge for premium listings.
While Partnerpedia is currently focused on brining Community Marketplace to enterprise vendors, Liu said the platform can scale down to the mid-market as well. He added that, over time, he could see a larger vendor agnostic app store develop to leverage Partnerpedia own channel community initiatives.
“That environment might be better suited to SMBs that don’t have the resources to host their own, but want to participate,” said Liu.
Follow Jeff Jedras on Twitter: @JeffJedrasCDN.