Originally published on Vertical Systems Reseller by Angela Diffly — April 07, 2015
Recently described by a top industry analyst as providing a yeoman’s service to SaaS suppliers and resellers, SaaSMAX burst onto the channel scene less than three years ago. Since then, the company has evolved to become a substantial organized marketplace, helping SaaS companies recruit reseller partners, while assisting resellers of all types to identify and do business with top SaaS applications. VSR sits down with SaaSMAX CEO Dina Moskowitz to get the scoop on how this unique business model is connecting resellers to SaaS companies, and creating win-win partnership opportunities for both.
VSR: Tell us how SaaSMAX came to be? What problem were you looking to solve?
DM: We saw three trends colliding, which breathed life into SaaSMAX when it first came onto the scene in 2012. First, the emerging SaaS sector was unaware of the IT channel as a whole, yet needed to reach Main Street (and global) customers. Second, the channel had no way to identify new and emerging SaaS applications coming to market. Finally, SaaS vendors and channel partners didn’t fully understand how to do business with each other, given that tracking commissions and deal management required a new paradigm of processes and tools. We recognized that both SaaS/ISV providers and partners would benefit greatly by coming together, but neither entity had a starting point from which to begin connecting the dots.
VSR: Tell us how SaaSMAX works today, and give us a little more insight into the database itself.
DM: We are focused on more effective digital marketing options, events and personalized matchmaking in order to provide channel partners with high-quality, efficient means to discover, learn about, evaluate and do business with SaaS providers. Most of the SaaS vendors in the SaaSMAX Marketplace are not going to be found in a traditional IT distributor’s catalog or cloud infrastructure marketplace. It’s a real value-add to the channel, not an overlap with current distribution options. We believe SaaSMAX currently has the largest catalog anywhere of channel-friendly SaaS applications with hundreds to choose from, whether by type, the verticals they serve, the ecosystems they participate in and even by the type of partner programs they offer. Plus, we’re seeing commissions in the range of twenty to fifty percent! At least two-dozen more vendors and five times as many solution providers have joined in the first quarter of 2015. The SaaSMAX matchmaking team internally boasts that we have at least three and as many as twenty SaaS applications for any channel partner to add to their line of business in 2015, offering new recurring revenue streams. For approved resellers, there’s no cost to join.
We utilize automated processes combined with human matchmaking participation to optimize the outcomes. We also spend the time to educate our SaaS vendors on how to communicate and engage with, as well as incentivize, partners. In fact, last week one of our newest vendors called us to let us know that within just a couple of weeks of getting their profile on SaaSMAX, three of our personal reseller introductions had already signed up as partners.
VSR: How does SaaSMAX fit into today’s channel dynamic, and how do you see it evolving?
DM: SaaSMAX is broadening the channel. With the prolific number of SaaS applications available and still coming to market, the types of companies and individuals that comprise the channel are expanding to include non-IT, Line of Business advisors. In addition to the traditional channel — VARs, MSPs, agents and IT solution providers — SaaSMAX is working with non-traditional providers, like CRM consultants, Google apps resellers, Salesforce integrators, SEO/SEM consultants, digital marketing and email management consultants, HR and financial consultants and environmental consultants. We expect these companies to become more relevant contributors inside our channel ecosystem in the coming years.