Nowadays, it appears that everything related to “cloud” is becoming available “as a service” – desktop as a service, video as a service, and even robots as a service! Things are really starting to get interesting!
What’s truly great about these cloud-based application options is that each of them are all available individually, allowing businesses to consume or procure only what they want and only when then need it.
But, what if you could combine some of these services and create complimentary bundled solutions that boost your offerings and add some real value? Well, the answer to that is… yes, you can!
“Bundling” is the combination of complimentary things (products, services, or both) in a package that usually provides a price break when purchased together. It can also mean combining two or more different products or services into one offer. For example, you can get your home and car insurance on just one plan, which usually results in a lower premium.
If you’ve been to a fast food restaurant in the past couple of years, you probably noticed that they have started combining multiple items to deliver a bundled “value” meal. Communication and entertainment providers now bundle products to give their customers phone, internet, and cable TV services. And they even bundle multiple channels together to create their own bundles – essentially a bundle within a bundle! These bundles are designed to work together to provide a solution that meets consumers’ needs, makes choices easier, and usually saves them money.
So, the idea of bundling has been around for a while and is now making it into the cloud technology world.
Combining Complimentary Cloud Apps
As I mentioned before, most traditional cloud-based apps are readily available as a single instance; and those instances can make sense as a single-use type application. But now cloud solution providers are beginning to combine complimentary apps that result in a better, more complete, solution in which the whole can be of greater value than the individual pieces.
CSPs can learn a lot from the bundles offered by the vast assortment of recurring revenue businesses out there today. The bundling principle really applies here, because cloud apps that can be bundled/priced together and deliver a better value are suitable for bundling. Here are some additional bundling examples that make sense.
- Software: Specific application options that are bundled together and procured as a bundle are among the easiest to recognize. Microsoft was an early pioneer when they first offered Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Access as a bundle.
- Consumables: Everything from shaving products, to dishwashing detergent, to multi-color print cartridges are being sold not only in physical bundles, but also as bundled services offered through a subscription model.
- Services: A managed services provider can bundle backup monitoring services to their already-existing remote monitoring of an enterprise desktop service.
Here Are Five Reasons to Start Bundling Cloud
So why should you consider creating a cloud application bundle in the first place? Well, it might be an entry point into a new account, an avenue to add value to existing offerings, or a way to help boost reoccurring revenues. Here are five more reasons to start bundling your cloud offerings.
- IT decision-makers need your guidance and expertise on what applications should be used and if they will work well together.
- Solution bundles quickly and easily identify a set of products that fit a company’s overall business needs without them having to slog through time-consuming research of each cloud application.
- When built correctly, bundles provide a user-friendly method of increasing productivity, since the applications are designed together to improve workflow and ease of use when performing routine tasks.
- Bundles can help drive sales because they make customers’ purchase decisions simpler and provide a bigger benefit resulting from the combined solutions value.
- Customers appreciate working with a single source for buying and implementing their services.
The bundling of cloud applications makes things easier by creating a suite of applications that supports the needs of a business opportunity. Bundles can also provide value to the vendor as well, since they enable them to leverage economies of scale in sales and marketing efforts, as well as the distribution channel.
Arrow also knows the power of solution bundles. And we are always actively working with our vendor base to create cross-vendor bundled solutions that include detailed playbooks for supporting our partners and their end-customers.
Arrow fulfills a unique role in the cloud services market by aggregating cloud build and/or resale solutions from leading global vendors into one, easy-to-use platform: the ArrowSphere marketplace. Here, value-added resellers and managed service providers can quickly quote, order, provision, and bill directly from ArrowSphere. Resellers can also integrate a broad menu of Arrow value-add service wrappers to meet almost any end-customer need.
If you think cloud bundles might make sense to add to your portfolio, drop me a quick note or visit the Arrow Cloud Solutions Portal or ArrowCloud.com to learn about our new Solutions Playbooks that are exclusive to our Arrow Partner base.
By Kirk Bohn
Last modified: May 3, 2019