Hyperscaler marketplaces offer new avenue to reach government customers

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Rapid access to technology coupled with valuable solutions providers can speed agency procurements, writes immixGroup program development manager Tara Franzonello.

The pace of technology continues to move at lightning speed. Keeping up with the latest technological advancement in areas such as cybersecurity and data protection, for example, is critical for government agencies.

To help agencies keep pace, hyperscaler marketplaces have emerged as important platforms in selling technology to the government.

Hyperscaler marketplaces have evolved during the past several years to provide considerable flexibility in public sector procurement, and even more so now as hyperscalers have included IT distributors as part of the solution.

With the addition of the value-added skills that distributors bring to the acquisition of critical technology, hyperscaler marketplaces are becoming an increasingly crucial way to procure for government agencies.

Why are marketplaces so valuable to government customers?

Streamlined procurement. It’s no secret that traditional government procurement can be slow and bureaucratic. Marketplaces can make the procurement process faster by providing a centralized platform where government buyers can browse, compare and purchase technology solutions. Many government contract vehicles can now be used as part of a marketplace transaction.

Compliance and standardization. Government marketplaces ensure that listed products meet specific standards and regulatory requirements. This helps to reduce the risk associated with purchasing new technology. Government buyers can be assured that listed products are compliant with security, accessibility and operational standards. For IT vendors, being part of a marketplace means their products and processes meet these essential criteria, which might otherwise be a barrier to entry to the government sector.

Faster adoption of innovation. Marketplaces facilitate quick adoption of the latest technologies by providing a platform for agencies to easily access innovative solutions. This is particularly important in areas like cybersecurity, cloud computing and AI, where staying updated with technology is crucial for operational success and security.

Access to the technology ecosystem. The technology ecosystem is critical to successful solution delivery and deployment. Distributors, aggregators, resellers, MSPs and other solution providers all play a crucial role in the technology landscape of the public sector. Recognizing the critical part these solution providers play in technology purchases, marketplaces now accommodate partners with programs such as AWS’ Channel Partner Private Offer (CPPO). Accommodating the partner community means enhanced customer support and service.

Why use marketplaces to sell to government customers?

Increased visibility for vendors. With marketplaces, technology vendors gain visibility to many government buyers. These platforms give vendors an opportunity to showcase their products to potential buyers. This is important for smaller or newer companies that might otherwise struggle to gain attention among government buyers.

Simplified sales cycle. The government sales cycle can be very long, requiring numerous checkpoints and approvals. With assistance from distributors and aggregators, marketplaces significantly simplify this cycle. Because procurement through a marketplace follows predetermined rules and processes that both vendors and government buyers understand, it reduces the time and effort required to close sales. This can lead to faster decision-making and implementation of technology needs in government agencies.

What is the value of distribution in marketplaces?

Market entry strategy. Distributors can help vendors develop and execute a market entry strategy. This includes identifying target customer segments, aligning the vendor’s offerings with market needs and positioning products to maximize visibility and appeal.

Operational support. Distributors can handle many operational aspects associated with listing and selling marketplaces.

This includes registration, managing product listings, pricing configurations and promotional strategies and technical support. With this support, vendors can focus more on product development and less on administrative functions. Additionally, public sector distributors can provide access to government contract vehicles.

Training and education. Educating vendors about the best practices for operating in the marketplace is another critical area in which distributors can add value. For example, training can include technical services, sales strategies and customer engagement tactics.

Access to additional resources. Distributors often have deep relationships with marketplaces and can provide vendors with access to additional resources, such as technical support and promotional credits. This access can give vendors a competitive edge in developing and refining their offerings.

The future is bright for public sector contracting officers whose goals include streamlining procurement efforts. Government hyperscaler marketplaces can help with market research and product and services comparisons. They allow procurement professionals to access partner information and appropriate contract vehicles.

Vendors should get started now to make sure they’re properly positioned for this approach to the procurement ecosystem.

Tara Franzonello is program development manager for immixGroup, the public sector business of Arrow Electronics. immixGroup delivers mission-driven results through innovative technology solutions for public sector IT. Visit www.immigroup.com for more information.