Software as a Service (SaaS) and API Vendors Can Offer Unified Billing on AWS with SaaS Subscriptions
Do you sell a software as a service (SaaS) or application programming interface (API) solution running on AWS?
If so, you can now offer your solution directly to AWS customers with a new feature from AWS Marketplace, SaaS Subscriptions. SaaS is one of the fastest growing software delivery mechanisms. With SaaS Subscriptions, AWS Marketplace makes it easy for your customers to quickly create an account while reusing their existing AWS billing relationship.
As a recent Forrester Consulting study commissioned by AWS showed, sellers have chosen SaaS solutions because it lets them be more agile, reach new customers, and lower the cost of application development. Now, for the first time, sellers can take advantage of the full suite of AWS Marketplace features, including customer acquisition, unified billing, and reporting. This feature is available to any SaaS or API seller who runs their application on AWS and follows AWS security best practices. Members of the AWS Partner Network (APN) in the Advanced tier will automatically be eligible to list their products, but any software vendor can request to become a seller.
What does this mean for customers?
SaaS Subscriptions give your customers simpler procurement through AWS Marketplace. After clicking “Subscribe”, buyers are taken directly to your product’s registration page. Buyers then register using your existing registration flow and can quickly begin using your product without the friction of creating a new payment relationship. As the buyer uses your product, you provide us with metering records reflecting that usage and the SaaS usage charges will appear on a unified bill from AWS Marketplace, alongside any other services they buy directly from AWS.
What does this mean for APN Partners who want to sell their solutions as SaaS on AWS Marketplace?
As a SaaS seller, you get increased visibility to help reach over 1 million AWS customers, including over 100,000 active customers who have chosen AWS Marketplace due to the ease of finding, purchasing and deploying solutions. Customers can quickly review your end-user licensing agreement, subscribe through AWS Marketplace, and receive a single bill for all their software purchases through AWS Marketplace.
How do I get started?
We’ve made it as easy as possible for you to deliver your solution as a SaaS offering. Once you have established your AWS Marketplace Seller account, you’ll need to select a single billing dimension. You can choose from the existing options (users, hosts, data, units, tiers, or bandwidth) or request an additional dimension. You can also define multiple price points (called variants) within this dimension (for example, admin, power, and read-only users within the user category). To get started with your listing, log into the AWS Marketplace Management Portal and navigate to the “Listings” tab. To create a new SaaS listing, choose “SaaS Subscriptions” from the dropdown box under “Create a New Product.” Define your category, variants, pricing, and other listing data and submit it to AWS Marketplace once you are ready. You will receive a limited, preview version of your listing to test against before the listing is published live to the AWS Marketplace website.
Next, you’ll need to write code to modify your SaaS application to receive a token with your customer identifier and product code during registration. You’ll also have to modify your application to send hourly metering records that capture your customer’s usage. You can download the AWS software development kit (SDK) that will help you format your metering records in any of the AWS supported languages. You can find more information about the steps necessary to modify your application in the AWS Marketplace SaaS Seller Integration guide, or reach out to your AWS Category Manager to connect with a solutions architect to help you with the process.
How do I learn more?
To learn more about selling your product as a SaaS solution, or how to modify your product to become a SaaS solution, be sure to visit https://aws.amazon.com/marketplace/saas/.
 The ISV Business Case for Building SaaS on Amazon Web Services (AWS), an August 2016 commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Amazon Web Services