Using Purchase Order Management for AWS Marketplace SaaS contracts to simplify software procurement
Many AWS customers use Purchase Orders (POs) to procure products and services as well as approve invoices for payment as part of their procure-to-pay process. POs are often used to document the details of goods and services being purchased, including products, prices, and quantities. They can also assist buyers with invoice matching and processing interdepartmental chargebacks.
In July 2020, AWS introduced the ability to configure a single PO number to be used for all AWS Marketplace transactions. Customers have since told us they want more flexibility to use separate PO numbers for large transactions within AWS Marketplace.
With the launch of Purchase Order Management for SaaS Contracts, AWS Marketplace unlocks the ability for buyers to enter PO numbers as part of the AWS Marketplace transaction flow when purchasing SaaS contracts. This makes it easier to match POs, subscriptions, and invoices.
In this blog post, Murphy and I will show how you can use Purchase Order Management to associate a PO number to a specific SaaS contract purchase at the point of transaction in AWS Marketplace.
Why use Purchase Order Management for SaaS Contracts
Reduced administrative overhead
Previously, you had to attribute separate PO numbers to specific transactions in the AWS Purchase Order Management Console within the AWS Billing Console. There, you could make the change before subscribing to the product, which added extra steps to the procurement process. Now, can add the PO number during the normal transaction flow when purchasing SaaS contracts.
Enhanced tracking and management
By adding the PO number at the point of transaction within AWS Marketplace, you can ensure the resulting AWS invoices reflect the specific PO number for that approved transaction. The PO number is also automatically viewable within the Purchase Order Management Console for future reference and tracking. This enhanced tracking and management enables your accounting team to easily calculate chargebacks to the correct departments and complete any required invoice matching processes.
How it works
In this section, Renée and I show how you can add POs for SaaS contracts transactions in AWS Marketplace.
With this sample scenario, we assume that an organization has completed the one-time action to enable the purchase order functionality. This single setup is done through the AWS Management Console, which enables the feature in the AWS Marketplace Console. Information on how your organization can turn on the functionality is in AWS Documentation.
In this example, Shelby is a developer purchasing CrowdStrike Falcon Endpoint Protection using an AWS Marketplace Private Offer. She works with Lisa, her Procurement Officer, to negotiate terms and pricing with their vendor, CrowdStrike. CrowdStrike extends an AWS Marketplace Private Offer to Shelby’s AWS account. Shelby uses the information from the AWS Marketplace Private Offer to raise a requisition, requesting approval for the transaction in her company’s procurement system. Shelby’s requisition is approved, according to her company’s spend authorization policy. She’s issued a PO, indicating that she has completed the required approval steps and is authorized to transact. In AWS Marketplace, Shelby enters the number from her PO when subscribing to the AWS Marketplace Private Offer extended by CrowdStrike, as detailed in the following Step A.
The PO number entered by Shelby at the point of transaction transmits to the AWS Billing Console. Lisa, the organization’s Procurement Officer, now has the visibility to Shelby’s PO from within the Purchase Order Management Console, a Console within AWS Billing. Lisa has the flexibility to see POs entered across her organization, including details of the AWS Marketplace transactions, as detailed in the following Step B.
A. Developer Shelby transacts in AWS Marketplace
- Navigate to your product with your PO number in hand
Shelby has a PO issued and is ready to transact in AWS Marketplace. She searches in AWS Marketplace or uses the link in the Private Offer email provided by CrowdStrike to navigate to the AWS Marketplace subscription page containing her Private Offer.
On the subscription page, in the lower right, she sees a box called Purchase Order and selects Add Purchase Order Number. Refer to the following screenshot, which shows the Offer selection and creation page with this Private Offer.
- Enter your PO number
A text box appears. In the text box, Shelby enters the PO number she was issued: 1234ABC. The following screenshot shows the Offer selection and creation with the PO number entered in Purchase Order field in the lower right.
To subscribe, in the upper right, Shelby chooses Create contract. In the subscription confirmation pop-up, she reviews the contract details and the PO number she entered. To complete the transaction in the lower right of the pop-up, she chooses Confirm. Refer to the following screenshot, which shows the pop-up.
The subscription is now complete. Shelby receives an email from AWS Marketplace notifying her that her AWS account is now subscribed to the CrowdStrike licenses. The PO number is now associated with the AWS transaction. Shelby’s coworkers, including Lisa and their Accounts Payable team, can proceed with their parts of the procurement process.
B. Procurement Officer Lisa uses AWS Purchase Order Management Console for visibility
- View PO number in AWS Billing
A few days later, Lisa gets a call from Accounts Payable with a question about Shelby’s transaction of CrowdStrike in AWS Marketplace. Accounts Payable provides the PO number for reference.
Lisa logs into the AWS Purchase Order Management Console, a console within AWS Billing. Here, she sees all purchase orders (also known as “purchase order IDs”) related to her organization. Because Shelby entered a PO number when transacting, Lisa can easily locate and select the Purchase Order ID provided by Accounts Payable, 1234ABC.
The following screenshot shows the Purchase Orders page within the AWS Billing console with four Purchase order IDs listed.
To view the details of Shelby’s transaction, in the Purchase Order ID column, Lisa chooses PO 1234ABC. The following screenshot shows the page for PO 1234ABC in the AWS Billing console.
Lisa chooses AWS Marketplace Transaction. The Edit Line Items pop-up for this line item provides Lisa a simplified view of the details of Shelby’s transaction in AWS Marketplace. It includes the subscription date, product, seller, and subscribed account. She finds the answer to Account Payable’s question here and responds accordingly. The following screenshot shows the Edit Line Items pop-up for PO 1234ABC, including the line item number, type, start and end months, and balance tracking.
To close the pop-up, in the lower right, Lisa selects Cancel.
- View PO number on AWS invoice
While on the phone, Lisa reminds Account Payable that the PO number is now on the specific invoice for Shelby’s CrowdStrike transaction. Lisa can also see the associated invoices within the Purchase order view.
Accounts Payable is happy to hear that they can now post the invoice against the PO, using their existing invoice delivery process. Accounts Payable can continue using their existing process of matching the quantity and price of the items listed on the approved PO to those of the invoice before authorizing payment.
AWS Marketplace continues to provide features to empower you to simplify the software purchasing process by enabling you to work within your existing processes and procedures. Now with Purchase Order Management Support for SaaS contracts, you can add your purchase order numbers directly in AWS Marketplace when purchasing SaaS contracts. Users purchasing in AWS Marketplace can operate within your existing approval process, and administrators can use your known purchase order mechanisms to track approval, budgets, and chargebacks.
Learn more about Purchase Order Management Support for SaaS contracts in AWS Documentation.
About the authors
Murphy Tiggelaar builds and manages products and features that help customers purchase in AWS Marketplace. She loves building and launching products that enable customers to govern and customize their experience in AWS Marketplace. Murphy is located in Austin, TX, and enjoys traveling, cooking, and exploring all the great food, music, and nature that Austin has to offer.
Renee Paul helps customers understand and adopt AWS Marketplace as a key platform for software procurement, distribution, governance, and deployment. She is passionate about solving problems and representing the Voice of the Customer back into the AWS Marketplace product and engineering teams. Renee is located in Columbus, OH, and is also a singer/songwriter in her downtime.