Ep#99 The Best Way to Visualize your AWS Marketplace Data

October 25, 2022

Episode Summary

AWS Marketplace has been around for a while helping you simplify procurement, provisioning, and governance of third-party software, services, and data. What if you could completely visualize your current or historical Marketplace sales using an integrated Global MAP feature to help you better understand your customers?
CloudSmart delivers ML-powered benchmarking and sales intelligence that can enhance an AWS Marketplace engagement and provides actionable CloudSmart Insights.

For Belle Fleur Technologies, it’s all about the data. An AWS Partner Network (APN) Advanced Consulting Partner with AWS Service Delivery designations in Amazon QuickSight and AWS Lambda, Belle Fleur has a proven track record of helping customers deliver high-quality software in an efficient, fast, and reliable manner. Belle Fleur is also an AWS Well-Architected Partner and member of the APN Immersion Days program. They offer a wide portfolio of AWS solution labs and managed services, including DevOps, serverless, data analytics, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and DataOps.

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About the Guest

Trés Vance

Ex-AWS, repeat Entrepreneur, builder, traveler, and seeker of hot foods. The Cloud rules everything around me.

#jonmyerpodcast #jonmyer #myermedia #podcast #podcasting

Episode Show Notes & Transcript

Host: Jon

Are you using AWS marketplace, but you're looking for a way to deeply visualize your data and have some insights while I have the tool for you? It's called CloudSmart and CloudSmart Insights allows you to view not only your current data but your historical data. What machine learning for data and revenue profits, reporting capabilities integrated into your favorite CRM tool and so much more. Now, you don't have to go to the quick site to do it, but it's integrated using their awesome and cool features. Joining me today is Trés Vance, principal marketplace architect from CloudSmart. Please join me in welcoming you. Trés did a show. Trés, thank you so much for joining me.

Guest: Trés

Jon, thank you very much. Glad to be here.

Host: Jon

So Trés, you, and I worked at AWS around the same time. What was your role at AWS?

Guest: Trés

So I had a couple of roles at AWS. I was one of those people that was always insatiably curious. So I started as a technical account manager, a team, that allowed me to see some of the technical issues of really implementing some of the technology. And then I transitioned into a solutions architect where I covered storage. I have a bit of a storage heritage. One of the things you might see back there is a NetApp innovator award. So I did some storage stuff, then I moved into DevOps, moved into security, and finally, all of that kind of came together and worked on an APN program with a couple of other people. But we ultimately created a new APN program focused on security partners and things like compliance. So when you think of HIPAA and FedRAMP and all that kinda wonderful stuff back in the day that's what I did.

Host: Jon

Trés, I'm gonna have some security questions for you later in the show. I'll put you on the spot. All right. So Trés, a repeat entrepreneur, Can you talk about some of your accomplishments?

Guest: Trés

Yeah. I have seen firsthand what innovation does at the cloud scale, right? So I've done things from email and collaboration environments, virtualizing environments, storage environments even very early backup as a service. And what I found interesting about that was I saw this emerging technology many years ago called S3 and just the power of the continual AWS price reductions. But I've always been curious about things and I wanted to see how they work. And the best way to do it is every five to 10 years you need to start a company because it's a lot easier the next time you do it than the first time. If you started long enough ago you'll remember mailing things in and contacting a lawyer. All of those things are simplified. They're all delivered to us now basically as a service. And so it gets easier. The bar to creating a business gets lower and lower running's a different story.

Host: Jon

So Trés, today we're talking about the AWS marketplace and how to be CloudSmart and understand the relationship of your data. Did you like that pun? I loved it. All right. I figured I'd throw it in there. I didn't want you to know about it ahead of time. Before we get to being CloudSmart, Trés, let's talk about the AWS marketplace. What is

Guest: Trés

Its marketplace is a way that buyers and sellers can interact with each other, leveraging all the goodness of the simplification of the AWS bill and being able to engage with a variety of different solution types. But at its simplest, it's a way to find software and solutions to be able to purchase with a lot less friction than doing it in other means, and being able to deploy and in some cases, support those solutions all based on your AWS bill. So it's a way to be able to accelerate your engagement with a lot of great ISVs, consulting partners independent entrepreneurs. It's a way to engage and do that all within the context of AWS best practices to be able to have some kind of curation and be able to have continual engagement.

Host: Jon

I wanna let you know just a little side thing is that the AWS marketplace is very simple and easy to use and has a lot less friction. And what I mean by that is I just listed one of my services on the AWS marketplace.

Guest: Trés

Fantastic.

Host: Jon

I did. It only took me two days between actually getting it up there, and talking with support to make sure I had the right information. So less friction is unique for everybody because it's one of the driving factors for adoption. Now, Trés, I want to talk about CloudSmart because how is CloudSmart work with the AWS marketplace? I mean, what is the relationship there?

Guest: Trés

Sure. So I have to put this disclaimer out there. We're an advanced software partner. We have a validated solution. What we're doing is we're doing a deep dive into your revenue recognition, your sales operations, and the way that you go to market, and give you insights. Another pun there, I don't know if that one worked as well as yours, <laugh>, but we give you insights into what you're selling, whom you're selling to, and the ways that it's being adopted in the broader marketplace.

Host: Jon

So is it helping us understand our data a little bit more, or an in-depth into the data?

Guest: Trés

Yeah, absolutely. So I think of it this way. There's data, there's stuff that AWS will provide to you, and then there's information. There's like the actionable things you can do with it. So for us, we're turning all that data into something actionable. So you can see on a map where your customers are. And so for some sellers, that's important because they may know then how to do go to market in a particular region. If the vast majority of my sales are in California, I may either want to engage with more events that are happening in California. I may want to have an office, or I may want to focus on that particular region. I'm also seeing things in data sometimes where you may have a particularly popular product and it might not be the one you think and that's a way for you to just really dig in. So we're empowering organizations with new information about what they're selling in the marketplace based on both things that are publicly available and things like private offers or consulting private offers, which are things that you may have as a software company that is sold by another organization. So just other ways for you to get at that information and to make it tangible and to accelerate some of those deals in the marketplace.

Host: Jon

So you're providing deep insights, how do you like that into the information? But you're

Guest: Trés

Much better at that

Host: Jon

<laugh>. Ah, I try. But you have a map feature. Now, I think the map feature is a differentiating factor for CloudSmart because you indicated a product or service that might be selling potentially, maybe it's on the west coast and you only have one seller or a manufacturer on the west coast, and you want to, but you need to increase it. You don't know that you can try to pull all this data and correlate it. But I think the map, as simple as it sounds, is very powerful to show you what's selling and how well it's selling.

Guest: Trés

Action and knowledge help you to attain your results. So in our case, the map feature, things like doing year over year, month over month, those are things that aren't technically even in the data. They're things that are inferred. And so that's where our expertise in the business intelligence, our expertise in thankfully, being in these situations where we learn from being entrepreneurs and being out there and engaging with customers in feedback. Those are the ways that we can help to improve the experience overall for these sellers that are in the marketplace.

Host: Jon

All right. So CloudSmart is allowing this visualization, and I want to talk about what about AWS Quick Site. Yeah. How is that different from using it?

Guest: Trés

Yeah, so it's enriched. So Quick Site is a business intelligence tool and we're like the master carvers as it were, using that tool. So in a lot of cases is a great tool. It's very compelling, it has it's a serverless fully managed solution. So it'll scale up, scale down, and I don't even have to think about it. So no one has to think about, Oh, okay, well what's the endpoint access for this? Or how does it integrate with all these other tools? In that way, QuickSight helps us to solve a problem, and then what it does is it allows us to create a lot of different views for the customers based on their feedback. So if you're experiencing unique activities in the marketplace and you wanna dive deeper, that's the tool. That's the that's our chisel. So in that way, Quick Site is a very good tool for us to use and then use on behalf of customers to give them new insights and create new content.

Host: Jon

Joy, let's talk about some of the other capabilities of CloudSmartt. You have the MAP feature. You're allowed to visualize not only current and historical data services, but what type of granular controls do I have?

Guest: Trés

So there are lots of things that we can do. One of the things that we can do is based on your role within your organization how much of that data you're able to see. So you may have some product teams that want to see specific elements like returns or refunds, or you may have a finance team that wants to see things like disbursements or invoices. You can segment all of those different user types and personas and also things per salesperson. So if you have Jane and Jon, they can see separate information within their dashboards, and then you can have those executives that might have that top-line that's going on in the business. So we can get granular for our customers.

Host: Jon

How is CloudSmart helping me make educated business decisions throughout my company, my product, or the services that are being offered throughout the marketplace?

Guest: Trés

So I'll give you an example, and this kind of ties into one of the functions of AMI or Amazon machine images in the AWS marketplace. There are a lot of different ways that you can buy those, right? You can buy them upfront, annually, or hourly, and all of those may be different SKUs for you. So if you have a product that's AMI driven, and then you're seeing a lot of consumption of the monthly product. So a monthly product is something that I can pay a fixed price but consume as many instances of it as I want, you may not know that, or you may not see how compelling it is without using something like CloudSmart insights to be able to view that and say that, Hey, the top three products that I have are all the most popular, so that's actionable.

Guest: Trés

So that means now I can say, Okay, well, my customers from my toolset prefer to buy things that they can run a lot of instances of. And then maybe the follow on to that is, well, why? So there are a lot of ways that I could then use that information to make something actionable. I could curate some type of nurturing campaign with those customers. I could even change some of the hourly or annual pricing to make that more compelling. So those are just some of the things that I could do just by observing that. It's funny, you don't have to explain observability anymore in the context of machines and their technology, but observability on the business side is very important too. So those are the things that allow us to get sharper in what we're selling so that we can increase those deal sizes or provide additional value to the customer.

Host: Jon

Trés, you just talked about a high value for CloudSmart, not only from the visualization of amis, but on the sales team and on the marketing team where you're talking about that am, and I like the campaign that you said, Oh, listen, we might wanna do a campaign around these ais and offer them in a yearly fashion cheaper, make it compelling to utilize it. Now, we've had them subscribe for 12 months versus one month, so it's great. I don't think that data is available to visualize within the AWS console on how often an AMI is being used or utilized.

Guest: Trés

So there is everything in AWS, there are like 20 ways to do the same thing but it's a lot of effort. So anyone who's ever looked at a cost and usage report and gone down that finos road with AWS knows that there's a tremendous amount of data in there. Some of it is relevant to you immediately, and some of it over the long term would've been g know that. So there are some very painful ways to do it from that perspective. One of the strengths of the marketplace is that some of that condu consumption data is there. And so what we do is we take that consumption data or things like free trial data and we're able to bring that information to you in the form of insight.

Host: Jon

So all the data's available, it's just utilizing the data and displaying it in a way that's useful to the end customer.

Guest: Trés

Yeah, absolutely. And that's why we like to hear from anyone who's in our customer advisory council, We want to hear from you. So we're building our product roadmap. We're building all these features, not from some great power that we have, but from actually listening to you all. So that's why we do what we do and we wanna be as customer-centric as you know, AWS or more so even more customer obsessed. But the way you do that is you put your best effort out there and then you glean that feedback from the customer who says, No, in my business, I need it to be this way. And then we can go out there and figure out the best way to accomplish that, or we come up with something better in between just by listening.

Host: Jon

All right, Trés, let's talk about the setup or integration with CloudSmart. What does a kickoff look like and how long does it take me to get set up utilizing it?

Guest: Trés

So it's a pretty straightforward process, highly automated, thankfully. But essentially what happens is an organization would either contact us directly or they would go to the AWS marketplace where they can find the CloudSmart set of solutions from that point. There are a couple of things that happen. We're an organization that believes in the digital HQ, so we're heavily driven by Slack. An organization would subscribe to our marketplace listing. They would get instructions to join a Slack community that will be specific to them. And then from that point, we're gonna do an onboarding session because there are some data elements that we would want to collect. But after that, about 24 hours later, you see all the data in your reports.

Host: Jon

All right, so 24 hours later, let's just say it takes about 24 48 hours to get set up, or is it a week? And then in a week, I still can view and see all my historical data.

Guest: Trés

So it's about 24 hours to get set up. You would then see not only your current data from the previous day, but you would see all the data back to whenever you started your marketplace journey. So there may be things that as a seller today who's not using smart insights, you may gather about things that you've sold in the past.

Host: Jon

So now I can make educated business decisions from my past that will affect the future of it. So the data's available, and you started your marketplace journey, say a year ago. The dataThe dare is still sitting there. When I say sitting there, where is it hosted? Where's the data?

Guest: Trés

Yeah, so most of the marketplace data is gonna sit in an S3 bucket. And so once we have either access to that or we create a new one for you then that data will start to be enriched and ultimately presented in something like Quick Site.

Host: Jon

Is the S3 bucket visible within my AWS account? When I set it up, does it say my account marketplace, or is it a hidden button bucket that's available to me that's readily accessed?

Guest: Trés

It's something that you would have to create, right? Okay. So a lot of our technology depends on either the customer having that setup or us having to do that for them. So kind either way from what I understand, not a lot of organizations use the analytics that can be provided. And so what we'll have to do is we'll have to set that up for you.

Host: Jon

Now, is there a way for us to retrieve historical data by AWS on it, or is that data not available in the bucket setup? I mean, I'm talking about Yeah, we can do a one-time export of your data. It's housed here. Here's the request, we'll drop it in the bucket, and now I have it available.

Guest: Trés

Yeah, so it is historical data. So once you commit to using that S3 bucket, then your historical data will come back to the beginning of you.

Host: Jon

Oh, nice marketplace. Yeah. Okay. Real quick, can you give folks that are listening to this maybe how to set this up so that they can do it now? So when they contact you, they're already ahead of the game,

Guest: Trés

And I don't know that it would matter too much, but there is something that's called the seller data feed and so we can probably put a link in somehow but they can use the seller data feed that'll get them started, and then when we would come in, that will enrich all of that information and provide you all those actionable insights.

Host: Jon

Nice. Trés, what type of integrations are capable for CloudSmart using maybe my existing CRM tools?

Guest: Trés

So it's interesting. So you're touching on a little bit of what's on our roadmap, what's under our active development. But there are two CRMs that we're focused on today that's Salesforce and HubSpot. And so what we've done is we've PIs for integrating with those particular CRMs, and I suppose more are available in the future based on customer feedback, But today we're focused on those two. And what that would allow is all of this information that we have curated to be placed into Salesforce or HubSpot. And so this is where it gets interesting. Many an organization has built their business on Salesforce, and have built their businesses on HubSpot. They're doing the nurturing campaigns for marketing, they're doing the sales analytics. And now you would have all of this information from the AWS marketplace where you're transacting. You would have that in your CRM.

Guest: Trés

So your enterprise CRM would now have insight into what is happening inside of an opportunity or a deal, depending on the terminology that you use based on your CRM. but it completes that cycle. So I may be an individual seller, and as an individual seller, I may be working with a preferred customer nine times out 10, I am curating a deal or an opportunity within my CRM. Now I will have transaction details for when that gets transacted in the AWS marketplace. So if I'm using Marketplace as a channel, that information will come back to my enterprise application. So now I can do closed one, closed loss, I can know where these opportunities are when revenue is derived, and I can even assist that customer at points where they may get stuck because I can nurture a subscription in such a way that I can say, This is a helpful video, this is a helpful piece of documentation. Have you tried this? So there are lots of ways that we may build the first couple of floors of that new sky rise, but then HubSpot and Salesforce and others will build the rest of those floors. So those are the types of integrations that we're both actively working on and we intend to deliver to our customers.

Host: Jon

The term shift left has been used numerous times, but in this case, what you're doing and you're building the foundation and you're allowing developers to integrate and tack on top of your foundation, pulling the data from the APIs and integrating it already into Salesforce. So I've seen the interface for CloudSmart and the data and how it's visualized. Do you see that being pulled into Salesforce and being visualized within their CRM tool? Or do you see them utilizing the actual website for CloudSmart to visualize the data?

Guest: Trés

The first one is visualization, right? Since our visualization is based on Quick Site, we can embed it into any third-party application. So if you have a line of business application, we can embed the solution there. The solution can also be used standalone. So if you don't have those tools, but you still want to analyze your revenue and your actionable insights into your customers, you can do that stand-alone through our app. And then if you, for whatever reason, didn't want to use our visualization because you had a foundation in Power BI or Tableau or some other tool or even an open-source tool you could use our APIs to get data similar to what we're enriching and what we're presenting in our visual, you'll be able to use that to build your reports. I think that that route is more challenging because you'll have to build what we've already built. So you're reinventing the wheel, but there is a place where maybe those APIs are part of a greater workflow. If you have a machine-driven workflow it would make a lot of sense to use the APIs for the machines and to use the visualization for your people.

Host: Jon

Dre, as an advanced partner, security is top of mind for me. What type of access do you need for my marketplace data and do you need access to my AWS account or what's that? Or even my CRM tool?

Guest: Trés

Yeah, so we don't necessarily need that data or we don't need that access. What we're doing is we are getting read access to a bucket. So that typically is an organization that's doing cross-account access. We're using things like external IDs. One of the great things about our partnership with AWS is that we went through what's known as a foundational technical review. So we went through the AWS best practices for the configuration of third-party SaaS into customer environments, and then we also have now a validated software solution. So our CloudSmartt Insights, for example, is a validated technology solution, which got us into the validated software tier and made us the advanced partner that we are today. So for a lot of the things that we did, security was top of mind. I come from a security background with things like government security and compliance. So it was just natural for me to want to do that first before we even introduced a product to the market.

Host: Jon

Nice. I like the security aspects that you've outlined and the minimal amount of permissions that are needed or required for or not direct access. So Trés, I wanna talk a little bit about some of the machine learning capabilities of CloudSmart, and I want to know, are you able to forecast the data or forecast what's potentially about the cell or could sell, and how accurate is that data?

Guest: Trés

So I think that that's one of our key differentiators as well, is that we provide business reporting, and part of that business reporting is a revenue forecast. The way that works is machine learning-driven. So the more data you have about your sales, the transaction volume that you have, if it's sufficient, it's gonna be really good. No one can tell you if you're going to definitively sell a million dollars a month, but if you're already selling about a million dollars a month and you were consistently seeing some form of growth, what the machine learning algorithm will do is it'll make it's high and low and the average prediction, and it's within eight to 10% in a given month. So eight to 10% is pretty good. The farther out you go, the more unwieldy it looks, right? So it's kind of like weather tracking.

Host: Jon

I was just about to say, it's like the weather. It's predicting close within a month, but if you go too far out,

Guest: Trés

That's right. Yeah. You go three months out on the weather forecast, there's no idea like, Oh, it's winter, it might snow. You better

Host: Jon

Bring a jacket, a rain code, and some sort

Guest: Trés

<laugh>, right? But yeah, that's one of the things that we do, and it's really interesting to see those spikes in new business. Let's say you go out there and you win a really big deal, it'll get reflected in the air, the ML model, I should say. It's not ai, it's ml, but it'll get reflected in there. And that's a cool feature. So one of the things that you'll see is you'll see the actual revenue that's being reported, and then you'll see a forecast in the same insight. So there's one insight that says, these are your actuals, and then your actual will start to overlap with the predictive model. So they'll be the same <laugh>, and then they'll fan a little bit. And so that'll give you a good idea of where you're going.

Host: Jon

Trés, you indicated the reporting of it. What type of reporting capabilities does CloudSmart have?

Guest: Trés

So inside of insights, there are several things you can do. Every one of the individual insights, one of the individual narratives, you can export those, so can export those to CSV, Excel et cetera. And then we have the APIs, which will allow you to do the queries and export those as well. So lots of ways to extract value from the things that you're seeing. And then it may be even for these partners that are leveraging things like the ACE program within AWS like it's a way for them to take what they've seen. I've sold X amount, and now I'm gonna put that into this opportunity detail to better their relationship with the AWS apo, the partner organization.

Host: Jon

Trés, do you have any capabilities now, or is it on the roadmap for the integration with CloudSmart into ACE for maybe a bidirectional or kind of an update? Or is that currently, do you have to manually go do that based on what's predicted?

Guest: Trés

So today, you have to do that manually based on what's reported, right? Yep. So your reports are no more than a day old. So you have day one-day actionable information. So if you made a large transaction, one of your direct sellers or one of your partners sold something significant and you already had an ACE opportunity, you can go into ACE and manually put that in. On the roadmap though there is a plan to have the integration with ACE as part of the feature set. So that way as a marketplace seller, you can go full circle. You would extend things like private offers, and you would transact that private offer, for example, That would show up in our reporting and insights, and then that would be reflected in ace. So that way both sides of the AWS partner organization can understand your value in the AWS ecosystem.

Host: Jon

Chad, I'd love to understand how are you able to accomplish so much in such a short amount of time with CloudSmart and customers, not only within AWS but for any.

Guest: Trés

There's a lot that goes into this. So I'm part of a larger team, and what I wanted to do when I first set out to do this, there were some things that I was gonna be curious about and be a builder for, and there were other things that I would rely on other organizations' expertise, and that's actually how I found LER Technologies. So Belfor is a consulting partner on the AWS side, and they also have this expertise in things like Lambda service delivery, quick site service delivery, and the well-architected program. So those things were critically important to me to not only get those things right but to also have a scaling partner. And so I've relied on their insights as well to help to build out some of the things that we're

Host: Jon

Doing. I love how you keep using nor word insights and added it in. It's like one of those things that you just can't get away from, and don't worry, your puns are working,

Guest: Trés

Right? Well, as a dad, <laugh>, it becomes ingrained in what you do. It's like, Oh, dad jokes just, they come from inside and then see happens.

Host: Jon

My deep insights

Guest: Trés

<laugh>.

Host: Jon

Oh, so Trés, let's talk a little bit more about CloudSmart and some of its capabilities. And I wanna understand really, is it a high touch, a low touch type of capability? Do you offer sales assistance? What about partners? How am I selling this? How do I work with it?

Guest: Trés

So all of those things. So we have something, and AWS people, anyone with Deep Insight has heard the term map, but we have something that we call a map because this is o revenue, not a migration acceleration program, but what we have is a marketplace acceleration program. There's a lot to working with the marketplace. There is the idea if you build it and list it, people will come. But there's also the idea of, gee, I gotta nurture these customers. I have to build an awareness of the things that are out there. So those are some of the things that we advise our customers on, especially when we're saying that we want to help you with your revenue data, we wanna help you with your sales data, and build insights into all of that. The only way you can do that is if you have that experience yourself and if you're, you're willing to work with your customers on helping them to do better because if they do better, they're gonna see a lot more value in what it is that we're providing as well.

Guest: Trés

So that's part of the onboarding process. It's part of our customer success initiatives, where you have that Slack channel and you can engage with us, we're gonna put out there some helpful tips, helpful tips on how to engage better with the AWS team, how to create quality and validated opportunities so that you can kind of enhance your presence within the APO altogether. So that's just part of our continual engagement with our customers. It also helps us to build the feedback loop into what goes into the product. So our product managers are the ones that are engaging with the customers to understand what their experiences are, where their business operations are, their technical operations, their sales operations, and how that stuff aligns with the marketplace.

Host: Jon

So Trés, it sounds like you're not looking for those quick sales, you're looking for a long-term engagement to really understand what they're trying to achieve, their target audience and the product, and understand also the sales and marketing aspect of it. True customer obsession.

Guest: Trés

Yeah, absolutely. We're gonna be account based. So as customers come on board they will have access to all of the things that we've learned also selling in the marketplace. They'll join what is a community of other customers and they'll be able to benchmark against those best practices. So am I leveraging the partner network? What is my aspiration as a marketplace seller? Some organizations may just sell in the marketplace, and they may not have a formal relationship with AWS, but others might others miderstunderstandhe way that marketplaces are growing, the kind of aggregation of the cloud spend into these committed enterprise discount programs or committed spend, is the way that you're gonna enable your business to go to the next level. There are some statistics that the marketplace team has shared recently, which allow for faster deal sizes, or I'm sorry faster close for deals, larger deal sizes. Those are all things that are important to sellers in the marketplace because they want that marketplace they're in to enable their business, not just to be a part of a marketplace and not understand how things work. So we help organizations to understand how these things work, and how to make themselves successful, and those are the things that we believe are gonna make us successful in the long term.

Host: Jon

Now you're talking several things about sales enablement and walking through the customer along with their journey, through the marketplace, through CloudSmart, and analyzing the data. Some of the things you mentioned for sales enablement is providing the customer with additional information and feedback on some improvements or how-to Did you know this? Here's this. But you also drop those in with around CloudSmart and some of the feature capabilities that you're able to do, Hey, did you know that you can view your historic data? Or, Hey, listen, in this map section, it looks like you have a lot of sales here. Do you want to allocate more to it? How's your sales cycle? What's it look like in this section? I like that you are working directly with the customer to help them improve overall,

Guest: Trés

And that's the only way to earn trust with a customer is to walk in their shoes, make some suggestions, and learn from each other. That's gonna be the biggest thing that we have to learn from what our customers want. And in turn, that allows us to build a better solution and to build more capabilities, and that's what we want. So we're not gonna have out of the gate everything that customers want, but over time, we're going to be able to fine-tune to what customers are looking for, solve some of those pain points and accelerate those opportunities that the customers have.

Host: Jon

Trés, you said a couple of times is you might not have some of the X capabilities, but the thing that you kind of indicated was, Hey, listen, if we don't have it, let us know. We're looking for your feedback. We're building things that you need or want or you're utilizing. And I like it that you're building the things that will be used and not the things that you think will be used.

Guest: Trés

Oh, absolutely. I've seen a lot of software companies that it's like that gym membership that I don't use, but there's tons of stuff in there. But what are the things that are the most commonly used, and which are the ones that are the most beneficial? And I know quite a bit, but I don't know everything. My wife easily tells me that. But one of the things is I think that it's important that we listen to what the customers are asking for so that we build that capability because that's gonna bring customer delight. Those are the things that are gonna bring more usage and better recognition for those customers as they try to build a business in the marketplaces. So we wanna help you be successful, and that is why we are here.

Host: Jon

So Trés, before I wrap things up and I say, my audience has watched this video and they're talking about CloudSmart, and we've shown them a couple of things, How do I get started?

Guest: Trés

So one of the best things to do is to engage with us both on our website, on things like LinkedIn, and definitely in Thes marketplace. So there are lots of ways for us to get started together. Let's have a conversation if you want to, you can just go out there, but it'd be best if we have a conversation to see where you are in the marketplace today, what your goals are, and how we can drive towards those things together.

Host: Jon

And you've kind of said, you touched on it, and I find it's really important with the customer obsession. Have the conversation first, because you might not be ready for CloudSmart, but you might be ready in three to six months, or, Hey, listen, let's start doing this data now. You're not looking for them to say, All right, I'm signed up. Let's get you engaged and running, but have that deep conversation about what your long-term goals are.

Guest: Trés

Yeah, for sure. I just think that it's not as simple as putting something out there and then saying, Well, I hope it sells. There's just, there's this no way to do that. The marketplace itself is immense. There are over 2,500 sellers there, and you need things that will differentiate what you bring to the table. And so in having those conversations up front, you can plan for engagement with your customers, engagement with AWS, if the case fits, engagement with the ecosystem of consulting partners within AWS as well or you may find out that there's a new opportunity for you in a field like data exchange. There are ways that there are these great public data sets can be used to build out even more solutions. So there are lots of ways to engage. The best thing to do is to have that conversation upfront, understand what those requirements are, and then let's work together to build it out.

Host: Jon

Trés, I thought of something that Clouds smart does you might be selling Product X and now you're having deep visualization on your entire marketplace and how well it's doing and realize that you might have other capabilities and a new product that you didn't realize, or some of the services or some features that you might need to do. But now, CloudSmart Insights allows you to visualize it and you can allocate some funding to go invest in that and see the potential.

Guest: Trés

Yeah, that's right. If I'm looking at my newfound information and I see a potential that allows me to do that experimentation, so let's go out and use some kind of a sandbox credit, or let's go out there and build something brand new because we have the information that supports that kind of decision. So it's no longer just a guess in the wind, it's more actionable, it's more results-oriented and it's data-driven. So I'm not making guesses about the business, I'm making investments, and when I make those investments, I think that that yield could be even better. So my closure rate may improve, and my time to a deal may decrease significantly. So I may be able to rapidly turn these things over by looking at these insights and gathering a plan

Host: Jon

You have some visualization on instead of throwing something out there and seeing what sticks, you have an idea of what potentially could work and the outcome of it.

Guest: Trés

And I think about things like customer acquisition cost. If I can make that customer acquisition cost lower, that's even better. And that's what these insights do. I think about things like more mature businesses that might have significant amounts of renewals, being able to understand what is a renewal risk and what is something that may invert from a limited engagement into a longer-term engagement. Those are the kind of metrics that I would want to look for as a business owner, and those are the things that we provide with CloudSmart insights.

Host: Jon

Trés, is there anything you'd like to leave the audience with around CloudSmart Insights or even AWS marketplace?

Guest: Trés

Sure. I think all of it is still getting started. It's all very early in that cloud journey. Less than 10% of the workloads that are On-Prem today have even made that journey into the cloud. The AWS marketplace makes that process simpler by reducing all the friction in the transaction and being able to provide that ecosystem. What we do with Clouds Smart insights is we provide visibility into it, All those things. We provide the actionable insights that are going to lead to a better go-to-market, faster transactions, and a larger deal size. So those are all the things that produce a good synergy. So I'm excited about it. I will be at all the major events. I'll be at Reinvent coming up here soon and looking forward to engaging with people meeting people, and just being in front of people again. It's gonna be great. So Jon, thank you for the time being on the Jon Myer podcast has been awesome. It's been a great experience and just really looking forward to everything that's coming up next.

Host: Jon

Well, Trés, I appreciate your deep insights into CloudSmart. Yes, I had a lay that out here. Thank you so much for joining the show.

Guest: Trés

Absolutely. Thank you, Jon.

Host: Jon

All right, everybody, it's been Trés Vance, a Principal Marketplace architect at CloudSmart. I appreciate it. Guess what, This has been the Jon Myer podcast. Don't forget to hit that, like subscribe, and notify because we're outta here.

 

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