Amazon Web Services Offers To Handle Billing For Software Vendor Partners

Amazon Web Services is looking to make software developed by its technology partners more accessible by allowing customers to pay those third-party vendors through AWS' consolidated public cloud bills.

On Wednesday, the industry's leading cloud provider launched SaaS Subscriptions, an offering on the AWS Marketplace that handles metering and billing for software that AWS customers purchase from vendors hosting their products on AWS infrastructure.

AWS introduced several different plans for metering the software spend, all based on consumption instead of subscription costs. "For example, you can buy security services on a per-host basis, log processing on a per-GB-ingested basis, geocoding on a per-request basis, or caching on a per-GB-cached basis," wrote Jeff Barr, chief evangelist for AWS, in a blog post. "Usage charge for the services that you consume will appear on your AWS bill."

[Related: AWS Doesn't Disappoint In Amazon's Q3 Earnings]

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More than 20 application developers offering a range of products – from application development and monitoring, to security, databases, storage, and tax solutions – have signed up to participate in SaaS Subscriptions, Barr said.

Customers of those ISVs can manage procuring and paying for software on the AWS Marketplace, consolidating bills to Amazon and its third-party technology partners.

The new billing option will prove beneficial for both customers and partners, said Jeff Aden, executive vice president of marketing and strategic development at 2nd Watch, an AWS partner based in Seattle.

"It follows a model that we offer for managed cloud services where customers only pay for what is being managed, versus a percentage of AWS spend," Aden told CRN. "It should lead to lower prices and increased adoption."

Jonno Wells, vice president of sales and marketing at Sturdy Networks, an AWS partner based in Irvine, Calif., told CRN that AWS customers will likely find the option attractive since it allows them to pay only for what they use, and to turn tools on or off at any time.

Those characteristics allows customers, especially small businesses, to try new software without making big upfront commitments, he said.

While SaaS Subscriptions works through a self-service marketplace, there's still a challenge in integrating all the individually priced components. As the offering encourages customers to deploy solutions built from more complex combinations of third-party tools, it will push more customers to the channel, he said.

"For those paid to help integrate and manage solutions for customers, it should offer more opportunity to create unique solutions, allow their customers to quickly try new things at lower risk. Enable new service offerings and add-ons, like helping manage cost of the overall components over time," Wells said.

The initial ISV partners participating in the program include: Alert Logic, Aspera, Avalara, Bitium, Cloudinary, Cloudyn, Datadog, Datapath, Dome9 Security, Druva, HERE, NetApp, New Relic, Pitney Bowes, Qubole, Dynatrace, Signiant, Solano Labs, Solodev, Sumo Logic, and Trend Micro.

More ISV partners are on their way, Barr said in his blog.