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Building or Buying a Digital Commerce Platform


Rapid technological advances have caused disruption and changes, not only in how we communicate, but also in how we do business.

Cloud computing has been the leading accelerator of innovation, making it easier and faster to bring new products and services to market. This has sparked a surge in independent software vendors (ISV). In fact, Forrester predicts the number of ISVs will leap from 175,000 today to one million in 2027.

Driving more new channels than ever

Meanwhile, partners are playing an increasingly important role as cloud computing drives a proliferation of new channels for them to support. More than 70% of global revenue will come from third-party channels, according to Forrester.

Traditionally, there have been two ways to create a digital commerce platform or partner portal: Build your own from scratch or purchase an off-the-shelf (OTS) solution. Each approach to obtaining a digital commerce platform has its pros and cons, depending on your business requirements for selling products and services.

Examining your business intent

Asking a few simple questions quickly begins to reveal the importance of making the decision to build a digital commerce platform in-house or outsource the project to a partner. These questions can include:

  • What is our timeline—weeks, months or years—to launch in market?
  • What is the extent of the portfolio we want to sell?
  • How quickly do we need to launch these products and services?
  • How risk adverse is our business to customer experience, support and reliability?
  • What sales volumes are we aiming for?

Selling, provisioning and managing digital subscriptions can be complicated, particularly at scale. The billing logic alone (upgrades, downgrades, pre-paid, post-paid, user-based, consumption-based, to name a few) from rapidly evolving ISVs and their continuous product updates can be daunting—and the level of complexity only increases across a more comprehensive portfolio.

Taking all of this into consideration, your decision is not just for the outset, but for the journey.

Finding the best approach for greater success

Customers expect the best in today’s SaaS-enabled economy. With the rapid growth of B2B e-commerce marketplaces, you need to be ready and able to support customer needs and expectations.

The market opportunity remains strong for B2B. In fact, Gartner reports that at least 70% of the enterprise marketplaces launched will serve this market segment by 2023.

To help guide your business down the right path as you decide whether to build or buy your platform, we put together a series of key concepts called “The Three Cs to Consider” and “The Three Rs to Remember” in our new white paper — Build vs. Buy Dilemma: Choosing a Digital Commerce Platform .

To learn more, download your complimentary copy of the white paper now.

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