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For a growing number of enterprises of all sizes and across a wide range of industries, digitalization is opening the door to new business models and new revenue streams. The cloud is an important foundational technology behind those transformations, allowing companies to lower the cost and risk of digital adoption by reducing legacy on-premise systems and introducing more flexible consumption options that allow them to scale as needed.

However, if one of the key drivers beyond the cloud is to simplify enterprises’ infrastructure and operations, the process of procuring cloud services needs to be simple as well. That’s where the cloud marketplace comes in.

Cloud marketplaces are essentially digital storefronts operated by cloud service providers (CSPs) that house the applications and services that are built on or work with their platform – everything from analytics to blockchain to security to digital tools for specific market segments. A cloud marketplace can be as simple as an online catalogue of third-party cloud services or as feature-rich as a full digital commerce platform that allows customers to find, buy and deploy cloud-based applications.

The cloud marketplace is becoming an increasingly important tool for cloud buyers by making it easier for them to procure their services and accelerate their return on investment. According to a survey of software sellers and buyers conducted last summer by Tackle, a start-up that helps software companies sell through cloud marketplaces, 65% of buyers reported purchasing software through a cloud marketplace in the last year – a 39% increase over 2020 – and 83% said they are likely or extremely likely to purchase through a marketplace in the future.

Cloud marketplaces are also simplifying the process of connecting to the cloud. The major CSPs have introduced network services that enable private connections between the end user’s premises and the cloud. Typically, those network services are delivered by communications partners that peer directly with the CSP’s networking and cloud resources after completing rigorous testing and certification. These dedicated cloud-connect services can support high-value, mission-critical cloud workloads with specific security and performance requirement that can’t be fulfilled by the public Internet, and the ability to provision them quickly and easily is critical to enterprises’ digital transformations. End users select their connectivity service provider from the marketplace, which then activates the provisioning of a connection from their networks to the closest CSP data centre.

As CSPs look to expand their addressable market beyond urban areas into regions traditionally unserved or underserved by terrestrial networks, they’re expanding their connectivity ecosystems to include satellite operators such as SES and adding dedicated cloud-connect services such as SES Cloud Direct to their marketplaces. This incorporation of satellite-enabled connectivity into CSPs’ marketplaces means users located in even the most remote regions on earth can access the cloud as easily as those served by terrestrial networks, making purchasing and deploying dedicated cloud-connect services as simple and seamless for them as purchasing and deploying other cloud services and applications.

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