5 lesser known features of cloud marketplaces

Post • 5 min read

You’ve heard about the thousands of SaaS solutions on cloud marketplaces

You’ve probably heard about the one-click subscription, the various deployment options and how marketplace purchases retire your hyperscaler spend commitment. 

However, you may not be aware of several hidden features of these marketplaces. 

Like ninjas, you may never notice them until they suddenly show up, making your ops sleeker and more agile than ever. 

So, let’s spill the tea on some low-key features within cloud marketplaces.

Bring-Your-Own-License (BYOL)

The pay-as-you-go (PAYG) subscription model is synonymous with cloud computing and is one of the principles of cloud marketplaces for software procurement and utilisation. PAYG allows you to deploy software in your cloud environment without any software licences and pay an hourly usage fee based on the pricing listed on the marketplace. Your usage is charged directly to your monthly statement—pretty straightforward stuff.

But what if you have already invested in software licences and want to leverage existing licences?

You can do this with Bring-Your-Own-License (BYOL), whereby you pay only for virtual machine usage, not software. The benefits of BYOL include using your existing perpetual licences, extending the lifecycle of your software without additional hardware costs, and speeding up your cloud migration efforts by using your existing virtual machine images. 

Also, BYOL is often vendor-agnostic, so you can use your licences across multiple cloud providers, avoiding lock-in. But remember, always check the terms and conditions of your licences.

Private Marketplace

Cloud marketplaces have thousands of software solutions and services. Depending on which source you refer to (here’s one), AWS Marketplace and Microsoft Azure Marketplace have upwards of 17-18,000 listings of software and services. 

Let’s be honest: Not all these listings are the best. So, how can you be sure that users within your organisation aren’t subscribing to any old piece of software that catches their eye and only using approved software vetted by IT and procurement? In addition, for companies subject to industry regulations and standards, how can you pre-select solutions that have already undergone rigorous compliance testing and can show compliance during audits? 

One answer is the private marketplace. Private marketplaces allow central teams to curate and refine the software, services and solutions exclusively available to the users within that organisation and prevent the use of unapproved solutions. Increase uptake of your private marketplace further with customised branding and integration with internal systems and workflows. 

Nordcloud helps customers choose the best solution for their needs and has implemented private marketplaces for customers, aiming to minimise the risk of unauthorised or non-compliant deployments.


Cash flow is the lifeblood of any business, and lumpy cash flow can be a headache, particularly for project-based or seasonal industries. Nobody likes lumps in their cash flow. Rather than paying for software subscriptions and services upfront, many customers will want to smooth it out by spreading the costs over time through financing. 

Financing AWS Marketplace purchases enables businesses to access innovative solutions immediately without significant up-front investment. This shift from capital expenditure (capex) to operational expenditure (opex) is a hallmark of cloud computing that facilitates easier budgeting and forecasting and can free up investment for strategic initiatives and innovation.

Marketplace APIs

A recent study undertaken at Aalto University in Finland found that many of us have way too many browser tabs and windows open on our screens. They call it browser clutter - and I feel seen. 

When you’re working on a cloud marketplace deal, why would you want to keep toggling between marketplace interfaces and internal tools? This back-and-forth tennis match between tabs and tools wastes time and introduces the risk of transaction errors. 

One of the oft-overlooked gems in cloud marketplaces is the seamless integration they offer with procurement systems. APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) connect and automate various organisational processes. 

With cloud marketplaces, businesses can integrate their procurement systems directly, streamlining the entire software procurement lifecycle. This enhances efficiency and ensures accuracy in tracking expenses, managing licences, and optimising resource allocation. 

By integrating APIs into procurement workflows, businesses can automate purchasing processes, manage subscriptions effortlessly, and maintain a real-time overview of software utilisation. This level of integration is a game-changer, providing organisations with the agility and responsiveness needed to adapt to changing requirements.

AI/ML offerings

Perhaps you’ve heard about something called GenAI? I’m no expert, but I believe it has something to do with passing content from ChatGPT off as your own. 

At Nordcloud, one of the questions our customers often ask regarding GenAI is - how do I get started? Often, our answer is to identify your top use cases, start small and experiment rapidly with different pre-configured tools, frameworks and models. 

Cloud marketplaces can propel your efforts as they offer an extensive array of ready-made GenAI and AI/ML solutions more broadly. 

Look at the AI/ML offerings on the hyperscaler cloud marketplaces. If you want to do sentiment analysis on unstructured text, there’s an API for that. If you want to generate new content for customers in multiple languages, there’s a pre-trained model for that. If you want to perform automatic image or facial recognition, there’s an algorithm for that. There’s a solution for just about anything (and often, there’s a free trial to get you started).

So there you have it. Five pretty clutch features of cloud marketplaces that you didn’t know existed. And given the pace of evolution in this space, who knows that other new ninja features will be jumping out of the shadows in the coming months? We’ll be watching.

Navigating cloud marketplaces can be overwhelming. But, the world’s best technology is there to be used and Nordcloud can step in to help you make the best choices.

We go beyond mere licence reselling to guide you along your entire cloud journey, a bit like a cloud sherpa. That means leveraging our super strong commercial and technical partnerships with the cloud providers and ISVs to bring you transparency, saving you time and money.

If you’d like to discuss how this might look for your business, contact me directly or fill in the form below.

Get in Touch.

Let’s discuss how we can help with your cloud journey. Our experts are standing by to talk about your migration, modernisation, development and skills challenges.

Kris Soderlund
Kris Soderlund LinkedIn
Head of Marketplace