Lessons Learned from a Microsoft AppSource publisher, volume 1

Recently, in Las Vegas, Microsoft held it's annual partner event, Microsoft Inspire.  While there, I had an opportunity to sit with partners to understand how they are approaching new features to support additional business models within Microsoft AppSource and the commercial marketplace platform.  I sat down with Carol-Lynn Grow from LawToolBox, a company that delivers a deadline and matter-management SaaS for legal professionals, to learn how she is leveraging the new marketplace investments to drive her business. 

To start, I asked Carol-Lynn, why she chose to expand her business model to include direct selling to customers through Microsoft AppSource.  She replied, 

  1. "The opportunity for our business to deliver SaaS, which provides access to the entire LawToolBox solution, into a Microsoft product where end users spend their day (whether its in their Outlook inbox, Teams Tab, or through a browser) is enormous. 
  2. By selling direct through Microsoft AppSource, we can facilitate and accelerate transactions with larger corporations, who don’t need to add LawToolBox as approved vendor but can transact directly with Microsoft. 
  3. Clients have told us they want one invoice.  As soon as our press release went out describing transactability through the Microsoft commerical marketplace platform we started getting calls not just from new clients who liked the idea of simplifying their operations – but we started getting calls from existing clients asking how they could add LawToolBox to their Microsoft invoice."
  4. Selling thru Partner Center, any distributor or Managed Service Provider (MSP) can discover, purchase and manage LawToolBox licenses for their law firm and legal department customers inside their existing Microsoft Partner Center portal where they manage their client’s Office 365 licenses."

For LawToolBox, Carol-Lynn sent on to say, "When you bring together, ISVs, MSPs and end users into a combined transactable SaaS offer, everybody gets better results!"

We further discussed what were her biggest lessons learned:

"LawToolBox can now be part of a broader sales motion with transactable SaaS offers.  Law firms and legal departments can not only discover, purchase and manage LawToolBox licenses but soon they will also be able to discover and purchase pre-packaged Teams consulting and adoption packages from LawToolBox.  The ability to leverage Microsoft AppSource as a marketplace for implementation partners is a HUGE benefit that is incredibly valuable.   IT professionals use LawToolBox demos for their legal department as a catalyst to launch modern collaboration using Teams and expand to departments outside legal."

For LawToolBox, connecting with Microsoft was an important way to get visibility in the market and reach Microsoft’s customers across 141 countries. LawToolBox offers its users a new way of collaborating using Microsoft Teams and Office to manage case-specific and rules-based deadlines for litigation and corporate legal.  The choice to offer a SaaS app next to these Microsoft products was an essential and easy way to reach new audiences and provide them with a convenient way to purchase the product either from Microsoft AppSource on the web or the in-product store for Teams, Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365, PowerBI and Power Apps 

To learn more about how to create a transactable offer in Microsoft AppSource, check out our postAnd, don’t forget to check out our Microsoft AppSource Marketing Resources Guide, and let us know how else we can help serve our partners and customers better in Microsoft AppSource by reaching out to @MSFTAppSource. 

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