Today, enterprises are expanding their portfolio into adjacent industry verticals by building, nurturing, and growing an ecosystem of partners, customers, suppliers, and other third parties. Digital Marketplace products play a central role in providing a customer-facing storefront, where your offerings can be bundled with your partner’s offerings and sold online. We call this “extending your catalog”, which is what differentiates traditional e-commerce from a digital marketplace i.e., the ability to sell third party services and products either independently or bundled with your offerings.

The need for Integration

Integration plays a key role in launching a Digital Marketplace, specifically in:

  • Integrating and API-enabling your existing applications
  • Providing integration end points to third-party systems for value orchestration

Exploring the above in more detail -

Integrating and API-enabling existing applications

Your marketplace solution, cannot function in isolation. It sells your core offerings in addition to third-party offerings. This means you need to integrate the data from your CRM systems, your product catalog, quotation/pricing, billing, order management, payment gateways, etc. and all dependent systems that are currently customer-facing. Many marketplace products offer these capabilities, but it may not be desirable to create islands of data, making it difficult for the business and technical teams. Readiness of your back end / dependent systems, in-terms of API-friendliness, determines the time/effort required to launch your marketplace. The first step maybe to engage your integration team/integration partner to API enable existing functionality and/or build microservices to fulfil the requirements of end-to-end use cases.

The diagram below shows an end-state vision for your systems:

In addition to the above, integration caters to ease of partner on-boarding. Many organizations mandate third-party onboarding policies such as e-KYC, credit checking, legal entity validation, etc. Integration plays a key role in automating these steps by plugging into third-party services that offer these validation capabilities as an API-driven SaaS service.

Providing Integration end points to third parties

A successful marketplace is one that offers value orchestration through a deeper integration between the marketplace provider and the partner’s IT systems. There is little value in a mere meet-and-match marketplace where the buyer only sees the partner’s offering as a listing, without the ability to transact more meaningfully. To ensure transactions go through seamlessly, in an automated fashion, the partner company is required to expose its Inventory, order capture, delivery status and similar systems to the users of the marketplace. This includes pure-play services as well – such as displaying the availability and scheduling of service staff such as field services, installation/repair services, consultants etc. among others. The end-to-end integration of such business capability is called value orchestration. The diagram below shows how value orchestration can be achieved through simple integration:

Role of API Management in a Digital Marketplace

As we discussed, a digital marketplace lets you sell your own and third-party offerings, these offerings could be “data-only” offerings. All of these have to be made available as managed APIs. An API management product, integrated with the digital marketplace, provides a unified experience to the user. The top 3 benefits for the Marketplace owner will be:

  • The ability to sell data-oriented third-party offerings on the digital marketplace as managed APIs. There will be no additional investment for a separate API management product
  • Unified customer experience - All digital products (data, subscriptions, downloads, etc). can be made available on one marketplace
  • Ease of management for the marketplace provider and third-party data providers as all management can be done cohesively from one place

DigitMarket™ is one such cohesive product from Torry Harris that provides both a digital marketplace and an API manager as a bundled offering.

Torry Harris Digital Marketplace services

Torry Harris offers the following services to accelerate the launch of your marketplace.

What does your digital marketplace need?   What is our expertise? What tools do we use?
Initial ideation and brainstorming
  • The range of marketplace business models – Platform 1.0 and 2.0 models (Marketplace as a Service with value orchestration)
  • Relationships between marketplace owners and vendors
  • Marketplace business process requirements
  • Business model canvas
  • Capability roadmaps
  • Executive workshop sessions
  • Platform 2.0 reference model
Marketplace strategy development
  • Translation of your business domain knowledge into actionable strategy and requirements for processes, platforms, and integration tasks
  • Integrating offerings from adjacent industry verticals to create vertical-specific digital ecosystems.
  • Marketplace platform requirements
  • Stakeholder interviews
  • Business model canvas
  • Platform architecture templates
  • Business architecture
Marketplace platform strategy and design
  • Marketplace platform products
  • E-commerce platforms
  • Enterprise applications
  • Integration strategy
  • APIs and technology architecture for rapid business change
  • Platform business design
  • Torry Harris' DigitMarketTM Digital Marketplace
  • Oracle ATG, Hybris, Shopify, Magento, AppDirect, Mirakl
  • Cloud integration platforms (iPaaS) – Dell Boomi, SnapLogic, Mulesoft
  • Enterprise software (custom and packaged) including Salesforce, Zuora, SAP, Oracle, ServiceNow
Marketplace build and implementation
  • Marketplace platform products
  • E-commerce platforms
  • Enterprise applications
  • Integration strategy
  • APIs, events, and other modern flexible software infrastructure
  • iPaaS and cloud integration
  • Microservices
  • CI/CD and DevOps
  • Factory software delivery models
  • Partner onboarding automation
  • Torry Harris' delivery products, including Coupler, Deplomatic, AutomatonTM, and AutoStub®
  • Torry Harris' software infrastructure, including DigitMarketTM Digital Marketplace, Coupler and DigitMarketTM API Manager
  • Cloud platforms (e.g., AWS, Azure, Google Cloud Platform)
  • Integration platforms (e.g., MuleSoft, Boomi, etc.)
  • Torry Harris DevOps framework and reference implementation
  • Partner onboarding case TM-Forum study
Marketplace managed operations
  • Site Reliability Engineering
  • Automated operations
  • Continuous operations and in-place upgrade strategies
  • Cloud platform operations tools - Deplomatic
  • Production root cause analysis and tracing tools
  • Security monitoring and incident management
  • Custom Operational Dashboards using 4Sight (Torry Harris Tool)
  • AI operations and automated incident response – Torry Harris tool - 4Sight

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