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Knowledge Base  /  Marketplace  /  Providers

CenturyLink Marketplace Provider Program Guide

Updated by Brandy Smith on Jan 28, 2018
Article Code: kb/78

The CenturyLink Marketplace Provider Program Guide is designed to outline the process expectations for technology companies seeking to integrate their products and services into the CenturyLink Marketplace. Providers who enter this program and meet the certification requirements will be eligible to have their approved technology listed in the CenturyLink Marketplace. To express interest in joining the program, prospective Providers can visit the CenturyLink Marketplace Provider Program web page, reach out to their sales account manager directly, or email the Marketplace team.

Audience

  • CenturyLink Marketplace Applicant, Candidate and Provider firms
  • CenturyLink Employees

The CenturyLink Marketplace Provider Program is designed to provide additional value within CenturyLink’s enterprise cloud computing platform and other strategic CenturyLink products and offerings, through partnerships with innovative technology and service providers. The CenturyLink Marketplace provides an online catalog of installable software and solutions, allowing consumers to browse and purchase in a self-service, low friction consumption model. The Marketplace also provides a quick and easy way for CenturyLink sales force to help customers purchase solutions.
By integrating their technology into the CenturyLink Marketplace, our technology Providers can take advantage of a differentiated, digital route-to-market: presented as part of a enterprise-grade automation platform which powers one of the largest pools of IT infrastructure in the world.

Benefits of Integrating with the CenturyLink Marketplace

Streamlined Product Delivery

The Marketplace offers a documented SaaS integration path into the Marketplace. Providers can learn more about the integration process here.
A CenturyLink Marketplace engineer works closely with the Providers development team to provide SaaS integration guidance and testing of the providers solution. A Marketplace team member will also work with the Provider to gain access to the Provider Portal to create customer-facing content for the product and SKU creation. Additionally, Marketplace transactions do not require a SoW, which shortens the procurement processes from months to days.

Grow Your Reach with a Digital Route to Market

Capitalize on the growth of cloud computing. By launching directly from the CenturyLink Marketplace, customers can quickly deploy products, decreasing the length of the sales cycle. Gain exposure to CenturyLink's growing community of Providers, Partners, and customers.

Simplified Billing and Payments

Customers pay for CenturyLink Marketplace software as part of the regular CenturyLink billing cycle. CenturyLink manages the complexity of metering, billing, payment collection, and financial reporting allowing providers to focus on building and selling core products.

Support for CenturyLink Term Commits

Unlike other marketplaces, the CenturyLink Marketplace is Term Commit Friendly. Should a Marketplace transaction be sales assisted & subject to a Term Commit, either from the Provider or CenturyLink, we can ensure that the subscription can't be terminated prior to the commit date being reached.

This document explains the process for onboarding technology into the CenturyLink Marketplace Provider Program, and how progressively successful outcomes can be achieved in partnership with CenturyLink.

Joining the Marketplace Provider Program

Providers can enter the Marketplace in many ways. Some enter via a CenturyLink sales or channel Provider relationship. If you are a provider and wish to learn more about participating in the Marketplace, but do not have a CenturyLink representative to work with, you can fill out the "Sign Up Now" form found here and a Marketplace representative will reach out to you with more information.

Go to Market Activities

As part of the Marketplace program, Providers will work with a Marketplace team member to create a Go to Market plan. The Marketplace team will build out a blog and social campaign, create a folder in our internal sales library to host sales enablement content, and give Providers access to the CenturyLink Brownbag program, which allows for Providers to present their product to the CenturyLink sales team and solution architects. The Provider will also work with a Marketplace team member to execute any additional joint Go to Market or sales Enablement training.

Application Process

Regardless of how the potential provider enters the application process the following steps apply.
Applications to the Program will be reviewed as they are received by the CenturyLink Marketplace team with consideration given to the following items:

  • The value proposition and/or financial benefit the feature provides to clients
  • CenturyLink Cloud/Infrastructure Pull-Through
  • The function that will be provided relative to the existing and/or planned features in the CenturyLink Cloud platform
  • The density of other Marketplace Providers already providing similar capability
  • The fee structure and pricing model for the function or feature
  • Maturity and performance of the product and company
  • Being a CenturyLink Cloud customer in good standing

Applicants selected to move forward will have access to the Marketplace Integration Team to help develop an integration plan with the CenturyLink platform.

The provider is responsible for completing the following steps to allow for their account to be configured as a Marketplace Provider:

  1. If not yet a CenturyLink Cloud customer, providers must setup a CenturyLink Cloud account, the account is free to set up and will only accumulate charges for what you use on the account. Once becoming a certified Marketplace Provider, providers will be given access to the CenturyLink Marketplace Provider Portal, where they can accept the Marketplace Agreement, create product tiles, view their subscription reports, and more.

  2. Review and acceptance of the CenturyLink Marketplace Agreement(MPA), which is available here, within the Provider Portal.
    MPA Legal guidance can be found here.
    While the Marketplace team is available to discuss the MPA with potential providers to provide clarification on any aspects of the agreement, we will not accept red lines or amendments to the MPA.
    The Marketplace was built as a pre-approved commercialization contract vehicle, it is meant to provide low-friction on-boarding of providers and fast procurement time for sales and customers. The process of involving both the provider and CenturyLink legal teams to review, edit, approve, and execute red lines to the MPA adds friction to the process and breaks the scalability of the intended model.

Certification

To ensure Candidate solutions deliver both business value and trouble-free use, CenturyLink requires each Candidate to successfully pass a certification process. This includes validation that:

  • The solution performs as advertised and described in the application.

  • The user guides and applicable documentation are simple to follow, accurate and publishable to the CenturyLink Cloud Knowledge Base.

  • The solution integrates seamlessly with the CenturyLink Cloud automation framework or other CenturyLink offerings in a manner that achieves low time-to-value in a self-service model.

  • The solution delivers the business value outlined in the application

Providers have up to three months to complete any integration needed, validate functionality and create the necessary documentation. During this period, CenturyLink will provide the Providers access to a fully functioning, production cloud environment with a monthly usage credit to be used for automation testing. Once the technology integration has been certified, the Provider will continue to have access to the same integration environment with a monthly integration credit in order to ensure compatibility with new features and versions. In order to continue receiving this ongoing integration benefit, Providers will need to be a cloud customer in good standing, through standard online terms and conditions found here. The Provider must also be an active participating Provider. At no time should the account or credit be used for company production usage. Accounts are reviewed on a discretionary basis by CenturyLink to ensure that Providers are meeting the requirements listed above. CenturyLink reserves the right to terminate this credit at any time with a 30-day notification to the Provider via email to the active users on the CenturyLink Cloud account.

Please note the Provider technology must function with the standard CenturyLink Cloud or product feature set as no feature development on the part of the CenturyLink Development Center will be performed to enable a Candidate through the process. During this development period and throughout the term of the Program, the Provider will be provided access, on a limited basis, to CenturyLink Integration Engineers as needed for detailed technology questions and roadmap exploration.

Documentation

Two types of Knowledge Base (KB) articles should be created for all Marketplace Provider technologies: focused on Public end-users and Internal cloud support personnel.

Public Articles should be used to practically guide end-users through deploying the technology. The documentation should be intuitive and provide step-by-step guidance in such a way that all skill levels can use the solution. These should be accessible online through the CenturyLink Cloud Knowledge Base (KB). The primary goal of Public KB articles is to ensure customer success: what should the user know about how to take advantage of this technology integration with CenturyLink?

Internal Articles will be used to provide detailed information to the CenturyLink Sales teams. These internal articles should include any documentation that the provider deems necessary for the sales teams to be trained to confidently educated customers on the product offering and the solutions it provides. Examples of these articles are sales enablement content, tear sheets, demos, and reference architectures.

Once these KB articles are completed and published, the Provider will coordinate with the CenturyLink Marketplace team to validate the automated deployment model works as intended and the documentation accurate. For successful validation, CenturyLink Cloud Marketplace Integrators should be able to use the provided documentation to completely build and validate all features through our standard platform without the need for support outside of any unexpected issues.

Onboarding

As the provider works with the CenturyLink Integration Engineers to certify their product and billing integration, a Marketplace team member will concurrently work with the provider to onboard them through the process of building their public facing Marketplace tiles. The onboarding process consists of the provider accessing the CenturyLink Provider Portal and creating tiles for each product. While the Provider Portal was created to be a self-service tool, there are multiple resources, just in time training videos, and access to a Marketplace team member to assist the provider throughout the process.

Product Lifecycle Management

Marketplace Providers will be responsible for a number of tasks in order for their products to remain certified and eligible on the CenturyLink Marketplace:

Business Development

  • Provider shall, within proper usage guidelines, contribute marketing collateral for use by both CenturyLink and Partner sales organizations.

  • Provider shall identify a use case to serve as the center-point of a content marketing strategy for which CenturyLink will publish a blog, video demo, or both to the CenturyLink Cloud blog.

  • Provider will provide sales and offer development support for solution development around their technology.

Continuous Training

  • As the Provider’s product changes or as needed and with reasonable notice:

  • Providers will be expected to update KnowledgeBase articles and support the updating of recorded training videos for CenturyLink’s customer base.

  • Upon request, Provider will provide supplementary technical training for the CenturyLink Cloud Support team.

  • Upon request, Provider will provide supplementary technical training for the CenturyLink Cloud Sales and Solution Architecture team.

Account Management

Provider is responsible for all aspects of their client management.
CenturyLink will not act on behalf of or interact directly with the client on matters related to the usage of the Provider’s product.

Support

Support for software provisioned through the Marketplace is rendered by the individual Software Provider. The CenturyLink Customer Care Team is unable to provide support for your software. However, if customers are experiencing issues with the infrastructure that hosts your software, they can open a ticket via help@ctl.io.

Renewal

At each anniversary of certification, both parties will evaluate the Program value during the participation period. If nothing is identified and communicated between parties it shall be assumed that the business value has proven sufficient, and the program will renew for an additional term.