Cloud provider funding 101

Did you know that all major cloud providers have partner funding programs? Cloud providers are incredibly supportive of ISVs looking to expand their cloud-based service. Learn how to focus your effort and secure cloud provider funding with ease

By Jonathan Avital, Feb 10 2022
Cloud provider funding 101

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again — cloud providers want to drive consumption on their platforms. That’s because the more people and platforms use their infrastructure, the more money they earn. And the best way to increase usage and drive consumption is through building new partnerships and increasing the number of end-users on new and existing cloud-based platforms. That’s why any action that supports either goal has value for cloud providers.  

In previous posts, we talked about the human resources cloud providers allocate to building new partnerships and increasing the number of end-users. But the resources they dedicate to encouraging people to enter their ecosystem aren’t only human. Cloud providers are large, deep-pocketed entities, and they’re willing to invest money, either via credit for future use on their platforms or in some cases, actual cash.  

But how can ISVs access cloud platform funding? First, it’s important to understand what funding is available for. These are the four key types of activities that cloud providers support: 

Marketing funds

One of the best ways to boost cloud usage is to get more people to use cloud-based products. That’s why cloud providers are often willing to support ISV marketing efforts. 

The sky’s the limit in this area—cloud providers are open to supporting any marketing effort that generates quality leads for an ISV’s cloud platform. This includes Google AdWords, display campaigns and social media campaigns that market to end-users. They may also support the development of marketing content such as videos, webinars, blog posts, mini-sites, and customer success stories that get people excited about the ISV’s cloud solution and drive usage. 

As far as the providers are concerned, any marketing initiative is applicable, via any media, and regardless of whether the target audience is the end customer, potential partner, or the cloud stakeholders themselves. The only fundamental requirement is that this activity should help the ISV grow, and grow cloud adoption and consumption at the same time.

Opportunity acceleration funds 

New leads are great, but obstacles aren’t rare as part of the selling process; fierce competition, infrastructure costs for launching new solutions can be expensive, security and compliance issues, or even lack of staff to execute the new project. This is where a providers’ deep pockets come into play. To support creating new solutions that utilize cloud infrastructure, cloud platforms provide financial support, a type of seed money, to help ISVs overcome the challenges and utilize the opportunities they encounter. 

Development funds  

Another type of funding is available to support the development of new features and products. New features and products are valuable to cloud providers because they create new workloads which drive consumption on their platforms. 

Cloud providers know it isn’t easy to create outstanding new capabilities, so they support the development of new workloads that utilize their cloud as the infrastructure, like a type of startup accelerator within their platforms. It’s important to mention that there are always “focus services” that the providers are trying to promote in every possible way. When an ISV is interested in such service the providers might be much more supportive and generous. 

Like in other areas, they support development with both cash and credit as well as by providing expert advice from their professional teams. 


Companies often develop great apps and products using on-prem platforms or alternative cloud platforms, at some point however, a technical or business constraint occurs that might make them seek alternative providers. Migration can be expensive and timely.

Cloud providers are strategic and their cost-to-benefit analysis is long-term. The aforementioned migration opportunities are their holy grail. If they can secure a client that will use their platform for years, it is often worth their while to subsidize the costs of migration or just financially incentivise an ISV to do so. Therefore, cloud providers are often willing to provide significant funds to ISVs who are migrating their solutions from an on-prem, or even a competitor platform, to make the transition more feasible. 

Accessing cloud provider funding

Cloud providers have extensive funding available to support ISVs, but in order to access it, ISVs need to contact the right person with the right strategy. It’s key that they demonstrate the value of the investment in increasing potential usage on the cloud platform.  

The promise is more important than the quantity of cloud services the ISV uses. Cloud providers aren’t only focused on their current biggest users, they’re also interested in promising ISVs that will be the next big thing. That’s why, as an ISV, it’s important to show them what you can do and the potential your solution has for promoting the cloud provider’s goals. 

As always, we’re happy to walk you through the options and help you access the most relevant funding option for your company. Contact us for more information.