New Partner Resources, Momentum, and Giving Back Take Center Stage at Dreamforce ‘15

This year’s Dreamforce was a capstone to an incredible year for Salesforce’s partner ecosystem. Four days can go by fast, so I wanted to make sure I highlighted some of the more important partner news coming out of our partner keynote.

But first, some color commentary regarding the opportunity ahead of us. Many of you know that this year Salesforce was added to the Fortune 500, and financial analysts have projected that we will be the fourth-largest software company next year. A large part of this is due to partners and the amazing momentum we’re seeing in the channel, such as:

  • Salesforce runs the largest and longest-running business app marketplace, with 2,800+ apps and 3+ million installs.

    • 85% of the Fortune 500 have at least one AppExchange app installed.

    • 79% of Salesforce customers use partner apps.

  • Salesforce now has 23,000+ certified consultants, which represents a 45% increase from this time last year in certifications held by partners.

  • Recent IDC research points to a $135 billion ecosystem opportunity for Salesforce consulting partners over the next five years.

New Partner Resources, Tools and Programs

How will we continue this great trajectory together? During the keynote, we announced several new Salesforce investments in resources, tools and programs, including:

  • New Certifications and Learning Tools — We’ve worked with Salesforce University to roll out a new Developer certification path to recognize consulting partner expertise and a new Architect Academy with specialist tracks that leads to a Technical Architect certification. Of course, one of the biggest news items from Dreamforce was Salesforce’s introduction of Trailhead, a new interactive learning environment for all Salesforce app creators. We’ve already seen massive adoption of the Lightning “trail” from the partner community; in fact, in the program’s first month, partners have completed 4,500 trail badges! The first partner-specific module, ISV Basics, is available today, and we will continue to add partner-specific modules and trails going forward.

  • Industry Blueprints — As many of you know, the Salesforce Industries team is working to deliver repeatable, industry-relevant solutions for key verticals. A core element of our go-to-market strategy is to engage our partner ecosystem to define, sell and implement these solutions to jointly deliver amazing customer success. To expand on the great work to date, we are thrilled to announce Industry Blueprints. Each Industry Blueprint includes functional and process views incorporating key SI and ISV offerings to address specific industry problems and customer needs. These blueprints will act as “North Stars” for our industry strategy, providing insights around our product direction, partner capabilities and competitive differentiation. We’ll share more detail over the next two quarters with a full rollout in FY17. Stay tuned!

  • ‘Fullforce Masters’ is Now ‘Salesforce Masters’ — In an effort to expand the scope and reach of the Masters program, Fullforce Masters is now becoming Salesforce Masters, enabling a broader set of designations that recognize a partner’s delivery expertise, customer success track record and sales achievements. All Salesforce products and industries are included in this expanded initiative. And specializations are searchable internally, making it easy for AEs to match partners and customers.

Partner Momentum on the Salesforce Platform

One of the more exciting developments over the last few years is how key partners are betting on the Salesforce platform. In fact, during the Partner Keynote, Sage CEO Stephen Kelly took the stage to explain how the company leveraged Salesforce’s platform to facilitate a massive business transformation and deliver Sage Live — a new small business accounting solution — from idea to app in under 25 weeks. Built on the Salesforce App Cloud, Sage Live is a real-time integrated accounting solution designed to give SMBs everything they need to run their businesses.

In other news, Accenture announced it is extending its Accenture CAS software suite onto the Salesforce App Cloud. By bringing the popular consumer goods solution to the cloud for the first time, Accenture will combine its market-leading Accenture CAS suite of customer management and mobility software with the built-in mobile, social and analytics capabilities of Salesforce’s #1 CRM and enterprise cloud platform. The solution will ultimately offer consumer goods companies a single system of engagement for sales and trade marketing processes.

Partners are similarly driving momentum by building on Salesforce’s Wave Analytics Platform. Launched at Dreamforce ‘14, Wave was designed from the ground up to be open, making it easy to build and deploy analytics apps faster than ever. More than 80 partners have joined the Wave partner ecosystem to extend analytics to every business need, and at Dreamforce ‘15, 13 leading ISVs showcased new pilot apps that enable users to uncover insight and take action. Special thanks to Acxiom, Apttus, Click Software, FinancialForce, idio, Model N, NewVoiceMedia, Rootstock, Saama, spring ML, Steelbrick, Talent Objects and Vlocity.

Partners Giving Back

Before I close, I would be remiss not to mention how partners participated with us in our efforts to give back in the communities where we live and operate. This year at Dreamforce, Salesforce hosted the world’s largest book drive, with many partners contributing to the 1 million books donated to libraries and schools around the world and 3,500 kits packed for Project Night Night to support homeless children. We continue to encourage partners to integrate philanthropy into their corporate cultures through the Pledge 1% program, which challenges individuals and companies to pledge 1% of equity, product or employee time for their communities. This year, 38 Salesforce partners took the pledge at Dreamforce.

I want to applaud our entire partner community for their commitment to customer success and giving back. Dreamforce provides an opportunity to reflect on what we’ve done together, and as you can see from all the new programs and momentum, we have an exciting year ahead of us.

Tyler Prince is Executive Vice President, WW Channels & Alliances, Salesforce.

 

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