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Salesforce reaches out to ISV community

The firm has made changes to its app platform to arm ISVs with more information about how their software performs

Salesforce has reached out to the ISV community and announced tools to help customers identify skilled consultants in partners with a TripAdvisor type model.

The firm held its London partner forum earlier this week and told the 1,200 strong audience that it wanted to have a relationship that put the customer at the centre and for the channel to take more advantage of the services that could be gained on the back of selling Salesforce.

"We don't forget that we are selling a product, we don't forget what we are seling and what we are developing, and how we sell it but who we are selling it to," said Leon Mangan, senior vice president alliances and channels EMEA at Salesforce.

Partners deliver three quarters of the implementations globally for the firm and are seen as an essential route to market.

"We showed them the size of the opportunity," said Mangan, commenting that the firm was heading for revenues in excess of $16bn this year. "We are different from our competitors because we are focused on our customers and there is this explosion of opportunity."

The firm currently has about 5,500 apps and more than 6m downloads but there are ambitions to work more closely with the ISV community and increase that number.

The firm has re-launched its AppExchange with a TripAdvisor type feature where customers will be able to search for consultants based on location, skills and reputation as well as provising those ISVs that do submit with more analytics around the use of the tools by customers.

"If you are an ISV ypu want to know how your App Exchange listing is appearing, who is looking at it, what types of companies they are engaging with on the app exchange and the second side of it is how is the app performing inside the customer," he added 2they will now be able to see analystics around the performance of the app and how it is being consumed and used."

He said greater analytics would help ISVs gain insights into how the app was working and help generate greater levels of customer intimacy.

The response from partners is to get more training from Salesforce to make sure it has the consultants with the right skills and the vendor is looking to increase talent in the ecosystem.

"We have about 65,000 Salesforce consultants certified and competent around the world right now but by FY 2022 that will increase to between 250-300,000 consultants. If you look at the IDC 2017 Salesforce economy report there will be 3.2m jobs created in the ecosystem by 2022, of which we see up to 300,000 certified consultants. In the UK alone it is 114,000 in the ecosystem," said Mangan.

He added that the feedback from partners this week at the forum event and the world tour event at Excel yesterday was that they were keen to get certified and increase their competencies.

"We have seen fantastic momentum this year and the consultants I have spoken to are all looking to grow their consultancies and put in more capacity, certifications and competency," said Mangan.

Salesforce has announced plans to make more of its Trailhead training available to partners and help them bring more people into the sector to get trained up to serve customers.

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