Salesforce Pours Another $50 Million into Channel’s Consultant Trailblazer Fund

The latest round comes as IDC predicts trillions in new business revenue, fueled by cloud computing.

Kelly Teal, Contributing Editor

November 12, 2019

4 Min Read
Pouring money

Salesforce and its channel partners will generate $1.2 trillion in new business revenue and create 4.2 million new jobs between 2019 and 2024, with cloud computing fueling the increases.

That’s according to new research from IDC. The firm further found that, within five years, nearly half of cloud computing spend will tie to digital transformation and account for almost half of all software sales. In dollars, that translates to $179 billion in cloud spending as of this year and $418 billion in 2024.

Those numbers don’t just benefit the world’s largest provider of customer relationship management platforms. They also mean money for certain Salesforce partners. Indeed, Salesforce is putting heft behind IDC’s statistics: On Tuesday, the company’s global corporate investment group, Salesforce Ventures, launched another $50 million round for its Consultant Trailblazer Fund.

The first round went live in May 2017. This latest iteration will provide cloud consulting companies and digital agencies with capital to build and scale their Salesforce offerings. In fact, Salesforce aims to have 250,000 certified consultants in its arsenal by 2022.


Salesforce’s J.C. Collins

“Growing demand for Salesforce solutions presents an incredible opportunity for partners with Salesforce expertise — many have told us that their Salesforce practices are growing by more than 50% annually,” J.C. Collins, COO of industries, innovation and partners at Salesforce, told Channel Futures. “That’s why we’re doubling down with an additional $50 million fund.”

The Consultant Trailblazer Fund supports the full range of Salesforce solutions, not just those targeting certain verticals. To be eligible for the Trailblazer Fund, partners must be enrolled in the Consulting Partner program, “progressing up the tiers quickly,” Collins said.

“They must be fast growing in terms of revenue and certified individuals, and have a great reputation with our customers, I&P and sales team,” he added. “We expect partners to use the investment to grow their Salesforce practices and will work with partners on specific terms when we start the process.”

Investment sizes vary. Collins said Salesforce Ventures invests as minority shareholders, intending to have less than 15 percent ownership.

“We know this is unique in terms of venture investing in consulting and agency firms, but we believe in our partners and our investments have proven to be a valuable contribution to the growth of the Salesforce ecosystem,” Collins said.


Silverline’s Gireesh Sonnad

New York-based Silverline is one of the partners taking advantage of the Consultant Trailblazer Fund — again. Silverline first teamed with Salesforce Ventures in 2013. Since that time, the consultancy, which focuses on the financial services and health care sectors, has beefed up its internal staff by more than 300%.

“In today’s competitive ecosystem, we strive to do more than simply build a collaborative, engaging culture – we want to focus on how to attract the best and brightest with an exceptional recruiting team,” Gireesh Sonnad, CEO and co-founder of Silverline, told Channel Futures. “We’ve also been able to expand our reach and grow our expertise to address more sophisticated client needs. As a Salesforce partner, we’ve been able to help our mutual clients…

…succeed with important and impactful business transformations.”

To that point, since the 2013 investment, Silverline has evolved from a Silver to Platinum Salesforce Cloud Alliance partner, with hundreds of consultants and more than 1,200 Salesforce implementations.

That trajectory should continue. IDC predicts that, within the financial services industry, the Salesforce economy will add $224.3 billion in new revenue and 730,900 new jobs by 2024. For the health care vertical, analysts project gains of $68.5 billion in new revenue and 222,600 new jobs by 2024. Again, Silverline specializes in both domains, and Sonnad says he looks forward to continued expansion.

“By investing in top partners like Silverline, Salesforce is making a difference firsthand in the investments themselves, allowing us to focus wholly on our clients’ successes,” he said.


Simplus’s Ryan Westwood

Ryan Westwood, CEO of Simplus, which has completed more than 2,000 Salesforce implementations, agreed.

“Since Salesforce Ventures first invested in Simplus in 2016, we have expanded globally and are now a Salesforce Platinum Partner,” Westwood said in a prepared statement. “Salesforce Ventures has supported us throughout our expansion into APAC, Canada and EMEA. Salesforce Ventures’ presence in our board meetings, introductions and support of our ongoing strategy have been invaluable to [our] growth.”

In addition to more jobs tied directly to cloud computing, IDC estimates that Salesforce will help create 6.6 million indirect jobs through 2024, because organizations that buy cloud computing also purchase ancillary, yet related, products and services.

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About the Author(s)

Kelly Teal

Contributing Editor, Channel Futures

Kelly Teal has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist, editor and analyst, with longtime expertise in the indirect channel. She worked on the Channel Partners magazine staff for 11 years. Kelly now is principal of Kreativ Energy LLC.

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