Dreamforce ’11: Salesforce Investing $50 Million in Global Partners
On Aug. 30., 2011, Salesforce.com’s Dreamforce conference wasn’t quite in full-swing just yet. But that doesn’t mean there wasn’t plenty of partner chatter, as Salesforce announced — among other things — an “up to” $50 million fund for investing in systems integrators to take them global.
The news came when Salesforce SVP of Partners and Solutions Denzil Samuels took the stage at the Partner Welcome Keynote. Samuels noted that while more and more Salesforce partners are putting in the effort to get certified in its cloud platform, there’s still a huge certification gap for customers across the world. Particularly, he said, approximately speaking, Salesforce needs another 2,000 certified partners in North America, 700 in EMEA and 150 in APAC.
Enter that $50 million fund. If you’re a systems integrator and you’re not already using or certified in the platform, Salesforce wants to invest in your success. If you’re already a certified Salesforce partner and you want to take your business global, Salesforce wants to invest in you. If you’ve made a global move but need some extra funding to go after bigger and better customers, Salesforce wants to invest in you.
I was able to confirm via a Salesforce spokesperson that the cloud CRM provider’s strategic investment in Appirio came from the fund, so this initiative is already in action.
Other SI and consulting partner-related announcements were largely glossed over, with the promise of more details coming later in the week. But teased into that partner keynote were new channel initiatives including “Cloud Enablement Packages,” putting partners in touch with managers in each region and offering cloud training.
But most interesting to this blogger was the brief mention of the Salesforce Social Enterprise License Agreement, which apparently provides customers with unlimited access to every single Salesforce.com product for a fixed, flat, predictable fee.
It’s extremely intriguing that Salesforce would choose to open its big Dreamforce conference to the 2,000 some-odd partners in attendance with a series of teasers and little solid information. But again, the event isn’t truly in full-swing yet.
Stay tuned all this week for more dispatches from Dreamforce ’11. And watch for ISV-specific insights from Salesforce later today.