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Salesforce Renames ISVs, Predicts Consultancy Growth

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James Anderson**Editor’s Note: Click here for a list of August’s important channel-program changes you should know.**

DREAMFORCE ’16 — Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) in Salesforce’s partner program are getting a name change.

Salesforce will refer to its ISVs from now on as App Innovation Partners in a move executives say will set the tone for the company’s partner ecosystem.

“It’s intended to change the narrative about what these third parties can do when they engage with Salesforce and leverage our platform to build incredible apps, to build components, to build templates, to build companies,” said Tyler Prince (above left), executive vice president of worldwide alliances and channels.

Prince said during Day 1 of the Dreamforce conference in San Francisco that words like “independent” and “software” don’t fit the Salesforce partner mantra and that the acronym “ISV” comes from 1960s IBM terminology.

“This is all about modern thinking about the future, and using a 50-year-old term repeatedly to refer to this group of innovation partners just seems a bit off,” he said.{ad}

The Dreamforce partner keynote praised the impact of its channel members while redefining what their role will look like in coming years. Partners are playing more and more of a part in engaging with client’s C-Level executives, according to Salesforce COO and Vice Chairman Keith Block (above right).

“There is not a single CEO conversation that I have that does not have a conversation around, ‘Who is the successful partner to make us successful?’” he said.

As Salesforce told Channel Partners last month, an IDC study found that the company generate $389 billion in revenue and 2 million jobs through 2020. But new IDC data revealed on Tuesday showed that Salesforce partners are growing at a rate of 48 percent year-over-year. 

But more interesting is the growth of consulting partners within Salesforce’s ecosystem, which are expected to be 10 times more populous five years from now.

“It is daunting, but we have an obligation to help you grow the capacity in the marketplace,” Prince said. “We’re going to make investments to help you scale and continue to prioritize enablement in order to help you understand our solutions that currently exist and the ones we haven’t even thought of yet.”

Salesforce unveiled multiple initiatives and solutions during the keynote. Adam Seligman, executive vice president and general manager of Salesforce’s App Cloud, told partners that they would now be able to incorporate the newly released Einstein AI platform into their apps. Seligman also said the company is requiring its partners to …

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… become capable of using Lightning, the company’s app -building experience, by February 2017.

Salesforce's Neeracha Taychakhoonavudh“The customers really want to move to Lightning. They want your apps to be there when they move to Lightning. Are you in?” he asked.

The company also on Tuesday announced Salesforce DX, a new developer experience.

Neeracha Taychakhoonavudh, senior vice president of partner programs, announced several program enhancements that stem from partner feedback. Although she said partners are happy with their access to new customers and the availability of Salesforce resources, many of them expressed dissatisfaction with operation support, sales and technical enablement and “ease of doing business.”

“Getting on the partner community has not always been the easiest thing, so we have been focused on streamlining on-boarding,” she said.{ad}

She also noted that partners weren’t fans of the process of reviewing the security of apps that go onto Salesforce’s AppExchange. As a result, Salesforce is rolling out Security Review FastTrack, which is said to give pre-screening assistance in order to speed up the process.

“We’re not messing with our gold standard,” she said. “But as we spent more time looking at the Security Review, we really saw that there are issues surrounding the gold standard in terms of process, in terms of confusion and transparency.”


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