Salesforce Invites Partners to $389 Billion Opportunity

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Salesforce is calling on partners to join it as it projects global growth over the next five years.

The cloud computing giant announced results of an IDC study Monday that predict that members of Salesforce’s “ecosystem” will help add $389 billion in new revenue from now through 2020.

Salesforce's Neeracha TaychakhoonavudhThe company’s announcement drives home the idea that its array of partners far outstrips the business that the company does on its own.

“Partners really are the lifeblood of Salesforce, and they extend our platform, they extend our reach, and when you actually view an all-in look at the impact of the ecosystem and the magnifying effect, it’s a little bit awe-inspiring even for me,” said Neeracha Taychakhoonavud, senior vice president of partner programs for Salesforce.

She told Channel Partners that Salesforce partner will gain $4.14 for ever $1 Salesforce earns by the time 2020 rolls around.

“There’s a lot of growth in that, and that’s really the size of the opportunity and the impact of the ecosystem, which ultimately benefits our mutual clients,” she said.{ad}

The 12-page report from IDC details where Salesforce and its partners can expect to find revenue in the next five years.

While Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) currently accounts for 61 percent of public cloud computing, IDC predicts that it will drop to 54 percent by 2020 as Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) will jump from 16 percent to 21 percent and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) will go from 11 percent to 17 percent.

Taychakhoonavud said it’s important to note that the entire “pie” of public cloud computing is growing, from $67 billion in 2015 to $162 billion in 2020. And SaaS is the oldest and most mature of the technologies, she said.

“If you think about Software-as-a-Service — Salesforce started in 1999. Yes, we were very early, but that is 17 years ago. For us, I think what we see is maturity and people very comfortable running sales and services in the cloud,” she said. “The reason infrastructure and platform [are] growing as a share of the much larger pie is that people are coming to think more about moving classical compute or writing apps on platforms going forward.”

One startling statistic from the study is that 71 percent of an end-user’s average IT budget is spent on maintenance and routine upgrades. Taychakhoonavud said most people would expect that number to be much lower.

“If you think about it, 71 percent of IT spend is just keeping the lights on. It’s nothing to do with innovation. It’s nothing to do with delivering functionality that the business wants to better service [its] customers. It’s just maintenance,” she said. “That I think is very, very stark, because in a cloud environment, you don’t have to worry about that.”

She said Salesforce is looking for partners to make more of an investment, often starting with adapting to changing technologies.

“Maybe if you’re a consulting firm, and your consultants are used to working on other projects – maybe other CRM platforms – who aren’t as familiar with cloud. Our partners are looking to figure out how to retrain those resources so they can come work in the cloud word and the Salesforce world,” she said.

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