Salesforce Launches New AppExchange Partner Program

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Lynn Haber**Editor’s Note: Click here for our most recent list of important channel-program changes you should know.**

As Salesforce AppExchange moves into its next decade, the company took a step back to figure out how to go bigger with the application marketplace for the next 10 years. The result is the launch of the AppExchange Partner Program.

As a result, the existing ISV Partner Program goes away.

“This is a new view on partnership for us. This is about how we’re reimagining startups and young companies that want to build and integrate with our technologies and how we’re encouraging and will teach them to do that,” Leyla Seka, executive vice president, AppExchange Partner Program, shared with us.

The three key tenets of the AppExchange Partner Program: a reimaged business model; streamlined onboarding and making it easy for ISVs to do business with the company; and new technology to help ISVs innovate.

Salesforce's Leyla SekaLaunched in 2005, Salesforce AppExchange today has more than 3,000 apps, more than 300 components and 4 million-plus installs. Third-party apps range from those that enhance Salesforce’s core suite of CRM and extend it to the back offices, as well as apps across categories types and others targeted to vertical industries.

Also announced Tuesday, Salesforce has created a $100 million Platform Fund to invest in companies that are helping to solve customer problems. This initiative follows on the Salesforce Lightning Fund launched in June 2016, with $50 million.

“That was wildly successful, so the idea here is that we’re going to double down and go even wider with the $100 million Platform Fund and focus on companies that are building transformative apps and are extending the power of Salesforce to our customers,” Seka said.{ad}

Taking a deeper look at the three core partner program features:

  • The new business model will emphasize a partner’s Trailblazer score based on new metrics such as customer success, product success, team readiness and giving back. While the vendor realizes that revenue is still important to both partners and Salesforce and will continue to be taken into account, other considerations also important.

“The simple fact is that we have great big partners that do a ton of revenue, are amazing and we love them, but we also have smaller partners that don’t do a ton of revenue but solve unique and really interesting problems for customers. So we want to make sure that we create an environment where we can see all different types of partners,” said Seka.

The new AppExchange Partner Program will also have a lower baseline percent-net-revenue (PNR) – l5 percent down from 25 percent – also to make it more feasible for younger ISVs to do business with Salesforce. According to the vendor, existing ISV partners are eligible for …


… the new PNR terms upon renewal of their current contracts.

  • To improve the onboarding process, there’ll be a new onboarding wizard that will include automated guides and checklists, and other automation to streamline and quicken the process.

Partners will also see new payment tools, including support for Single Euro Payments and Automatic Clearing House (ACH), in addition to credit cards, so partners can run their business through the AppExchange.

A new partner dashboard and console will facilitate communication between partners and Salesforce, to help manage their Trailblazer scores and onboarding checklist progress.

  • Bringing new technology to ISVs is the third core tenet of the new AppExchange Partner Program. The program will include free Heroku access for developers, ISVs and startups to build apps in the language of their choice.

“The main message here is build where you want to build – you want to build on Heroku, build on Heroku, you want to build on, build on, you want to build across both – great,” said Seka. “Do what you need to do to solve the customer problem and run your business in the way that makes sense to you,” she added.{ad}

Currently in beta, Salesforce DX is a re-envisioned way for ISVs and developers to interact with each other around development. According to the vendor, Salesforce DX enables new levels of productivity, collaboration and control.

While many pieces of the new partner program go into effect immediately, the Trailblazer score goes live at Dreamforce in November; the onboarding wizard should be ready in another month or so; and new payment tools will be available later this year as will Salesforce DX, according to the company.

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