A Look at Partnering in the $859B Salesforce Ecosystem

Highlights from the AppExchange and Consulting Partner keynotes at #DF17

As any Dreamforce veteran will tell you, keynotes are worth the time investment (and not just for a chance at finding $500 under your chair). There’s no better way to get a sense of Salesforce’s high-level direction and messaging, to learn about new innovations, and to get inspired by stories of exceptional success in the ecosystem. This year, we kicked off Dreamforce right — with two back-to-back keynotes specifically for Salesforce partners:

“Our ecosystem has grown so rapidly that this year, we had to break the keynote into two parts: for ISVs and for consulting partners.” — Tyler Prince, EVP, WW Alliances & GTM Innovation

(Certainly a good problem to have.)

If you weren’t able to catch these two keynotes, here are a few things you should know about where the $859-billion ecosystem stands, and where we’re headed next.

AppExchange keynote: Giant strides for ISVs in 2017.

“A ton of things have changed in the past five years; we’ve done a lot for the partner experience and a lot for the AppExchange. But I can honestly say, right now, this is the biggest thing we have ever done to the AppExchange.” — Heather Conklin

As AppExchange EVP Leyla Seka outlined in the AppExchange keynote, it’s been one heck of a year for Salesforce ISV partners — from kicking off a new AppExchange Partner Program in May, to hitting a major milestone of 5-million AppExchange installs in early October, to the introduction of the new AppExchange less than two weeks ago.

Heather Conklin, VP of Product Management for the AppExchange, took the stage to discuss this last change in particular. The new AppExchange, now the Salesforce Store, includes several significant (and exciting) changes for partners to be aware of — including the addition of Lightning Data and Bolt Solutions, integrated Trailhead learning, and intelligent search functionality to make it even faster and easier for customers to find the app they need (even if they don’t know they need it yet).

“This is going to be huge for our customers,” Conklin said. “They’re always asking us, What’s next for me on the AppExchange?’ Now they have to look no further than the home page…And that means more eyes on all of your amazing solutions.”

And for an ecosystem that already has an astounding level of impact — the keynote revealed that 87% of Salesforce customers and 89% of Fortune 100 companies use AppExchange apps— that promises even more momentum to come.

Up next: Making it even easier for developers to build ground-breaking solutions.

In addition to customer-facing developments to help ISV partners market and sell apps, 2017 saw an exceptional amount of behind-the-scenes work to make building solutions on the AppExchange even easier. Andrew Albert took the stage to highlight the 700+ new features added in 2017, and explain what’s next.

These improvements include three more developments that are GA at Dreamforce —Platform Events, Big Objects, and SalesforceDX — and, as always, were brought to life through customer examples, including a demo from Bob Marsh of LevelEleven.

And the future? It’s all about Einstein — including yesterday’s announcement of myEinstein — and Lightning (90 of our top 100 AppExchange apps are already Lightning-ready).

“If your app is not Lightning-ready, the time is NOW.” — Andrew Albert, Vice President, Appexchange & ISV Technical Enablement

Consulting partner keynote: It’s all about customer success.

The Consulting Partner Keynote, hosted by Tyler Prince, EVP, WW Alliances & GTM Innovation, kicked off with a look at the phenomenal growth of the Salesforce ecosystem and few related (and staggering) stats from a recent IDC study:

  • Worldwide, Salesforce and its ecosystem is expected to enable the creation of 3.3 million new jobs and generate $859 billion in new business revenues.
  • In 2017, Salesforce ecosystem is nearly four times bigger than Salesforce itself and is expected to be five times bigger by 2022.
  • For every dollar Salesforce will make, the ecosystem will make $3.67 in 2017. And, this number is expected to increase to $5.18 by 2022.

…To name a few. Tyler Prince summed it up best:

“Together, we have built the most enviable ecosystem of consulting partners that the world has ever seen.” — Tyler Prince, EVP, WW Alliances & GTM Innovation

As far as what’s next for consulting partners, it’s all about empowering partners with a series of new program initiatives to make it easier and faster to partner with Salesforce and blaze a trail to lasting customer success.

This includes both internal and external changes. For starters, Salesforce services leadership is now compensated on partner success, and partners will now be able to leverage Salesforce Implementation Architects for complex implementations (learn more in the Customer Success Keynote on Wednesday).

Externally, the team announced the launch of Partner Accelerators, 1:1 discussions with Salesforce specialists to help solve complex problems for customers that partners can take advantage of. And finally, the Compass methodology, the Salesforce approach, will now be extended to partners as well — meaning Trailhead badges and points will now be counted in the Partner Value Score.

Both keynotes had an underlying theme for both ISV and consulting partners: thank you. In a sentence:

Partners have been key to our success from the very start.” — Neeracha Taychakhoonavudh, SVP, Partner & Industry Innovation

And as the $859-billion ecosystem continues to grow and expand, our partners become more critical to our success every day.

At #DF17? Can’t-miss activities for the week:

  • Go to the AppExchange Den (located in the Trailhead Zone, Moscone West Level 1) for sessions, giveaways, 1:1 consultations with experts, and more.
  • Go to the Partner Lodge (located on the second floor of the Park Central Hotel) to connect with other partners and learn best practices.
  • Check out Startup Valley (located directly next to the AppExchange Den) to get inspired by some of the incredible startups in our ecosystem.
  • Schedule a Braindate (Braindate lounge located on the ground level of the Park Central Hotel) to connect with and learn from other Salesforce partners. Learn more here.
  • Don’t miss Dreampitch (4:30pm on Tuesday in Moscone West) to see three amazing startups compete for $250k funding from Salesforce Ventures.