What Salesforce's Growing Reach Could Mean to Channel
Salesforce.com has always had a somewhat limited relationship with the channel. It sells the vast majority of its software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications direct, but it has also come to realize it needs the channel to reach a market that continues to grow alongside its ambitions.
After initially focusing primarily on CRM software, Salesforce.com has extended its reach into everything from marketing and service management to, now, analytics and mobile application development in the form of a new Wave analytics cloud and a Salesforce1 Lightning framework for rapidly building mobile applications.
In fact, a new report from Bluewolf, one of Salesforce.com’s primary partners in the channel, suggested the company’s influence is rapidly expanding. Based on a survey of more than 1,000 Salesforce.com customers, 54 percent of companies are using two or more Salesforce clouds, with 46 percent saying they have invested in the Salesforce.com service cloud.
The survey, developed in conjunction with the MIT Sloan School of Management, also found that 89 percent of customers are using Salesforce1 mobile solutions, and 45 percent of customers will increase their investment in mobile initiatives over the next 12 months. A full 46 percent of enterprise companies either have or plan to build custom mobile apps on the Salesforce1 Platform in 2015.
In addition, 71 percent of companies will increase their investments in data and analytics in the coming year.
All of this bodes well for solution providers that have aligned themselves with Salesforce. Of course, solution providers that sell on-premise software that is being replaced by Salesforce applications in the cloud may not be particularly thrilled. Likewise, many solution providers have already aligned themselves with Salesforce's competitors.
The good news, however, is that companies are likely to continue spending a lot of money on integrating existing legacy applications with cloud applications, such as Salesforce's offerings, for many years to come.
Michael Vizard has been covering IT issues in the enterprise for 25 years as an editor and columnist for publications such as InfoWorld, eWEEK, Baseline, CRN, ComputerWorld and Digital Review.