Times are changing and how! The technology landscape has long been struggling with growing inefficiencies of on-premise software along with tectonic shifts in workplace requirements. Cloud computing companies like Salesforce.com have been quick to zero in on the avenues that this opened up and have made huge strides. Now, without a doubt, we can say that cloud computing is here to stay. In the wake of this, there have been talks of disintermediation dangers that the cloud computing trend poses to consulting firms and partners. This is as far from the truth as can be. If you’ve partnered up with the right vendor, then cloud computing could very well be the best thing that’s happened to you!
Salesforce.com’s VAR (Value Added Reseller) program, an inclusive approach for its Force.com development platform is a great example of how system integrators and consulting partners can gain from the Salesforce advantage. It gives them the flexibility to try out new things. Drawing lessons from the real-life experiences of its partners, the VAR program was designed to help customers of Salesforce capitalize on the ease of use and cost-efficiencies of the platform with a faster time to value. At the same time, it offered partners and consultants the opportunity to leverage tried-and-tested best practices of a thriving Salesforce partner community. Through the potent development capabilities of the Force.com platform, they can easily develop custom applications that matter to clients.
The advantages for partners are endless and here are a few compelling ones.
- You can sell Force.com user licenses to customers directly. Salesforce.com offers first-line support to all such licenses sold by you.
- You can reach out to new or existing Salesforce customers. Apart from this, all your customer renewals go through you.
- You can market and resell force.com products giving you access to a recurring revenue stream from subscriptions
- It offers a great business model where you gain revenue by marking up the cost of service to clients.
- To be eligible, all you need to do is pass the test from Salesforce and earn ranks of White, Green or Brown Belts for a specific area or for a hot new product. Of course, a Force.com certified consultant on your side is an added advantage.
- The tiering system for partners includes Silver, Gold and Platinum tiers. A scoring system comprising of three criteria – Bookings, Expertise (assessed in certifications), and Customer success (measured through surveys) help determine the category for a partner.
- You have access to exclusive Salesforce ‘SWAG’ such as implementation resources, training kits best practice guideline materials, design templates and much more.
A possible con of the program is the financial challenge to your business that monthly payments toward Salesforce can bring on. However, this can be dealt with easily enough if your client account management in done properly and is hardly a deterrent to the program adoption.
The program has set a new benchmark in partner collaboration and goes a long way to ensuring that customers of the platform get the best, from the best!