Although the company believes everyone wants to be a Salesforce.com partner, it does not plan to add any more partners locally just yet.
The software-as-a-service-based CRM provider has recently added Simpl as a partner in New Zealand, but Singapore-based regional director of alliances, Guy Cross, says the company is content with its partner base here for now.
“Everybody wants to be our partner right now. We are going to expand but in a very reasonable way. We are not trying to sign up every partner – we are trying to sign up a select few and as the business grows we can look at how to extend that.”
Because of the company’s software-as-a-service (SaaS) approach, taking on Salesforce.com requires a different sales and services model than traditional software applications, says Cross.
“To jump into that [SaaS] arena you have to retool yourself – you need to be more business savvy and need to create a model where you can deliver rapid value. It takes investment to change your business.”
However, the channel is vital in Salesforce.com’s plans, especially in this part of the world, says Cross.
“The channel definitely plays a very critical role from a service delivery standpoint and they are going to play more of a critical role in the sales and marketing of our solutions as well.”
Salesforce.com’s approach to building a channel is “cutting edge” in the world of SaaS providers, says Cross.
By limiting partner numbers, Salesforce.com can ensure each gains a return from its investment in the company. As well, the company wants to avoid burning its channel, which Cross claims some vendors have done by pushing their partners into technologies that are not always a success.
“The vendors have deep enough pockets to absorb a technology failure, but the channel does not. We have the chance to really do things right with this new model. We want to make sure we build up a trusted partner community and successful ecosystem.”