I agree with many of heretic’s assessments. In some respects, salesforce.com is using AppExchange as a “free” developer proving ground for products. It then cherry-picks the best applications and folds them into salesforce.com.
Besides Sendia, look at Kieden (the Salesforce.com add-on to manage Google Adwords). Kieden made a big splash as a startup at the AppExchange Day in May. Two months later, the entire company was acquired by salesforce.com.
And it is not just companies getting acquired. People get acquired too. Ron Hess produced the fabulous Excel connector while working for NeoForm. Then he was hired by salesforce.com. David Brooks was an active, vocal member of the salesforce.com developer community until he was hired by salesforce.com.
Getting access to the half-million salesforce.com users makes AppExchange an attractive development target, but it is very difficult, as Gareth Davies noted, to get an actual sale from the AppExchange channel. As noted in this blog, salesforce.com demands a VERY STEEP price for access to its customer base via Dreamforce and other events.
My conclusion is that unless you have a $100,000 marketing budget for the first year, you will probably not see any return from an AppExchange product (unless you can sell your product/intellectual property to salesforce.com).]]>
… just got caught trying to make a quick reply…
You’re of course correct Chris — the products do alot more, and I should have refined my argument more. I have looked into them, admittedly not in the last 6-8 months just due to lack of need, but am somewhat familiar with their stuff — and it’s quite nice from what I’ve seen.
If you’re doing a large (100k+ mabye?) campaign, or do alot of them, then there’s value, potentially significant value, to those offerings, and likely will continue to be after SFDC does whatever upgrades I’ve seen hinted at on the SFDC forums.
That said, take a stroll through the forums and search for ‘mass email’ — there’s a few threads about people looking to do relatively simple things but can’t because of the quantity limiation @ SFDC. My impression of many of those threads (not all) is that if that limit were raised, perhaps significantly, even with no other changes, the email tool providers would loose that bit of the market.
In essence my argument boils down to any improvment in the email space by SFDC is almost certanly going to eat into share by the partner offerings on the AppExchange now. By extension, as more and more offerings are made available I can only see this situation playing out more and more as the base featuers erode into features by partners on the AppExchange.
Law of unintended consequences? Donno… but a nice discussion nonetheless.]]>
Great discussion you’ve started.
I think the biggest need on the PartnerForce side is to cover the angle of what the partners get out of the deal (since they’ll have to come to one component of their market instead of having a one-stop shop).
As for the email marketing add-ons, your post implies that all these partners are good for is to get past the mass-email cap that Salesforce.com enforces. I don’t think there’s a single email marketing partner on the AppExchange that’s still that one-trick pony. Take a deeper look and you’ll find progressive form entry, lead scoring, clickthrough analytics, intelligent de-duplication, dynamic content, and much more that Salesforce.com doesn’t even come close to doing (and I think they’d get unnecessarily bogged down if they tried to do it all). I don’t think the “email marketing partner” subset is going anywhere, and you might find them to be more valuable than anticipated.
Just want to encourage you to take a deeper look - not because I work for any of them (I don’t), but because they provide so much additional value to the tool, much like many of the other AppExchange offerings.]]>
I have to disagree that the ‘only’ model that works is the few partner model. The other model that I can see being viable is where your partners drive a substancial portion of your business, or enough to cover the additional costs of something like PartnerForce.
For example, perhaps a large equipment manufacturer that deals mainly with Distribution channels and VARs might have a large number of ‘partners’ but only bring in those that have enough volume into PF.
So either you’ve only got a few, and it’s financially viable to bring them in to something like PF, or your business is centered around them and the incremental ‘cost’ to bring them into PF is minimal.]]>
The value of PRM and Partnerforce is different for each company and each channel structure.]]>
PartnerForce is ridiculously priced. The only companies that pricing model works for are companies with a small number of partners (such as SFDC). If you’re a channel distribution company with many partners, that pricing model is insane.
SFDC Partners have to be getting a little worried lately. The purchase of Sendia dealt a big blow to the other mobile partners and the upcoming Lotus Integration is going to kill another SFDC partner (if it’s full-featured and functional) as well. We then have rumours of an in-house mass-email tool be developed, which is going to put the hurt on any mass-email centric partner. If you’re a partner right now it looks like your future is either to be bought out by SFDC or put out of business by them unless you expand into other non-SFDC areas quickly.]]>
I appreciate your comemnts, regarding Partnerforce, allow me to share with you the power of this new offering and why its value is well worth the spend.
If you’d like to learn more, here are three ways:
1. You can listen to a recorded demonstration by visiting http://salesforce.breezecentral.com/p28353522/
2. You can listen to one of our customers talk about how Salesforce Partner Edition drives incremental channel revenues and reduced channel conflict. Access this pre-recorded webinar called Capitalizing on On-Demand PRM through our site.
3. You can participate in the Channel Executive conference at Dreamforce.
All the best….]]>