CRM online vendor, Salesforce.com, is looking to aggressively grow its systems integration and ISV partner base in Australia following the launch of its on-demand application platform, AppExchange.
The new tool features more than 160 different business software applications that are complementary to the Salesforce.com CRM suite. While some of these are produced by the vendor itself, most are provided by third-party players, ranging from well-known vendors such as Adobe through to ISVs such as Australian SMS applications developer, Sqware Peg. The platform is now available to Salesforce.com customers globally.
The company's senior vice-president of worldwide channels and alliances, Robert Napiltonia, said the launch of the AppExchange portal would be a springboard from which to build its partner community.
Although the development of software application modules is traditionally the realm of ISVs, Napiltonia said Salesforce.com had experienced the most success with systems integrators.
"There is a blurring of the line between ISVs and SIs which is allowing them to have broader access to the market," he said.
The vendor had not yet devised a specific set of criteria for new recruits, he said. The finer details on which vertical markets were the hot spots locally would be determined over the coming months.
To assist partners in developing applications, Salesforce.com will provide a top 100 list of the most sought after services. The suggestions are based on a quarterly poll of the company's existing customer base.
Similar to end-users, partners could also use the customer case studies and online review "blogs" to determine which applications were the most highly regarded, Napiltonia said.
The company also had a referral program in place to assist partners with developing tools and locating customers, he said.
The move to recruit more channel players in Australia is part of an effort to boost partner numbers.
The company had also gone on a hiring spree, appointing several new global channel faces to boost its partner support, Napiltonia said.
This included new regional alliances and channel director, Guy Cross, who would assist with providing more support to the Australian partner community.