Partners pitch in on over half of Salesforce's new business

Partners pitch in on over half of Salesforce's new business

Salesforce highlights the value of its partner ecosystem after raking in almost US$10.5B in revenue for the year

As Salesforce marks its latest quarter with a 24 per cent year-on-year increase in revenue, to US$2.85 billion for the three months ending 31 January, the company’s leadership has highlighted just how important its partner-generated business has been.

The company, which released its fourth quarter and full-year financials on 28 February, closed the full year with revenues of US$10.48 billion, up 25 per cent year-on-year. Full year operating cash flow, meanwhile, came in at US$2.74 billion, a 27 per cent increase.

According to the cloud customer relationship management software vendor’s vice chairman, president and COO, Keith G. Block, the company’s partners accounted for over half of its new business.

“As for our ecosystem, Salesforce continues to be the growth lever for our partners, and more than 55 per cent of our new business is generated with our partners,” Block said during an earnings call on 28 February. “And at the close of FY '18, our partners surpassed 110,000 Salesforce certifications. This is an increase of more than 30 per cent over last year.”

Block also reiterated the ongoing importance of technology partnerships to Salesforce, citing some of the recent deals the company has struck with other tech giants.

“Today, we have strategic partnerships with industry leaders, including Dell, IBM, Amazon and in FY18, as you know, we went live on AWS infrastructure in Canada and Australia,” Block said.

“And at Dreamforce, which was absolutely outstanding, we announced a new strategic partnership with Google to connect Salesforce with Google Cloud and Google Analytics to enable a smarter, more collaborative experience for customers,” he said.

Salesforce and Google struck a new integration deal in November last year that sees the software vendor tap into the Google Cloud Platform for its core services.

During the latest earnings call, Block also paid particular attention to the company’s traction within Australia’s financial services sector, calling out one client in particular -- AMP.

“We continue to see just excellent momentum in financial services, specifically in Australia where we are deepening our relationship with AMP, a leading wealth management company,” Block said. “We also had one of our largest platform deals in APAC with an exciting company called [Quoine].

“If you're not familiar with Quoine, they are innovating and scaling their cryptocurrency exchange on the Heroku platform,” he said.

As reported by ARN in November last year, Technology Business Research analyst, Kelsey Mason, suggests that much of Salesforce's successes can be attributed to its global partner network.

“Partners have played a large part in Salesforce’s ability to be seen as a trusted advisor to customers’ digital transformations, with half of new business being generated through the ecosystem,” Mason said in a report last year.

“This engagement from partners helps Salesforce contain its sales and marketing expenses, which in turn enabled the company to elevate its operating margin higher than it has been in the last seven years,” she said.

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