Towards the end of last year it was revealed that 87% of Salesforce customers and 89% of Fortune 100 companies are now using applications from the Salesforce AppExchange.
This is great news, because it means that large enterprises are beginning to see the value in leveraging Salesforce’s multi-cloud and platform offerings as part of their digital transformation strategies.
These forward-thinking customers are now becoming more astute and, as a result, more demanding in their uses of this technology. But that’s putting huge pressure on Salesforce partners to deliver challenging projects at speed and without risk.
Business leaders also know they need a wide variety of supporting technology solutions too if they want to get the most value out of their multi-cloud infrastructures. That means Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) like us here at MobileCaddy, and Systems Integrators (SIs), are having to work together closely to ensure their Salesforce customers’ needs are being met.
Partnerships are proving more important than ever
Salesforce’s impressive figures each quarter have demonstrated that both large enterprises and SMBs alike are seeing the value of investing in, and taking advantage of, the platform.
Now, the apps these customers are looking to build are more sophisticated and more complex than ever, and are intended to play a business critical role for within their organisations. The nature of these projects makes it essential that Salesforce, SIs, and ISVs are all working in harmony.
For example, we’ve found that customers will benefit from having their own business knowledge, but allow us to bolster that with our experience and deep domain knowledge as well as our solution.
This allows those responsible with the delivery from the SI to be more effective and reliable, especially when our technical specialists become part of the project team to provide additional support.
What role should the ISV play?
SIs today have an entire community of partners and a wealth of opportunities on hand through the Salesforce AppExchange, to help deliver exactly what their clients want from the platform.
Within these projects, we’re fully aware that, as the ISV, we must take the lead within our domain, as well as making our solution as accessible as possible, and make sure everything required is readily available for the SI team.
In these situations, both partners should look to place an emphasis on collaboration, with SI architects, technical leads, and other members taking advantage of their ISV’s expertise to make every job easier (and the project delivery smoother).
That’s why we also offer constant, pervasive, round-the-clock support should any obstacles arise. That way we guarantee any problems can be resolved immediately, so the customer doesn’t have to worry about lost time or higher costs.
What else should an ISV be offering their partners?
We’re fortunate enough to be well-versed in these relationships now, having worked with some of the leading global strategic partners within Salesforce’s impressive ecosystem for the last couple of years.
For ISVs who are new to the dynamic of working with SIs, here are some things which you should focus on developing, for the benefit of the partnership and the end-customer:
- Not only complete product knowledge, but also extensive domain and multi-project implementation knowledge
- Understanding and experience of how complex projects are delivered by Salesforce SIs
- An acceptance and level of comfort towards the longer timescales involved, due to the sales and implementation processes
- A non-stop support infrastructure for partners to call on whenever needed, along with channels of communication which are open and accessible at all times
How does this help, really?
These partnerships are equally beneficial for everyone involved, especially the customer. The sharing of resources, insights, methodologies, and practices will allow for much more seamless project completion, from planning right through to deployment, and beyond.
We’ve found that the key for ISVs is ensuring your solution is working in unison with the Salesforce platform, enhancing its capabilities. That way, the SI can deliver applications capable of transforming the customer’s business critical processes without having to compromise on any of their requirements.
An example of this can be found in a collaborative, long-lasting relationship with Salesforce specialist Appirio, now part of the Wipro Group, which we’re particularly proud of.
Appirio used our Application Delivery Framework for The Travel Corporation (TTC). Not only did our partner deliver a complex, offline-first mobile app for TTC, but by maximising the power of the client/SI/ISV relationship, Appirio (through its managed services offering) has been able to deliver multiple sprints and major version upgrades.
Our own technical solution team was happy to work closely with TTC and Appirio through their clever use of design and their iterative upgrade processes, which excelled from extensive use of the MobileCaddy release management system.
TTC’s unique mobile app went on to win Most Innovative Mobile Solution at the 2016 Salesforce Partner Awards – a perfect example of the value of a healthy partnership.
ISV and SI relationships ensure customer success
If you’re a Salesforce customer, you should now be expecting this high standard of synergy between the partners tasked with delivering your mobile applications, due to the level of sophistication the platform has grown to.
Both SIs and ISVs alike should be comfortable completing multi-cloud, long-term projects, but equally comfortable working together to do so, which is where the beauty of the Salesforce ecosystem comes into play.
MobileCaddy works closely with its strategic partners to give clients quicker project completion, less risk, lower overall costs, and generally more capable and innovative applications.
It’s a very exciting time to be working with this kind of technology, and we’re continuing to offer as much support as possible to our active partners. Of course, we are always keen to hear from new SIs as well. We want to help others improve, to help improve the community for the benefit of the end clients.
Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you’d like to understand more about the relationships between ISVs and SIs, and how they should be approached to ensure customer success, or drop us a line on Twitter.
The original version of this article was first published on the Inside the Salesforce Ecosystem blog, which you can read here.