New funding from Salesforce Ventures will be used to accelerate the growth of next-generation cloud consulting firms as part of the SI Trailblazer Alliance Initiative
Within hours of announcing the Salesforce Cloud Partner Relationship Management Platform (PRM) app, the world’s leading CRM platform has announced a new $50 million fund from Salesforce Ventures. Salesforce Ventures is the company’s corporate investment group. The new SI (system integrator) Trailblazer Fund will be set aside to empower the next-generation cloud consulting firms towards building superior service capabilities for the future. The funding is aimed at accelerating the growth of cloud adoption and drive greater customer success.
In conjunction with the fund, Salesforce is also launching a new SI Trailblazer Alliance Initiative to provide portfolio companies with resources and training to build out their service capabilities for the future.
New SI Trailblazer Fund Supercharges Consulting Ecosystem Growth
The new $50 million SI Trailblazer Fund will provide the next generation of cloud consulting companies with the capital required to build and scale their Salesforce services capabilities for the future—and empower customers to transform their businesses with Salesforce.
John Somorjai, EVP of Corporate Development and Salesforce Ventures, Salesforce, says, “Consulting firms play a pivotal role in the Salesforce ecosystem, implementing Salesforce solutions that meet the needs of customers of all sizes, industries, and geographies.”
New SI Trailblazer Fund investments include —
As a leading online community consulting partner focused on the social community space and the Salesforce Community Cloud, 7Summits will use this investment to further fund its growth plans.
Arxxus is a leading provider of Salesforce professional services in Australia that will leverage this investment to further expand its services capacity in the mid-market sector and its expertise in the public sector.
ATG provides quote-to-cash (CPQ) advisory and implementation services and will leverage the investment to continue providing CPQ and billing expertise, services, training and tools to leading Salesforce partners as they build their practices across North America, EMEA and APAC.
Somorjai adds, “This new fund will foster the next-generation of SIs and supercharge the growth of the Salesforce ecosystem.”
SI Trailblazer Alliance Initiative Empowers Consulting Firms with Resources and Training to Scale Their Businesses
Launching in parallel with the SI Trailblazer Fund, the new SI Trailblazer Alliance Initiative will provide SI Trailblazer portfolio companies with access to a wide-range of concierge resources, training, and tools including —
Accelerated onboarding experience
With guided interactive training through Trailhead, priority access to boot camps and workshops and a Partner Onboarding Specialist, consulting partners can join the Salesforce Partner Program and get ramped up quickly.
Tyler Prince, EVP of Worldwide Alliances and Go-to-Market Innovation, Salesforce, agrees, “Growing customer demand for Salesforce has created a critical need for more Salesforce-trained consulting partners as part of the thriving ‘Salesforce Economy.”
Tyler also mentions, “The new SI Trailblazer Fund and SI Trailblazer Alliance Initiative will help fuel our consulting partner ecosystem and empower the next generation of high-growth cloud consultancies.”
Marketing and sales mentorship
Portfolio consulting companies can learn marketing best-practices with courses delivered by Salesforce experts; utilize a Partner Marketing Specialist to build custom marketing plans; and access Marketing Development Funds (MDF).
With mentoring from tenured partners and assistance in developing Salesforce solutions (including Fullforce and Lightning Bolt), portfolio companies are empowered to deliver successful implementations—creating thriving businesses.
New SI Trailblazer Fund and Alliance Initiative Supports Thriving ‘Salesforce Economy’
The cloud represents an enormous opportunity for partners to transform every industry, create jobs and accelerate economies around the world. In fact, according to IDC, Salesforce and its ecosystem of customers and partners will drive more than $389 billion in new GDP impact and 1.9 million new jobs worldwide by 2020.
Salesforce Fund Helps Partners in Seizing New Opportunities
Currently, growing demand for Salesforce solutions is creating new opportunities for consulting partners to empower companies to transform their businesses by focusing on their customers. In fact, consulting partners are seeing their Salesforce practices grow more than 50% annually. However, this increased demand is also creating a need for new partners that can provide an additional skilled capacity to deploy the full family of Salesforce offerings to customers.
Focus Remains on Creating Largest Ecosystem of Enterprise Cloud Companies
So far, the Salesforce’s strategic venture arm has exclusively focused on creating the world’s largest ecosystem of enterprise cloud companies. Since 2009, the leader in marketing clouds has forged strategic partnerships to collaborate and accelerate the growth of over 180 technology startups. Some of the portfolio companies that Salesforce Ventures has helped to grow business include Mulesoft, Gainsight, Twilio, Box, Anaplan, DocuSign, Informatica, Optimizely and more.
Time for Cloud Companies to Adopt Customer-at-the-Center Mandate
Currently, the greatest challenge for marketing cloud platforms is the rate of adoption and the subsequent return on investment (ROI). As we see at MarTech Series, most CMOs and MarTech innovators expect a definite convergence of martech, sales tech, and ad tech in the very near future. In an interview with MTS, Adam Corey, VP, Marketing at Tealium highlights the complex and fragmented ‘Big Bang’ in MarTech.
Corey says, “I don’t expect to see a slowdown in the number of technologies available as I think martech as an overall space is becoming more complex and fragmented. But at the same time, brands need to adopt a customer-at-the-center mandate and that means that experiences and insights must be connected to every aspect of the customer experience.” Salesforce’s funding to cloud consulting firms could solve much of that complexity and fragmentation.
Coupled with Salesforce Trailhead — Salesforce’s free online learning platform, the new SI Trailblazer Fund and Alliance Initiative also supports the thriving “Salesforce Economy” with an infusion of capital and resources to empower partners to drive customer success. Salesforce, however, continues to stay away from the IPO buzz despite rumor mills working overnight to churn some oil out.