• New Certification & Alliances Program

    Salesforce.com has had a partnering epiphany. You can’t grow at a 4-year CAGR clip of 27% without building out delivery capabilities beyond your own.  And, the big system integrators seem to have had that same epiphany. What was once a small emerging CRM practice at Deloitte and Accenture is now a thriving SaaS practice. If Accenture’s position at this year’s event as the one and only Diamond sponsor isn’t great evidence of this market awakening, we don’t know what is.

    In response to helping partners build better market differentiation and technical skills for SaaS implementations, the company announced a new technical architect role in their now 3-year old certification program. They feel this role is critical in their consulting partners’ ability to accurately assess IT architectural and business process requirements of their customers. They are prepping their consulting partners to be able to handle complex, large-scale projects, spanning multiple programming languages and multi-locale implementations.

    There are only 9 technical architects to date globally who have made it through this rigorous certification program, which requires a 4-hour detailed presentation to a review board. Accenture’s AppExchange profile says they have 216 certified professionals and 294 completed projects. It will be interesting to watch how quickly they invest in this new, specialized role to support their growing practice.

    On a broader note, the programs team announced an enhanced Cloud Alliance Partner Program, focused on helping partners further define and differentiate their SaaS development and implementation services.

    This enhanced program promises more in-depth joint business planning and enablement support, with enhanced Cloud Enablement Packages by which services IP will be openly shared. The new program goes live on Feb. 1st, 2012, with a 90-day prior compliance window for existing partners.

    Beth Vanni, Vice President of Amazon Consulting, brings over 25 years of experience in technology sales and marketing to Amazon Consulting, with a specialty focus on partnering strategies and supporting operational plans. Beth has led groups in Marketing, Market Development, Business Development and Sales Operations, responsible for the functional areas of marketing communications, product marketing, program development and administration, promotional & incentive plan development, alliance management and worldwide sales operations.

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