• The $50m Dollar Man

    If you had $50 million to invest, what would you do with it?  Buy a company?  Spend it on research?  Create your own dream campus and throw a party for employees?
    We’d bolster our partner ecosystem – and surprisingly, so would Salesforce.com. They are investing $50 million to help consulting partners grow. At last year’s Dreamforce event, Sherrick Murdoff was introduced as the 50 million dollar man. As VP, Partner Development and Investments, he will dramatically scale the partner ecosystem to drive explosive Social Enterprise growth in their top eight countries by investing in partners who demonstrate quality, velocity, innovation, and agility.

    Salesforce.com has seen massive growth over the past year:

    • 38% YoY increase in revenues
    • 36% YoY increasing number of salesforce.com partners
    • $2.1B annual run rate

    And to accelerate that growth, salesforce.com needs a thriving and fast growing partner ecosystem to ensure the life-long success of their customers. Salesforce.com cannot keep up with the demand for services and has limited the investment in their own professional services, restructuring much of the team that competed against partners into Services Engagement Managers – helping consulting partners design effective work scopes and close deals. So, to help partners grow as rapidly as possible to meet the burgeoning demand, salesforce.com is spending up to $50 million in capital investment into select consulting partners. We’re pretty sure that’s not enough.

    As a $2B company growing 38% year over year – that’s $700,000,000 in revenue growth next year, with a 2:1 services ratio – that’s $1.4 in additional services for next year. $50 million looks like a drop in the bucket.

    They are looking for partners that are committed to the cloud (service, data, custom) in the UK, Germany, France, Australia, and Benelux with a financial services and/or media/communications focus. Partners interested in grabbing some of Sherrick’s cash are expected to produce more than $4m in salesforce.com revenues, be a consulting services firm with the majority of revenues from salesforce.com services, and have a management team with a vision and conviction in cloud computing.

    We assume these investments will be between $500k and $2M each, as the investment demands an equity stake in the company. Salesforce.com also wants to sit on the Board (in a non-voting role) but not be the only investor. Those are some fairly tough requirements for a small, rapidly growing services-based company to swallow. Will these organizations be willing to give up an equity stake to salesforce.com to get $1M? Would you?

    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.

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