SAN FRANCISCO---Salesforce.com's annual (and ever-growing) Dreamforce expo is still a few weeks away, but the CRM giant is pulling back the curtain on some of its new developments already.
Unveiled to the local tech media on Wednesday, The San Francisco-headquartered corporation is extending its cloud app store with the launch of the Private AppExchange.
Essentially, the idea is to satisfy employee demands for the latest web and mobile apps within the boundaries of each IT department’s rules and regulations.
"The employee wants whatever app they need to get their job done,” remarked Leyla Seka, vice president of the AppExchange unit as well as partner operations at Salesforce, specifying they don’t want to wait for tickets and approval from IT.
The private version of the AppExchange is suppose to fulfill those wishes, she continued, noting that IT managers “can go crazy customizing it or make it very mellow, being able to customize everything from logos to banners to app categories.
Salesforce is also infusing its social network Chatter feed to each app listed on the Private AppExchange so that employees can have a conversation around the app, or bringing the “water cooler” discussion to each app, as Seka described it.
Apps uploaded to the Private AppExchange can be existing AppExchange apps, new apps added specifically to the private portal, and apps made on platforms other than Salesforce.
Salesforce originally launched the AppExchange seven years ago. In the first five years, the platform grew to one million installs for roughly 1,000 apps, according to Ron Huddleston, senior vice president of Global ISV and channel alliances at Salesforce.
To stress how strong the momentum for the hub has been since then, Huddleston cited that the figure has acceleratedin the last two years alone.
"The momentum is driven by our platform value proposition,” Huddleston asserted, encouraging businesses to develop directly on the Salesforce platform. Salesforce is known for offering plenty of third-party support for products across the portfolio, but there are plenty of incentives in place to keep as many customers as possible in-house.
Seka noted that there are roughly three million custom apps built on Force.com.
The total application count is up 27 percent year-over-year, growing at an average rate of 30 percent per year. Installs are also growing at a rate of roughly 33 percent annually.
"When people think about the AppExchange, people think about front-office applications,” Huddleston speculated, touting there are a lot of back office, horizontal apps. He added that it is this side of the businesses that is growing quickly, but people don’t generally recognized.
"Right now people are realizing that the enterprise space is where the money is,” Huddleston argued. "We did some simple math. You can do this math yourself.”
He continued that on the Apple App Store, developers see an average of $7,000 per app in returns, following up that the average is $400,000 for apps listed on the AppExchange.
The Private AppExchange will go online on Friday, November 1.
Images via Salesforce.com
UPDATE: Salesforce reps clarified Seka misspoke when noting that there are roughly three million custom apps built on Force.com. Rather, the total figure -- including Heroku apps -- were built on the Salesforce platform.