Salesforce launches AppExchange partner program, new $100 million platform fund

The CRM giant is trying to bring more developers into the its $389 billion app economy.

Salesforce on Tuesday launched the a new AppExchange partner program in an effort to bring more developers into the company's $389 billion app economy.

Salesforce also announced a new Salesforce Platform Fund with $100 million in new funding. The aim is to use the fund to speed up the development of artificial intelligence-driven applications and components on the Salesforce platform.

The Salesforce AppExchange is the CRM giant's enterprise app marketplace that houses more than 3,000 applications for things like sales, service, and marketing. With this new partner program, Salesforce is trying to reduce friction for would-be developers by implementing a new business model, onboarding experience and platform technology.

The news lands as Salesforce execs are in New York City at a customer event. Salesforce also said that Farmers Insurance will use the company's technology to revamp its service operations.

The revamped AppExchange Partner Program replaces the current offering for independent software vendors (ISVs) and includes:

  • A point system based on reviews and ratings, product success and Trailhead training and certifications. Salesforce is also lowering the baseline percent-net-revenue model for new AppExchange partners from 25 percent to 15 percent. Current partners will get the new terms on renewal.
  • An onboarding experience that includes a wizard with more automation.
  • Tools to boost collaboration, development and free Heroku access.

With the revamped business model, Salesforce said developers, startups and ISVs can now tap into a new pricing structure that provides enablement and support based on the partner's AppExchange Trailblazer Score, which is a new, point-based system based on reviews and ratings, security review status, and adoption of latest Salesforce technology.

The onboarding changes include a new wizard that uses automated guides and checklists to reduce the amount of manual data entry. There's also new payments tools designed to let partners connect their payment systems directly to Salesforce and automate their order submission process.

In terms of technology tools, Salesforce is giving developers access to Salesforce DX, which gives developers scratch environments, an improved integrated development environment, and seamless GitHub integration. Developers will also gain free Heroku access to build apps in more languages.

"The new AppExchange Partner Program empowers the next generation of Salesforce ISVs with a single destination for everything they need to succeed -- the training to create solutions on cutting-edge Salesforce technology and the programs to turn them into businesses with global reach," said Leyla Seka, EVP of AppExchange at Salesforce.

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