Talk to Us Partner Ecosystem Gains Depth


By Diane Krakora, CEO

Although CEO Marc Benioff did not even make a cameo appearance at the Dreamforce partner day and only said the word “partner” about a dozen times in three days, he is still commiting resources to partner growth. For the first time ever, both channels and alliances will roll up to the same person, Tyler Prince. Prince joined as EVP of Worldwide Alliance and Channels, after a brief ten-month stint back at PwC. However, Prince is best known for his eight years as group Vice President of North America Channels and Alliances at Oracle – another company not exactly “partner centric.” Prince has about 250 people in his organization and six SVPs reporting to him – for alliances, programs, partner management, partner growth, ISVs and industries.

The two main threads communicated by Prince’s organization throughout the event align with the key findings from our New Enablement report: solutions and services.

The AppExchange is the vehicle driving the solutions message. The AppExchange was launched in 2005 and is's cloud computing marketplace through which end users can access, download and install software apps. There are over 2,000 applications listed on the AppExchange, with 400 of them added just in 2013. This year, the AppExchange produced and estimated $1b in revenue for ISV’s listed there. continues to promote the AppExchange as THE way for ISVs to build solutions around its application. In 2014, they’re adding technical enablement, sales and technical education, co-marketing events, solution mapping and industry specialists to the AppExchange program – hoping to engage even more ISVs into the ecosystem.

Regarding services, the focus on industry verticals extends beyond the well-promoted AppExchange into’s Cloud Alliance Partner Program (which is actually for SI channels). For 2014, 65 go-to-market experts will be deployed into the field to work with partners to deploy services in vertical industries. Catching up with IT channels’ industry move toward specializations over the past decade, is launching a Masters Program – recognizing partner services expertise by product (sales cloud, services cloud and platform) and industry (financial, health care, communications/media and retail/consumer).

Although there weren’t any innovative announcements for the IT partnering world, it’s exciting to see adding resources and focus to partners. Many cloud vendors look to as an example for success with cloud and it’s heartening to see recognize that partners play a significant role in creating solutions and services – enhancing customer success and satisfaction. The next step in’s partnering evolution is to develop some innovative ideas for engaging and empowering partners in the cloud. Short on ideas? Just ask us.
Diane Krakora headshot

Diane Krakora is CEO of PartnerPath with two decades of experience defining the best practices and frameworks around how to develop and manage partnerships. She can be contacted at

Topics: News and Programs, Industry Perspective

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