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Salesforce.com Launches Service Partner Program

Web services vendor salesforce.com Monday (July 2) launched its Service Partner Program, which matches salesforce.com customers with consultants who provide business process reengineering, implementation services and ongoing support.

Once salesforce.com added a CRM offering and began courting larger mid-market and enterprise customers, coming to the table with an implementation offering became essential, Carl Schachter, salesforce.com VP of business development, told InternetNews.

"They would rather look at a vendor that comes prepared to offer a full solution," he said. "A lot of them have had previous experience with an enterprise software client/server implementation, and they know how complex it was. Even though we pride ourselves in having a solution that takes the complexity out of the implementation, people just expect a complete offering."

Working with a Service Partner can speed deployment times and improve the success rate compared to traditional client-server CRM implementations, according to salesforce.com. "We were able to get almost 100 employees up and running on salesforce.com in about ten days," said Kellie Wilson, sales manager at Dow Jones Newswire. "They helped us with all of our data importing and migration so that we could make a smooth transition to salesforce.com and start using the service immediately."

There are currently about 13 Service Partners throughout North America who have undergone an intensive week-long salesforce.com training and certification process. Each is required to complete ongoing training to stay current with salesforce.com enterprise technology and best practices. "We set the standards for the training program to make sure the customer gets the same level of quality they expect from us," Schachter said.

The implementation process begins with a business process review to identify a company's key pain points and business needs in order to support the sales and marketing processes. Then comes data migration and integration, where data is moved from a variety of client/server applications across the enterprise into the salesforce.com service and is integrated with other systems, such as order fulfillment and billing. The next step is customization, where the Service Partner helps create proper fields to reflect a company's existing business processes and how they want to use the service. The process is completed with training and ongoing support.

Salesforce.com builds and delivers enterprise applications as scalable online services. The company's CRM solution provides integrated online sales force automation, customer support management and marketing automation components. Founded in 1999, salesforce.com is headquartered in San Francisco, with offices in Europe and Asia.