Salesforce continues to be a global market changer. It effectively created the SaaS market, killed the legacy monolith of Siebel, and created one of the strongest and most loyal communities in the enterprise technology ecosystem. This is best represented through the venerated annual Dreamforce event.
Undoubtedly the services market for Salesforce is as mature as the Salesforce product offering and capability. Both are successful, but neither is close to a fully mature functionality. This is both positive and negative. Salesforce is growing at an accelerated pace, both as an expanding business, and as a partner opportunity. The challenge for many partners is to focus on their core differentiation and to maintain and enhance synchronisation with Salesforce growth avenues.
The differentiated aspect of the global Salesforce services and solutions market (until Dreamforce 2015) was the pre-eminent emergence of independent vendors. Cloud Sherpas, Bluewolf and Appirio were all ranked by capioIT as amongst the top five vendors in the equivalent report for 2014. Fast forward to 2016, at the time of publishing, only Appirio remains an independent entity. Accenture acquired Cloud Sherpas in September 2015, and IBM accelerated a lagging Salesforce capability with the Bluewolf acquisition in early 2016.
Accenture has clear leadership in the market. This leadership has been achieved through a long-term vision for the current and future requirements of Salesforce clients and enabled with organic and inorganic investment. In the strongest measure of Accenture market dominance, Accenture has approximately three times more certified consultants than any other provider. This Accenture success and capability is critical for client engagement, but also enabling it to have proportional influence with Salesforce in managing and developing the future direction of the technology and platform.
capioIT included 13 vendors in the study. This is a similar number of vendors included in the 2014 study and is reflective of the consolidation but slow emergence of new providers. What is of note is the highly tiered nature to the partnering environment for Salesforce. Both the market and Salesforce must do more to establish a solid tier of mid-sized solution providers. This will come through acquisitions and mergers, and is critical if the solution capability is to mirror that of SAP and Oracle in terms of scope and influence. It is particularly relevant for the emerging markets for Salesforce. Salesforce cannot grow geographically without partners to support and enable.
The following vendors were included in the analysis:
- Acumen Solutions
- Bluewolf (an IBM Company)
- NTT Data
Capture Share reports are based on the analysis of 17 key capabilities and attributes of services providers. These attributes are focused in two key areas, Transform and Leverage.
In order to undertake the appropriate level of analysis and data integrity, the individual attributes are weighted in percentage terms on the basis of the overall influence for the Transform and Leverage capabilities.