Salesforce ups channel ante with Aussie professional services firm investment

Salesforce ups channel ante with Aussie professional services firm investment

Investment part of new $50 million system integrator Trailblazer Fund from Salesforce Ventures

Salesforce continues to bolster its channel capabilities locally, with the software vendor allocating funds towards an Australian professional services company as part of a $50 million new system integrator (SI) Trailblazer Fund.

Despite declining to reveal the allocated amount directed towards Sydney-based Arxxus Technology Partners, the investment comes as part of a triple round of financing, including global players 7Summits and ATG.

According to the software vendor, the new $50 million SI Trailblazer Fund will provide the next generation of cloud consulting companies with the capital required to build and scale specific Salesforce services capabilities, enabling customers to transform businesses through the cloud.

Delivered through the tech giant's corporate investment group, Salesforce Ventures, the funds provided to Arxxus will enable it to further expand its services capacity in the mid-market sector and its expertise in public sector.

Salesforce Ventures and corporate development vice-president, Matt Garratt, told ARN that the vendor's goal is to create a "strong enterprise cloud ecosystem" to extend the Salesforce platform and deliver the next generation of technology for joint customers.

“Portfolio companies receive funding to accelerate their growth, in addition to the credibility, access and advice that comes with an investment from Salesforce," he said. "As a result, our portfolio companies gain an edge through access to our cloud ecosystem and the guidance of Salesforce’s innovators and executives."

According to Garratt, the investment arm looks out for a strategic alignment between Salesforce and the integrator before investing in the company.

“After that, we look for a talented management team, innovative products that extend our offerings, large market opportunity, and a strong company vision that will resonate with our customers," he explained.

Salesforce attributed a recent study by IDC to support its increasing investment into the partner space.

The IDC report identified that Salesforce and its ecosystem of customers and partners will drive more than US$389 billion in new GDP impact and 1.9 million new jobs worldwide by 2020.

According to findings, the growing demand for Salesforce solutions is creating new opportunities for consulting partners to aid companies in transforming businesses in 2017 and beyond.

“In fact, consulting partners are seeing their Salesforce practices grow more than 50 per cent annually," the report stated.

"However, this increased demand is also creating a need for new partners that can provide additional skilled capacity to deploy the full family of Salesforce offerings to customers."

In parallel with the SI Trailblazer Fund, Salesforce has also launched a new SI Trailblazer Alliance Initiative that aims to provide SI Trailblazer portfolio companies with access to resources, training and tools to build out their service capabilities.

Specifically, this includes an accelerated onboarding experience, marketing and sales mentorship, and implementation guidance.

“As Salesforce grows, so does demand for Salesforce solutions, which creates opportunities for consulting partners," Garratt added.

"Also, there is a gap in available capital, as institutional venture capitals don’t invest in consulting businesses and private equity firms don’t invest until the companies are much larger. This is where we can step in and help."

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