Fast-growing enterprise demand for Salesforce support services is accelerating consolidation among providers, especially in the U.S., according to a new report published by Information Services Group (ISG), a leading global technology research and advisory firm.
The 2021 ISG Provider Lens Salesforce Ecosystem Partners report for the U.S. finds enterprises rapidly adopted Salesforce products over the last 12 months, significantly increasing the company’s licensing revenue. The world’s largest provider of cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) solutions continued to expand its portfolio, especially with industry-specific offerings. This growth increased the need for the Salesforce implementation resources that enterprises lack, and demand for outside expertise outstripped supply.
In this hot market, global system integrators continued to acquire midsize Salesforce ecosystem partners, including several boutique providers in the U.S., the report says. Most recently, in December 2020, Salesforce itself acquired Acumen Solutions, a successful U.S. provider of implementation services. It remains to be seen whether this move means the company wants to expand its footprint in the services market, ISG says.
“The market has rapidly expanded in the year since our last report on Salesforce service providers was published,” said Jan Erik Aase, partner and global leader, ISG Provider Lens Research. “Both large, global enterprises and midsize companies need experienced partners to help them derive the most value from Salesforce implementations.”
Salesforce products aimed at specific industries, such as Financial Services Cloud, Marketing Cloud and Health Cloud, are a growing part of Salesforce’s business and its services ecosystem, the report says. Vlocity, a former independent software vendor (ISV) acquired by Salesforce last year, is expected to become the core of the company’s various industry clouds. Third-party apps from ISVs, delivered through the Salesforce AppExchange store, remain an important part of the Salesforce ecosystem, and service providers large and small continued to depend on strong networks of partnerships with these ISVs.
For large-enterprise implementations of Salesforce products, the most common development approach is now the Hybrid Agile model, which combines Agile and phase-oriented approaches, ISG says. Most service providers offer this approach.
Pure Agile methodologies are still suitable but are applied primarily for midsize clients with lower integration requirements and no need for a global rollout. Meanwhile, the dominant tool for Salesforce integration is Mulesoft. Service providers need significant capabilities in this area, and many global system integrators have large, dedicated Mulesoft practices for integration activities around Salesforce.
The 2021 ISG Provider Lens™ Salesforce Ecosystem Partners report for the U.S. evaluates the capabilities of 40 providers across five quadrants: Implementation and Integration Services for Large Enterprises, Implementation Services for Core Clouds − Midmarket, Implementation Services for Marketing Cloud − Midmarket, Managed Application Services for Large Enterprises, and Managed Application Services for Midmarket.