• December 1, 2006
  • By Colin Beasty, (former) Associate Editor, CRM Magazine

Power to the People

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Extending power to partners was a big part of Salesforce.com's Winter '07 release, announced at its annual DreamForce conference in San Francisco in October. Among other enhancements to the suite, Salesforce.com released a new version of Salesforce PRM. The enhancements will allow Winter '07 customers to extend AppExchange applications to their partners, and share components and objects within any portal and channel. This will enable companies to coordinate information and processes like orders, sales processes, or any custom business information. "We're driving accountability for every partner lead," says George Hu, CMO. Pricing is set at $125 per partner company, per year, and requires a base subscription to Winter '07, which includes subscriptions for five partner employees, according to Hu. Customers of Winter '07, which is scheduled to ship at the end of January, will be able to collaborate with partners more effectively on opportunities by sharing price books and product line items, or to work on activities with partners by sharing notes, attachments, and all events with partners through the portal. And, companies will be able to track and publish partner success metrics to partners' homepages to "empower channel managers to provide partners with views and visibility by role and by process," Hu says. The announcement doesn't come as a surprise, says Denis Pombriant, founder and managing principal of Beagle Research, because PRM solutions are gaining more importance as companies look for new ways to sell to customers. "Companies are looking for more cost-effective channels. This leads to resellers, and lets companies manage distributed networks of direct and indirect teams selling to and serving customers."
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