Salesforce puts $50 million aside to help ‘next generation’ of cloud consulting firms

James is editor in chief of TechForge Media, with a passion for how technologies influence business and several Mobile World Congress events under his belt. James has interviewed a variety of leading figures in his career, from former Mafia boss Michael Franzese, to Steve Wozniak, and Jean Michel Jarre. James can be found tweeting at @James_T_Bourne.

Cloud software giant Salesforce has announced a new $50 million (£38.8m) fund from Salesforce Ventures, the company’s corporate investment arm, to provide growth for the ‘next generation’ of cloud consulting organisations.

The SI [system integrator] Trailblazer Fund will “provide the next generation of cloud consulting companies with the capital required to build and scale their Salesforce services capabilities for the future – and empower customers to transform their businesses with Salesforce,” as the press materials put it.

Naturally, it’s not an especially altruistic venture, although among the companies Salesforce is already helping in this regard are 7Summits, an online community consulting partner for the Salesforce Community Cloud, and Arxxus, a provider of Salesforce professional services in Australia.

Another company getting involved is ATG, a company which provides quote to cash (CPQ) advisory and implementation services. This is a particularly interesting area on which this publication has recently focused; in a piece last month, contributor Louis Columbus noted how CPQ “continues to be one of the hottest enterprise apps today, fuelled by the relentless need all companies have to increase sales while delivering customised orders profitably and accurately.”

Alongside the money, Salesforce is also launching the SI Trailblazer Alliance Initiative, giving companies in the portfolio a wide range of training and tools, including accelerated onboarding and marketing and sales mentorship from company experts.

The company cites an IDC note which argues that Salesforce and its ecosystem of customers and partners will drive more than $389 billion in new GDP impact and 1.9 million new jobs worldwide by 2020. It’s therefore not the ‘software economy’ so much as the ‘Salesforce economy’.

“Consulting firms play a pivotal role in the Salesforce ecosystem, implementing Salesforce solutions that meet the needs of customers of all sizes, industries and geographies,” said John Somorjai, EVP of corporate development and Salesforce Ventures in a statement. “This new fund will foster the next generation of SIs and supercharge the growth of the Salesforce ecosystem.”

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