You might not realize it, but Salesforce’s AppExchange is almost a decade old now.
Launched in January 2006, the AppExchange predates the iPhone by a year and the Apple App Store by over two years.
In fact, developers at Salesforce originally named the AppExchange the “App Store,” and even trademarked the name. Salesforce still had the trademark in 2008 when Steve Jobs took to the stage and told the world about Apple’s new App Store.
Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff was in the audience that day. According to reports, he walked up to Jobs after the presentation and told him Salesforce would give Apple its trademark on “App Store” in appreciation for advice Jobs had given Benioff over the years.
Whatever the name, it’s clear that Salesforce is now a platform company, not just a provider of CRM systems.
Why Growth of the Salesforce Platform Matters to You
The Salesforce AppExchange topped three million downloads this year and is currently the world’s largest marketplace of business applications.
These aren’t just companies building apps to integrate their existing services into the Salesforce CRM product.
Many companies have chosen to exclusively develop apps that are 100% native to Salesforce.
Our product, for example, runs entirely on Salesforce.
It’s designed to help companies with professional services automation and project portfolio management. It works for any company, not just those with Salesforce’s CRM, but it still shares the same stability and security as Salesforce’s own CRM cloud-product.
And we’re not the only company developing business applications this way.
The Benefit of Applications Built on Salesforce
Building enterprise applications for businesses can be incredibly difficult and costly.
Unlike consumer applications, enterprise applications must ensure enterprise-level security, a global footprint, scalability as a company grows, and much more.
Companies who choose to develop on Salesforce can build an enterprise-grade application faster, cheaper, and more securely than companies who try to develop on their own hosted platforms.
That’s because they get to leverage the built-in features of the Salesforce platform:
Using Salesforce’s architecture means we get to share the master data structure, multi-tenancy, world-class security, reliability, performance, and unmatched uptime provided by the same platform Salesforce built for it’s own CRM app.
Intuitive, Well-Known User Interface
Apps built on the Salesforce platform are familiar to anyone who’s used Salesforce. Plus, they’re consistent and reliable across all devices, including smartphones and tablets.
If our user base grows, it won’t max out your server capacity, which is a problem faced by many cloud applications as the company adds new users over time.
The Salesforce platform averages 2.5 billion transactions a day. Over 150,000 customers from across the globe use it daily. It’s the most scaleable enterprise cloud platform available today.
Security is a major issue for enterprise applications hosted in the cloud. By building on the Salesforce platform, security is already built in. It has the most advanced cloud security available and is compliant with:
SSAE 16 (formerly SAS 70 and also called SOC1)
PCI-DDS Level 1
Salesforce is fully committed to its platform model and updates its architecture three times a year. With every new release, they provide all new information immediately to software vendors like Krow. That way we can take advantage of new tools like analytics, reporting, security, mobile optimization, the workflow engine, and much more as new features become available. Its the equivalent of having hundreds if not thousands of additional developers working on platform features and infrastructure maintenance on your behalf.
Big Companies Are Investing Heavily in the Salesforce Platform
Companies building on the Salesforce platform have benefited by attracting significant investor interest. Some have seen explosive growth. Highlights include:
Veeva Systems is a provider of cloud-based business solutions for the global life sciences industry. The company went public in 2013 with a current market capitalization of over $3 billion. It’s application is built natively on the Salesforce platform.
Apttus makes QPC software that runs on Salesforce. It has raised $186 million in three rounds of investment.
Steelbrick also provides CPQ and Billing products on Salesforce. It has raised a total of $77.5 million over three rounds of investment.
FinancialForce is building ERP software on Salesforce. The company has raised over $186 million from investors.
Sage, one of the largest software companies in Europe, recently partnered with Salesforce to deliver cloud solutions to the small and medium-sized companies market, initially launching Sage Live, a full service accounting solution built native on the Salesforce platform.
Kenandy builds applications for manufacturing ERP on the Salesforce platform. It has raised $43 million to date.
Vlocity is a new entrant. It is building industry-specific CRM solutions on the Salesforce platform. It has raised $42 million to date.
If you care about doing business better, faster, more efficiently, and at higher margins, the growth of the Salesforce AppExchange is great news for you.
No matter what your business looks like, there’s sure to be an app in the AppExchange that can help you.
And those options will only get better as more and more companies realize all that can be done with the Salesforce platform.