Salesforce for startups

Like many people in the technology industry I harbour dreams of one day founding a business based on one of my crazy ideas. One of the reasons why this remains a dream (for now) is because I am acutely aware of the difficulties involved. Particularly when it comes to the cost of infrastructure and software. Salesforce has recently made this journey easier by pulling together several of their product offerings as Salesforce for startups and offering free periods to get businesses going.

While the program was launched at Dreamforce last year my first exposure was at the Salesforce World Tour held recently in Melbourne. Ludo Ulrich ran a breakout session focusing on the program and the key myths that exist about founding a startup. I’ll save the myths themselves for another time as today I’d like to focus the Salesforce for startups program itself.

The Salesforce offering provides assistance to startups in three areas:

  • Build (platforms and technologies)

  • Grow (Sales, Service, and Marketing)

  • Learn (education and  access to expertise)

The Build component of Salesforce for startups brings together three existing Salesforce product offerings under the startup banner. While these have existed for some time it’s likely not been obvious that they are such appealing technologies for startups to leverage. They are:

  • Salesforce1 platform

    • Provides a free development environment

    • Ability to deploy enterprise applications via the AppExchange

    • Can rapidly prototype apps without development experience

  • Heroku

    • Provides application delivery platform for scalable consumer based apps

    • Can rapidly prototype apps with development experience

The Grow section of Salesforce for Startups combines access to Salesforce’s industry leading applications for the purposes of selling, servicing and marketing your product. For Sales you get access to a proven sales channel in the form of the AppExchange, plus a free 30 day trial of Salesforce CRM Professional edition. The CRM trial also provides marketing functionality. When it comes to Service Salesforce are generously offering 2 seats of Standard Edition Desk.com for 1 year!

In terms of Learning, Salesforce have created a blog that is regularly updated by Mike Kreaden with facts and industry information ideally suited to those in the startup game. Furthermore it appears as though the team at Salesforce are keen to get to know those registered in the program and want to provide mentoring and guidance where possible.

Salesforce for startups is a solid start in providing tools and expertise that startups otherwise would unlikely be able to afford. If you’re considering jumping into the exciting yet slightly crazy world of starting your own technology or product based company, the Salesforce for startups program is a great opportunity to get access to marketing leading products and proven startup knowledge.

System Partners was a start up back in 2008. We have scaled our way to success using Salesforce.com if you want to know more about how we did it tune into this blog or contact us directly by clicking the link below.