The AppExchange Ecosystem: Key Findings

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The Salesforce partner ecosystem, made up of consulting partners, ISV partners, and apps created by Salesforce’s internal teams (Salesforce Labs), shows no signs of slowing down. Considering that Salesforce is the world’s #1 CRM, the demand for Salesforce consulting and ISV specialists is an interesting topic to explore.

We’ve compiled our key findings from the Salesforce AppExchange Ecosystem Report based on publicly available data (as of September 2020). Not only will you find various layers of statistical data, but you’ll also be able to discover what areas of expertise require development and jump into the Salesforce world easier in 2021.

Consulting Partners

Salesforce consulting partners are organizations that are part of the Salesforce Consulting Partner program. The Salesforce experts in these companies provide a broad range of services and solutions for adjusting and customizing the Salesforce platform. According to Salesforce’s statistics, 86% of customers use partner apps and solutions.

Throughout the world, the number of Salesforce consulting partners are growing. This year 1700 consulting companies are located in 82 countries in 644 cities. Most consulting partners have Registered tiers, but the numbers in each tier reduce dramatically the higher the tier. Among Platinum consulting companies are Cloudity, Coastal Cloud, and Nubik. Such companies as Accenture, Cognizant, and PwC have Salesforce Global Strategic partner tiers.

There are 6 countries where the most Salesforce consultancies are located. The USA takes the leading position because the customer database is big, and the demand for consulting services is growing.

Salesforce’s development hasn’t been standing still from 1999 when it was first founded; the same has been happening in the Salesforce consulting arena. Based on the statistics, you can see companies that were founded after 2010 account for over 54% of all consulting partners in the Salesforce ecosystem.

There is an increase in jobs that require Salesforce skills, and this is expected to be 3.3 million new jobs and over $850 billion in revenues worldwide by 2022 in the Salesforce ecosystem.

How many certified professionals does a Salesforce consultancy need to have? It depends on the volume of work, the growth of the company revenues, and your partner tier ambitions.

Based on the number of certified specialists in companies, you can see that 70.6% of companies have 1-10 certified employees. Some organizations expand their staff and change their tiers while others try to have fewer Salesforce experts, but with some certifications.

ISV Partners

ISV partners are part of the Salesforce AppExchange Partner program. They develop and publish their Salesforce products on the AppExchange marketplace using available tools and platforms offered to AppExchange partners.

The main area of expertise for ISVs is Sales (1408 product companies). This isn’t surprising – a lot of businesses use Salesforce to sell more effectively (Sales Cloud remains the most popular platform product).

The second big area is IT & Administration (753 product companies). This means that Salesforce customers use AppExchange apps for automating and optimizing administrative processes in every department of their organizations – as well as security and compliance.

Other categories are Human Resources (106 product companies), Analytics (78 product companies), and Enterprise Resource Planning (78 product companies).

Going into more detail, you can see that Salesforce clients mostly use AppExchange solutions from the Sales category to increase the productivity of their sales team and improve lead and opportunity management.

The most popular subcategory in the Customer Service block is Telephony, a gap in Salesforce’s own product.

In the Collaboration section, the leading position is taken by Project Management apps. They enable Salesforce customers to manage teamwork, schedule emails, keep track of deadlines, track tasks, etc.

Among Marketing ISV products, the most popular are the apps for managing marketing campaigns and automating customer lifecycle. Using them, sales reps and marketers can collaborate and increase lead generation, customer engagement and email campaign metrics.

Salesforce ISV companies are located worldwide. There are the top 6 countries globally, but the leading is the USA. Since Salesforce was founded in the USA, its market penetration of the CRM market is the largest – plus, with a mature ecosystem, it’s not surprising that Salesforce ISV organizations are in high demand.

2010 was a booming year when most of the Salesforce ISV apps were published on the AppExchange marketplace. After 2010, there was a decrease in new Salesforce ISV companies. The likely reason is that the AppExchange marketplace had products for most categories and existing companies kept improving their existing solutions and new apps under the same organization.

Apps Created by Salesforce (Salesforce Labs)

Salesforce Labs is a program for Salesforce employees (developers, services staff, etc.) to share the apps they create with the Salesforce community via the AppExchange. There are now 225 ISV AppExchange apps created and shared by the internal Salesforce Labs team, based on their experiences from working with customers.

The products designed by Salesforce Labs are free and open-source; however, they are not considered official apps, because they’re not officially tested and documented by the Salesforce product development teams. These apps are not officially supported by Salesforce, so by using these apps, it means you can’t get assistance from the Salesforce Support if needed.

Mostly Salesforce Labs develops apps in IT & Administration and Sales categories, solutions that improve administrative tasks and sales processes.


Companies continue to scale innovations in their business processes using the Salesforce platform. Moreover, Salesforce has recently acquired Slack, and this means Salesforce functionality will broaden.

This is the real situation in the Salesforce ecosystem in 2021. Despite there already being many professional Salesforce consulting partners and ISV products, some app categories still aren’t saturated and so are open opportunities for you to develop these practical solutions with your expertise.

For more insights like these, download the Magicforce’s Salesforce AppExchange Ecosystem Report now.

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