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Salesforce AppExchange: The early days

On the one hand, a decade ago seems just like yesterday, but a lot has changed since those early days.

After attending a few early Salesforce events, we were impressed by the buzz and the number of attendees the company was attracting. We checked out the AppExchange and as we couldn’t find a competitive product we decided to investigate the opportunity working with Salesforce could provide.

A growing community

We already knew we wanted to build cloud based business apps (or in those days ‘on demand’ or ‘SaaS’) and we realized building on the Salesforce platform could save us significant time – around two more years as opposed to if we built our own platform from scratch. It also meant we could become part of an ecosystem that was already drawing attention and one whereby we expected the community to continue to grow. We’re glad to say those observations were correct!

AppExchange Early Days
Marc Benioff and Jeremy Roche at Dreamforce 2007

There were many late nights and crazy chaotic times as we got everything ready to launch. We had no infrastructure back then – no HR, no IT, no PR – we just did it all ourselves.

We then became an AppExchange pioneer, launching our first product and the first accounting system on – CODA2GO, before we even launched as We were one of the first ISVs on the AppExchange. We worked with Mike Rosenbaum, now EVP for Sales Cloud at Salesforce to negotiate our contract and who to this day sits on our board, remaining a strong supporter.

A partner ecosystem like no other

It’s been an exciting and rewarding time since those days as we’ve grown quickly with now over 700 employees worldwide and have continued to work closely with Salesforce since we built our business on their platform. An example is that we were a launch partner for the pilot programme for the checkout on AppExchange.  We’ve seen their partner ecosystem now become the largest of any tech company across the world and watched now thousands of ISVs and developers build their own businesses using the AppExchange.

One of the first businesses to set up on the AppExchange

We’re proud to be one of the first businesses that set up on the AppExchange which is now the number one enterprise app marketplace, featuring several thousand apps, including our own. More than 70% of Salesforce customers, from small businesses to enterprise companies have installed at least one app from the AppExchange totalling more than 3 million downloads.

It’s been a busy but a fun ride so far and we congratulate Salesforce on the AppExchange’s 10th birthday. We look forward to celebrating many more milestones together as, the AppExchange and Salesforce continue to grow.

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