logo_force_com.gif Force.com, the leg of Salesforce.com (news, site) that allows companies to host public applications and websites in the cloud (just like Amazon and Microsoft), recently scored some added value.

Value-Added Reseller (VAR), the cloud computing network’s new distribution channel, gives partners the opportunity to resell their applications built with Force.com to other companies.

Using the Force

Force.com Sites made its debut close to this time last year. In what appears to be an attempt to become a one-stop framework, Force.com’s primary target is existing Salesforce.com customers.

Websites in Salesforce.com’s cloud are built using UI development framework, meaning any application currently in Force.com can be easily transformed into a web application. Users can publish from an existing Force.com organization to any website or build an app to run completely within the cloud.


The basic idea behind VAR was to take Salesforce.com’s cloud—which was already pretty useful on its own—and allow partners to further monetize it. The resulting new channel program means that partners can create their very own cloud computing business, in part by selling licenses to applications made under the Force.com framework.

"With their depth of customer expertise, resellers bring tremendous value to cloud computing” said Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO, Salesforce.com. "The new Force.com VAR program gives resellers a clear path to success in cloud computing for the first time."

The Force.com VAR program includes:

  • A sales resource center for VARs, which provides access to a Force.com sales kit, industry insights, and other sales tools such as demo orgs and customer references
  • A consultant resource center, which provides implementation resources, including best practices, community discussion boards, and design guidance and templates
  • Technical training and a comprehensive Force.com certification program, including role-based online courses
  • No program fees, and VARs generate recurring revenue on the initial contract as well as renewals
  • VARs can resell the Force.com cloud computing platform, as well as additional services such as mobile capabilities, storage, sites, and development sandboxes
  • Salesforce.com will provide the first line of support for the Force.com platform, while VARs are responsible for supporting their customizations and applications

Money in the Sky

The addition is undoubtedly a good one for the already huge CRM empire that Salesforce.com has become. Numerically speaking, according to Telecom Trends International, the cloud computing services market is projected to generate US$ 45.5 billion in revenue by 2015. We expect to see Salesforce.com’s extended participation generate some even fiercer competition as partners continue to tally their options.

Force.com pricing for partners starts at US$ 7.50 per user per month for the "one app" edition, and you can sign up here.