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January 14, 2016updated 31 Aug 2016 10:13am

From “slightly crazy” to key SaaS software provider, Salesforce AppExchange celebrates 10th anniversary

News: With as much diversity as the Apple app store, the enterprise application store has achieved great success.

By James Nunns

One of the biggest innovations in the cloud world is marking its 10th anniversary today.

Salesforce AppExchange, which launched in 2006, saw the real beginning of the enterprise application cloud, something that businesses couldn’t do without in the modern day work environment.

Current use of the service now sees almost 3,000 apps hosted, with almost 3.5 million installs. The market has grown massively since the AppExchange launch, with 56% of public cloud spending on apps or software-as-a-service according to IDC.

In 2006 the AppExchange was dubbed the ‘engine of change’ as the company aimed to provide businesses with a platform to create and build applications, then run and integrate them.

The product has helped to put Salesforce at the centre of an ecosystem that has seen a large amount of partnerships develop over the ten years it has been running.

A lot was riding on the success of the platform as the company looked to accelerate its progress into large enterprises, after ten years you can probably safely say that it has been a success.

In 2016 you see a much more polished platform with the company having continuously developed and added capabilities.

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One of the key benefits of the AppExchange is that it provides standardisation that makes it a lot easier for businesses to deploy applications.

Adam Spearing, AVP AppCloud EMEA, Salesforce, told CBR: "The reason we are able to do this is because we have a single multi-tenant cloud environment, which means we offer a single code base."

This means that after Salesforce has certified the application and made sure that it works at scale, so you as a business don’t have to worry about how to plug it into your CRM system or others.

The scale element is another extremely important element, while Spearing says that when it was first released, "People thought we were slightly crazy," the scale factor is one of its most appealing traits.

In addition to not burdening the business with the cost of application development, the platform gives businesses the ability to deploy all over the world, without necessarily having a global presence.

The impact that the technology has made shouldn’t be underestimated, you can comfortably say that it offers an environment that is as diverse as Apple’s consumer app store.

However, while it has had great impact, there is still plenty of work to do as some businesses continue to drag their heels and fail to provide the applications that are required for staff to be more productive.

While the AppExchange has experienced great success, there is plenty of competition out there from the likes of IBM, SAP, Adobe who all offer their own services in the area.

To highlight the importance of what Salesforce has created it’s necessary to look at not just how many applications or installs there has been, but also that other vendors want to be affiliated with it in some way.

Companies like Microsoft, Box and BT have all looked to connect to Salesforce in some way and this only strengthens the AppExchange ecosystem.

A well deserved happy birthday to Salesforce AppExchange.


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