The Salesforce Phenomenon

Salesforce jobs

This month we have the first of our monthly insights on emerging trends that we are seeing, their global and local significance and what they mean to the dynamics within our New Zealand IT landscape.

First up, we look at the Salesforce Phenomenon.

The #1 CRM in the world. Forbes’ most innovative company 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and second only to Tesla in 2015. 150,000 customers and close to 4 million users. A native cloud business pioneer with core offerings in customer-oriented service and resource management that include Sales, Marketing, Customer Service, Analytics and now IoT. The largest annual software conference on the planet (called Dream Force), with this year reaching 130,000 physical as well as some 10 million online attendees.

So how do you best describe what Salesforce is?

Not a product vendor, not a software company, not a platform not even just an ecosystem - none of these descriptions cut it on their own. It is a phenomenon. It’s an economy. The Salesforce economy. A report from IDC in August (hosted by Salesforce) captures it best:

Between the end of 2014 and the end of 2018 the benefits of cloud computing that accrue to Salesforce customers will add $272 billion in GDP impact to their local economies” (View the full report as a PDF).

And this insight on the impact on employment dynamics is mind-blowing:

Worldwide, Salesforce and its ecosystem will enable the creation of more than 1 million jobs within the Salesforce customer base due to the use of cloud computing between the end of 2014 and the end of 2018. Those jobs, called direct jobs in economic parlance, will engender another 1.5 million indirect or induced jobs as increased customer revenue drives jobs in supply and distribution chains and as new company employees spend money in the general economy.

Wow. There’s a lot to get your head around. You can’t help but ask why and how this is all possible. (Watch out for our next instalment in this series, which will dig further into what makes Salesforce so impactful.) The fact is, Salesforce is here to stay in a big way. Or is it?

A brief search on SEEK today (who have 70% of the IT job board market share in New Zealand) reveals only 20 Salesforce-centric jobs. Reconcile that with the following from the above mentioned IDC report:

IDC's estimates of the impact of the Salesforce economy in Australia - Source: IDC, 2015

Source: Report from IDC in August 2015 (hosted by Salesforce)*.

The report estimates almost 11,000 new direct jobs in the Salesforce Ecosystem in Australia 2014-2018. Direct jobs are defined as: Direct jobs are those created in the Salesforce and Salesforce ecosystem customer bases from the use of cloud computing.

Local Insight and Observations

From that, we can infer that some of those jobs might not fulfil obvious ‘Salesforce functions’. Even so, that is a lot of job creation. Unfortunately, like a lot of research that is conducted globally, the closest we get to local insight is data for/from Australia. So, if we use some crude maths and rather than apply a population ratio of 1/5 we halve it to 1/10 we still end up with over 1000 jobs created directly in the New Zealand Salesforce ecosystem between 2014 and 2018. This would suggest that an enormous amount of Salesforce activity is about to happen.

From our recent experience and direct observations here at Potentia, this is certainly starting to happen. The recent Salesforce Advantage Tour in Auckland this month drew 1000 attendees (including myself and two other Potentia team members). We’re already seeing client demand outstrip the supply of local Salesforce talent. The first growth wave is around consulting expertise - people who can analyse requirements and implement/configure Salesforce. As we’ll see in the next instalment, this is a broad skillset, both functional and quasi-technical. Demand for technical development resources will also grow. The next wave is around realising daily returns from a Salesforce investment - people to help manage, tune and administer the plethora of possibilities on the platform to achieve business outcomes.

Assuming all of the above is true then the big question is where all of these Salesforce people will come from...