Saleforce.com’s operations in South Africa have been boosted after two of its partners merged to create one of the country’s strongest resellers. Ideas Incorporated and CloudSmiths will now operate as one entity, providing a strong foundation from which to sell Salesforce.com’s customer relationship management (CRM) solutions. With both firms having a consumer-centric approach, it is hoped that many businesses will be able to benefit from the new deal.
Salesforce’s vice-president for alliances and channels across Europe, the Middle East and Asia, Stephen Bradford, said the merger will be a good thing for customers. “This merger creates a strong reseller for Salesforce in Africa and thus supports our strategy of having a local partner ecosystem in rapidly growing emerging markets,” he said. The chief executives of CloudSmiths and Ideas Incorporated, Derek Hughes and Kim Fletterman, say they believe they will be able to boost South Africa’s adoption and development of Salesforce products by merging. This is something Mr Bradford also believes, explaining that Salesforce has seen increasing demands for system integrators that can provide transformative projects and enable companies to communicate with their clients in new ways. Although the CRM market in South Africa is still young, it is growing rapidly.
Both Salesforce partners have customer-centric philosophies at the core of their business. Ideas Incorporated was launched in 2009 and became one of the first Salesforce partners in South Africa. With offices in Cape Town and Johannesburg, it has become a Gold Salesforce Consulting Partner. CloudSmiths was launched in 2014 after a successful merger with SFD Consulting. In under one year, it has also become a Gold Consulting Partner.
Mr Hughes from CloudSmiths said: “As competitors in the market, we kept bumping heads, but began to recognise that our customer-centric philosophies and business ethos appeared to be remarkably similar. We both realise that in today's tough business environment – and particularly in a market with enormous growth potential – it made sense to join forces with a like-minded company with complementary skills and expertise if we were to take the business to the next level.”
The merger makes sense because while CloudSmiths has concentrated on mid-sized companies and the NGO market, Ideas Incorporated is strong with the small and large enterprise sectors. By working together, they can cover the entire South African market and help all firms, regardless of size, to access Salesforce’s raft of CRM products.
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