To keep pace with rapid innovations in the market and our growing partner ecosystem, I’m pleased to announce some exciting new changes to the Salesforce Partner Program for consulting partners.

While Salesforce has had a partner program for many years, our consulting partners in particular have been vocal about their desire for more enablement tools, more marketing and technical support, and ways we can make it easier for them to do business with us. At the same time, customers have asked for more insight into partner capabilities and expertise, so as to match them with a firm that best meets their needs.

So, starting this month, we’ll begin communicating changes to the Salesforce Partner Program for consulting partners, with the new enhancements beginning April 1. Key changes include:

1. Enhanced partner tiering structure

The new program introduces a comprehensive model that recognizes the total contribution each consulting partner makes to Salesforce’s business, their expertise and customer feedback. Partners are then tiered at Platinum, Gold, Silver and Registered levels. One of the great benefits of the model is that it allows consulting partners to be flexible in the attributes they wish to pursue. For example, partners that have less business with Salesforce, but a greater number of certifications and higher customer satisfaction, may be eligible for higher tiers.

2. Increased partner program investment

We’ve spent the past year evolving the partner program benefits and building out new resources to meet our partner’s needs. Depending on tier, consulting partners will have access to a new, more complete set of development tools, expanded training programs, enhanced marketing options, new developer support packs, and an online Partner Community for collaboration with Salesforce and other partners.

3. Introduction of annual program fees

Partners will be charged an annual fee to maintain their membership, helping us to invest in future program enhancements. Program fees start at $1k annually for partners at the Registered level (the first tier in the program).

I am thrilled to introduce these new changes to the program and believe we’ve put the right structure in place to support our consulting partners’ success, while recognizing the unique value each partner makes to delivering customer value. We’ll roll out more updates to additional partner categories over the course of the year, so stay tuned.

To learn more about how you can join the Salesforce Partner Program for consulting partners and for more specifics on the program itself, visit the Salesforce Partner Community.