Just a few months ago, IDC released data that showed that Salesforce partners today report an average year-over-year revenue growth of 48% and that, by 2020, for every $1 of Salesforce revenue, our partners will generate $4.14 of revenue. Applying this data to our own internal estimates, there is a massive, multi-billion dollar opportunity ahead of us—and Salesforce will need to attract nearly 10 times as many consultants as it has today.

This is an incredible time for our ecosystem, and we’re looking at new ways to both recruit more consulting partners and improve the experience for our existing community. This is why today, I am excited to announce updates to the Salesforce Consulting Partner Program. Based on feedback we’ve received from partners directly, as well as input from customers, analysts and others, we’re unveiling improvements to the program to make it even more impactful and ensure partners are prepared to capture the opportunities ahead.

One of the key values of our partner Ohana—or extended family—is trust. And this trust is built on transparency in the way we communicate with our partners. So in that spirit of openness, I want to outline a few of the key changes going into effect:

1.  New emphasis on cross-cloud delivery capability in partner tiering

The updated program introduces an increased focus on cross-cloud capability, and tiering now involves an emphasis on partners becoming certified and building out expertise across more products, including Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud and others. This increased focus on cross-cloud implementation capability will enable partners to better serve customers as they deploy Salesforce to power their digital transformations.

2.  Increased emphasis on expanding the Salesforce expert consultant ecosystem

Given the need to address growing demand for Salesforce implementations, the updated program also introduces a bigger focus on consulting partners hiring more Salesforce-certified consultants and growing their Salesforce practices overall to meet market demand in the coming years. Partners who train up their consultants with multiple certifications will achieve higher levels of tiering, benefiting from more marketing, technology and business resources under the program.

3.  Increased focus on product and industry specializations

Salesforce Consulting Partners are now able to specialize across product and industry based on implementation experience. Industries where they can achieve Salesforce specializations include financial services, telecommunications and media, healthcare, retail, manufacturing, and public sector. This will allow partners to leverage their own vertical expertise and use their specializations to better drive success by speaking the language of our mutual customers.

Partners underpin everything that we do at Salesforce—they are truly part of our Ohana—and I am very excited to announce these updates to the program to add more value for our growing community of consulting partners. Our partner ecosystem remains one of the most important pillars to our success, and we recognize the value that each of our consulting partners contributes to delivering the best customer experience in the industry.

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