Now more than ever, companies around the world are challenged to innovate quickly, all while providing seamless experiences for customers. At Dreamforce 2019, the chatter from our customers and partners about the need for skilled Salesforce Architects blazed to the forefront. Architects are critical to the success of digital transformation projects, with a unique skill set to tackle the most complex challenges and produce the best solutions.
To help architects build multi-cloud expertise and supercharge ecosystem capabilities, we created the Solution Architect Program—made for architects, by architects— delivering a brand new Salesforce Solution Architect career path and curricula in Partner Learning Camp and on Trailhead. Today, we’re excited to expand the architect community with our newest architect certification: B2C Solution Architect.
We sat down with Zayne Turner, Director of Architect Relations, and Partner Success Vice President, Nia Samady, to discuss the Solution Architect Program, architect career paths and the growing opportunity for architects to drive customer and partner success.
Q. How do Salesforce Architects drive success at their companies?
Zayne Turner: Salesforce Architects connect the dots between business, operations, and IT. They deliver solutions that empower both IT and business stakeholders to drive transformation and growth at scale.
They have to move fast without breaking things, and these days, the stakes are especially high. Every day, architects find ways to deliver completely new digital infrastructures, systems, and processes— all while refactoring old systems and dealing with the burdens of technical debt and bringing the entire enterprise up to speed.
Q. How are Salesforce Architects critical to the growth of the Salesforce ecosystem? How do your roles help foster this growth?
Zayne: I lead the Architect Relations team at Salesforce, and my team’s mission is to empower and inspire architects designing, delivering, and integrating Salesforce products into an organizations’ tech stack. Architects are the most trusted digital advisors and respected team leaders in the Salesforce ecosystem, driving customer success and innovation for the companies they serve. Data shows us that involving an architect in digital transformation projects is the key factor in implementations that deliver return on investment, both short-term and long-term.
Architects build the future for our customers and their businesses, and my team is responsible for creating opportunities, resources, and spaces to help them be wildly successful. We measure our success based on the success of our customers and partners, and architects ensure they get the most from their technology investments.
Nia Samady: I lead Partner Success, a team of architects focused on the success of architects in the partner ecosystem. Our partners are crucial to the digital transformation success of our customers as they extend the functionality of our platform and help customers implement solutions at scale. Together with our partners, we grow, innovate and invest in ways that help customers transform their businesses, fueling our joint success.
On our team, we do a lot of listening to partners. We learned that our architects within the partner ecosystem want to scale faster with solutions that maximize the full potential of the Salesforce Platform, and produce successful multi-cloud implementations. Through the Solution Architect Program we developed new career paths to skill up architects in two domains: business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B). And now, we’re excited to expand the architect community with new learning paths and the new B2C Solution Architect certification.
Q. Can you tell us more about the new B2C Solution Architect certification?
Zayne: This is our very first certification under the Solution Architect Program. As Nia mentioned, we developed new career paths to skill up architects in two domains – B2C and B2B – and the B2C Solution Architect certification allows customers and partners to build the expertise needed to connect marketing, commerce, and service to deliver personalized consumer experiences. This certification is intended for architects who design multi-cloud solutions on the Salesforce Platform that power personalized, frictionless customer experiences that maximize business value. To learn more about the certification and exciting new learning opportunities for Architects, check out this Trailblazer blog.
Nia: Solution Architects build the future of business. They make digital transformation real by aligning business and technology, and defining the ‘why and how’ that drives successful implementations and multi-cloud solutions for customers.
This new certification empowers architects with the tools needed to drive multi-cloud solutions that deliver business value, including functional or technical experience with B2C Commerce Cloud, Marketing Cloud, and Sales, Service, or Experience Clouds. To learn more, check out the B2C Solution Architect certification page. You can also visit Partner Learning Camp, featuring 26 courses to help Partner Trailblazers build multi-cloud capabilities.
Q. What are you most excited about with the launch of the new B2C Solution Architect certification?
Zayne: I’m really excited that we’re continuing to drive alignment between the skills our customers and partners need most and the paths to becoming Salesforce certified. Our goal is to make it easier than ever to identify architect career paths that bring the exact skills your digital transformation project demands.
It’s common for Salesforce Architects to start their careers as admins and developers before becoming a certified architect. Lauren Zolp, for example, was offered a job as a Salesforce Administrator at a startup four weeks after taking her first Trailhead course. Over time, she developed her skills, earned nine new certifications, and is now a Salesforce consultant at HigherEchelon, where she acts as a Solution Architect leading large technology implementations for government organizations.
We launch new certification paths—like the B2C Solution Architect Certification—with this in mind. The continued expansion of our architect certifications means customers and partners have more ways to build highly skilled delivery teams. The investment Salesforce is making in architect career paths and certifications through the Architect Success Program means customers and partners can continue to trust in the skills of Salesforce Certified Architects to lead their companies through change.
Nia: At Salesforce, trust is our #1 value. To continue building trust and driving customer success, our top priority is to enable and empower the partner ecosystem to deliver successful multi-cloud implementations. Inspiring our customers and partners to expand their capabilities and drive customer success is not just what we do, it’s at the core of who we are. You can learn more about the Salesforce Certified Solution Architect Program here.
Q. How is Salesforce committed to growing and retaining the number of architects in the ecosystem?
Nia: We have three priorities when it comes to growth and retention of architects in the ecosystem – to enable, engage and empower. Enablement is available to you wherever you are on your journey. We’ve created a use-case curriculum learning path – or T-Ruth Mountain as we like to call it – designed to help learners expand multi-cloud capabilities, accelerate optimal decision-making for customers, and speak a common language to business and technical leaders. This curriculum is available to Partner Trailblazers in Partner Learning Camp, and we’ve also included this content across Architect Trailmixes on Trailhead.
We also engage with our partners and customers early and often. The feedback we hear from our ecosystem directly drives the decisions and investments we make in enablement, and in helping our customers transform their business.
Finally, we empower the ecosystem with tools and resources to make digital transformation real, and ultimately fuel expertise for our partners and success for our customers.
Zayne: As Nia mentioned, we take a multi-step approach to help grow and retain architect talent in the ecosystem. Our first step is to empower architects working in our ecosystem to have the greatest impact. We began the Architect Relations program by listening to architects. They told us what was top of mind for their companies and customers, and what they needed from Salesforce to be most effective in their work. The work of Architect Relations is to bring the full power of Salesforce together to deliver what architects need to create more success for companies they serve. And you can see how we’re doing this with the tools and resources on our new Architect Digital Home, as well as the content we publish on the Salesforce Architect Blog.
The second step is to create new pathways for aspiring architects and those who are new to the Salesforce ecosystem to gain the skills, knowledge, and resources they need to be successful in their role. We want to make it easy to understand the immense career opportunities architects have in the Salesforce ecosystem, and are using Trailhead to bring these new career paths and journeys to life. Check out the new Architect Careers page to learn more about the various architect career paths.
Salesforce is committed to making sure that architects in our ecosystem know that we treat expertise as a two-way street. The industry constantly changes, and so do the tools and resources architects need most. We appreciate all the great feedback we’ve been getting via Twitter, LinkedIn, and the Trailblazer Community. Keep it coming!