I was working with a SalesForce (SFDC) reseller recently, and there was some discussion about him providing me access to a select group of his customers within his SalesForce database that I was required to provide support to. I've used SFDC before and found it easy enough, but found it too expensive to ever consider as an option.
Anyway, the offer from him seemed reasonable, as it granted me immediate access to a lot of mission critical customer data that didn't have to otherwise flow through him on a case by case basis. He said he'd get back to me, and I carried on with the data he had already provided.
After a few days I followed up with him because I was beginning to need that extra data more and more frequently. It was then he advised me of the delay. He was unsure whether it was worth the extra $1500 he'd have to spend to provide me that access.

I was confused because I just assumed that SFDC would provide their resellers, especially their successful resellers, enough NFR (not for resale) licenses to work with, but I was wrong. And I was wrong by quite a bit. Not only does SFDC not provide their resellers any free extra licenses, they don't provide them any licenses at all.
I was dumbfounded. I resell both ACT and Sugar CRM, and both these vendors don't hesitate to provide their resellers free NFR licenses to use internally. Not only does this eliminate a barrier to access to their resellers, it makes it harder for them to develop test environments with which to learn. A knowledgeable and organized reseller is, after all, likely to be a more successful one, but this doesn't seem to matter to SFDC.
Perhaps it's a philosophical difference between SFDC and the other CRM companies, I'm not sure, but take away one lesson from this practice. If you expect SFDC to value your business, and work with you when required, just remember how they treat their resellers, who pump more money into their caufers than you ever will..

2013-05-25 12:46:10
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