OEM Edition

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Salesforce.com announced the launch of the OEM Edition yesterday. The OEM Edition allows Salesforce partners to build applications on the Salesforce.com platform and offer their products to non-Salesforce.com users. The price per user for the OEM Edition is $25/month.

I think I am interpreting this correctly…

You, as an OEM provider, offer your product/service to both Salesforce.com customers and customers not yet on the Salesforce platform. The OEM Edition only applies to the customers not yet on the Salesforce platform. As an OEM vendor, you pay Salesforce.com $25/month/user for anyone that takes up a license. It is then up to you to pass through that cost to your customer. The end result is that the customer only has a relationship with you, the OEM vendor. You, in turn, have the relationship with Salesforce.com as the platform provider for your product/service. Correct? Please add your comments to help clear this up. It is not totally straight forward in the press release.

This is a step in the right direction, but is not as ideal (IMHO) as the Platform Edition licensing I recommended in April. I feel that another licensing model is still necessary that allows you, as a consumer or corporate purchaser, to buy licenses to the Salesforce.com platform only. And to buy them directly from Salesforce.com. This would be a relationship between you and Salesforce.com with no third party involved. You just pay your subscription fee to the platform. From there, you would have the ability to add to it through AppExchange or by building your own apps. This allows for much more flexibility in that you start with the platform and then select/build the apps you want. Like I said, the OEM model is a step in the right direction, but you need to want one of those OEM products before you can get on the platform. The Platform Edition idea is an option to opt-in to the platform first (like buying a computer with only the operating system and then choosing the software you want).

8 Comments »

  1. Charlie Wood Said,

    May 26, 2006 @ 7:31 am

    It’s unclear to me what happens when a customer who subscibes to Application A that includes the OEM Edition then wants to subscribe to Application B, which also includes the OEM edition. Do both apps vendors have ot pay the $25/mo? Do the apps have access to each other’s data? Do I have to ask my customers if they already have an AppEchange OEM Edition account, and if so can I just charge them for my app and not the platform too?

    The answers to all of these questions would be a lot more obvious with your suggested Platform Edition. The OEM Edition seems a little like stuffing all of Windows into your word processor, and into your spreadsheet, and into your email program. I’m not sure I get it.

    Then again, maybe we should just OEM the OEM Edition, repackage it, charge $30/month for it, and call it Platform Edition. :-)

  2. David Claiborne Said,

    May 26, 2006 @ 3:32 pm

    Details on the OEM edition are a bit scarce at the moment. Questions like “How do I sign up?”, “What is the certification cost?” (BTW, it costs $5,000 to get an AppExchange certified).

    The OEM edition does include 5 standard tabs. I think they are Home, Leads, Accounts, Contacts, and Reports, but Opportunities may be there instead of Leads.

    There are four companies with OEM products. I tried to visit each of these booths during the AppExchange Day, but the companies seemed to be spending time with press and other analysts and were not on the floor.

    If you want to check out what the four are doing, try these links –

    http://www.myloanbiz.com – loan officer

    http://www.remend.com – real estate REO agent

    http://www.dreamfactory.com (they have lots of products, I am not sure which one is the OEM one)

    http://www.rallydev.com – agile software development management

  3. Peder Jakobsen Said,

    May 30, 2006 @ 7:06 am

    I never took the time to explore AppExchange, not even sure what it is, but I recently built a couple of standalone applications in my spare time using the enterprise and partner wsdl. Does Salesforce provide a way for me to sell these applications? Or do they only support marketing of these apps that live inside salesforce.com (AppExcange).

    Perhaps the OEM version will address my needs…?

  4. Scott Hemmeter Said,

    May 30, 2006 @ 7:20 am

    Peter – I suggest you check out AppExchange. That is the location you would want your applications to reside so they are available to others.

    At this time, you have to charge the customers yourself. Salesforce will not do that for you. This means you should have a means to control “activation” of your product. If you simply created an app using standard Salesforce objects, then anyone downloading it will have your configuration and you cannot chase them down. If your config is having Salesforce communicate with your own servers, then you can manage this.

    OEM edition is just a way for you to sell your app to those not on the platform already. I assume you would like existing Salesforce users to use your app?

  5. Peder Jakobsen Said,

    May 31, 2006 @ 1:32 pm

    Hi Scott,

    I’m a bit confused. If I build a application in C++ that is designed to sit in the Windows tray and alert users of events by communicating with the Salesforce backend using SOAP, then what do you mean by.. “That is the location you would want your applications to reside so they are available to others”.

    I did check out AppExchange for building apps but it’s not really applicable to the stuff I’ve built because they are not web applications, but standalone apps that use the Salesforce enterprise and partner WSDLs.

    Damn, it’s tough being a Salesforce newbie. So much information, so little time!

    Thanks, Peder :)

  6. Scott Hemmeter Said,

    May 31, 2006 @ 2:00 pm

    Peder – what i meant by “That is the location you would want your applications to reside so they are available to others” is that the AppExchange is where many Salesforce.com customers will go to download applications. Using the AppExchange is more for marketing in your case. It would be one of many ways for people to find out about your product.

    If you have a standalone app that you are trying to sell, Salesforce does not currently have a way to charge the customers for you. You need to sell to them directly. Check out Invisible CRM. That is a good example of a company that has built some stand-alone applications that integrate with Salesforce. They market themselves in a number of ways, but they also have listings on AppExchange. Their Sales Alerts product is a similar idea to what you are doing.

    For your case, think of AppExchange as more of a marketing tool. On your listing, you might have a Download button. This button would take a user to a landing page on your own website.

    I hope this helps.

  7. Peder Jakobsen Said,

    May 31, 2006 @ 5:45 pm

    Hi Scott,

    Yes, that is very helpful. Thankyou for your quick responses. I’ll be sure to alert you if I actually get something out of the alpha stage.

    Peder :)

  8. El Barto Said,

    June 10, 2006 @ 11:10 pm

    Question re: partners with Appexchange apps that use salesforce custom objects. How do users of their app upgrade to new versions of their app?

    (ie Rally has an integrated app…if I use the v1.0 that is listed on the appx today, and then Rallyv2.0 is released on the appx…how do I migrate to it? is v2.0 smart enough to realize that i already have a custom object X in v1.0, and so i don’t need v2.0’s custom object X? maybe i’m missing something obvious here…like maybe i can change the label of custom object X in v2.0 to X_2?? hmmm)

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