Salesforce.com’s Private AppExchange Can Streamline Multi-SaaS Sourcing

salesforce.com’s 100,000+ customers now have a new option for streamlining SaaS sourcing across the enterprise: Private AppExchange. And, the price is right at $0. Free? Yes, free(!) but, don't assume this won't impact your costs.

Last week at salesforce.com's massive Dreamforce event, Forrester had the opportunity to learn more about some of salesforce.com's recent announcements -- including the Private AppExchange. This free add-on feature for salesforce.com users lets companies set up an AppStore that is private, personalized, and custom populated for their own company. The Private AppExchange lets organizations “distribute any app, to any user on any device through a central, secure store, using Salesforce Identity to grant employees instant access to the apps they need. Organizations can customize the store with own categories and branding.”

The Private AppExchange could help sourcing executives address goals for enabling SaaS sourcing that we frequently hear about, such as:

  • Lets users quickly discover and deploy solutions that meet their business needs
  • Supports collaboration and idea-sharing across all users at all levels of the company
  • Adheres to corporate standards (integration, data rules, security, contracting, and more)
  • Ensures favorable pricing based on overall corporate relationships and usage
  • Showcases the specific SaaS solutions already in use within the company

And, the Private AppExchnage could address some of the challenges that go along with setting up and managing a central SaaS storefront, including:

  • Challenges to build a portal that is easy to navigate and yet meets corporate goals
  • Difficulty getting the right solutions onto the portal
  • Facilitating key user needs such as try-and-buy, provisioning, and purchasing

Pros?

  • Free (included with Enterprise, Unlimited, or Performance Edition)
  • Simple – just download the store from the AppExchange to get started
  • The store is already populated – to more than 2,000 apps that are built on AppExchange (you can pick and choose which ones to include in your private store)

Cons?

  • Although technically free (and won't change costs of things you are already doing), an AppStore of this nature will likely attract new users, more apps per user, and more overall storage as usage goes up -- which means costs could go up
  • This store is SFDC-centric. Although the store can support any application through the APIs, the store is best suited for SFDC and SFDC ecosystem applications

Net-net, the Private AppExchange is an intriguing new option that should appeal to most companies struggling with multiple, fragmented deployments of SaaS and trying to keep pace with fast-moving business demands. But, this Private AppExchange will make the most sense where salesforce.com is already a pivotal element of your enterprise applications portfolio. 

 
Join the conversation -- let us know your thoughts and experiences on this topic.
 
Liz
@lizherbert