Ahhh, the American Dream (Silicon Valley style) – you start with a great idea for an app. You sketch out the details on your proverbial cocktail napkin, build it in the cloud, customers love it, you make millions, retire, and pick out your vineyard. What could be simpler? But somewhere along the way between napkin and Napa, there is this small thing about actually doing the work. About taking the necessary steps to execute on your vision, and deliver a world-class solution to a world that is hungry for it.

Here at the AppExchange Partner Program, we understand this. That’s why we have designed a program to help you be successful, not just with the technical bits and bytes, but with enablement best practices in operations, marketing, sales, and support to help you build your cloud business. Dreaming about success is great (hey, we invented “Dreamforce”, remember?) but with the AppExchange Partner Program we like to get real. And getting real means giving you straight talk and the straight answers that you need to succeed.

Once you join our program, you are introduced to important concepts and tools like Technical Review, Force.com IDE, Apex Code, REST API’s, Security Review, managed packages, AppExchange Publishing Console, Trialforce Management Org, License Management Application, ISV Business Org, SEO/SEM, marketing automation, lead queues, pipeline management, Subscriber Console, and more. Whew! But who is there to help you make sense of it all? And how can you shorten your learning curve to bypass the usual gotchas and get straight to the success part? I mean, wouldn’t it be great if someone offered expert-led training in how to understand and apply all of these concepts to help you execute on your business vision? And wouldn’t it be #awesome if this training was free and available 24/7? We agree!

That’s where the APP Academy comes in. The APP Academy (where ‘APP’ = AppExchange Partner Program) was designed to help ISV & channel partners understand the full app lifecycle across 5 distinct phases: plan, build, distribute, sell (& market), and support. Participants include C-level leaders and executives, as well as managers in sales, business development, product management, operations, marketing, and support – basically anyone who has an active role in the success of your commercial app.

The two most frequent comments that we receive from our APP Academy attendees:
“I wish I had gone through this sooner.”
“Everyone in my company should take this.”

We offer instructor-led sessions periodically (we have upcoming programs in Tel Aviv, London, and San Francisco). We also host monthly Virtual Classrooms and an APP Academy (Online) that is available on the partner portal anytime, from anywhere. We have programs for partners that are just Getting Started, in addition to deep dives in Sales and Marketing for experienced partners (Technical Deep Dive coming this summer).

Maybe you think you don’t need the APP Academy. If so, ask yourself these questions:

  • How do you sign up for ISV roadmap webinars, to learn about our future plans?
  • How do you access hundreds of hours of free, recorded training from salesforce.com experts?
  • Where is the online documentation for ISVforce technologies and processes? (hint: it’s not on Developer Force)
  • How do you spin up your own developer and test orgs for free? (hint: it’s not on Developer Force)
  • How long does it typically take to pass security review?
  • Which comes first, associating your managed package with your LMO, or your TMO? (hint: the order matters!)
  • Where do you log in to manage your AppExchange listing?
  • What are the physical specs of your AppExchange banners, tiles, and icons (height and width; JPEG or PNG)?
  • How can you get two free Enterprise Edition licenses of our Sales Cloud (CRM) to help you manage your business?
  • What is the Subscriber Console and why do you need it?

Want the answers? Then, we look forward to seeing you in one of our APP Academy sessions very soon! You can learn more about the APP Academy on the partner portal at http://p.force.com/appacademy.  Remember, you must be a member of our AppExchange Partner Program to access the free training.

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