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How Salesforce built its platform business : Salesforce built an external developer platform that allowed third parties to develop cloud apps extending the company’s core CRM system.

  • In 2023, Salesforce was the provider of the CRM system with the biggest market share. Besides providing a CRM software product, the company also offered an external developer platform called Salesforce Platform. Salesforce Platform enabled CRM customers to customize their CRM system and allowed partners (third-party developers) to develop cloud apps that could be distributed via Salesforce’s AppExchange marketplace. Since its official launch in 2008, Salesforce Platform had become a major revenue contributor for the company, including from over 7,000 apps in AppExchange. Building a successful platform business extended far beyond building a technology platform to nurturing an entire ecosystem around it. Based on interviews with twelve executives, this case study illustrates what it takes for a product company to build a platform business—developing and scaling the business model, engineering the technology platform, growing a vivid community of developers, and marketing and selling the platform—and how Salesforce addressed related challenges.

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Author of HS ReutlingenMocker, Martin
Erschienen in:CISR working paper
Publisher:MIT Center for Information Systems Research
Place of publication:Cambridge, Mass.
Document Type:Working Paper
Publication year:2024
Tag:designed for digital; ecosystems; enterprise architecture; platforms
Page Number:31
First Page:3
Last Page:31
DDC classes:650 Management
Open access?:Nein
Licence (German):License Logo  In Copyright - Urheberrechtlich geschützt