Product Development Outsourcers (PDOs)

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Product Development Outsourcers (PDOs) represent a broad spectrum of consulting partners and vendors with expertise in building commercial apps, as well as other valuable services like training, funding, marketing, or selling your app.  These specialized partners can help you architect & design a commercial app, tackle specific areas of your build (like third-party integrations), or simply augment your own development team.  

As of September 28, 2016, the Salesforce Partner Program for Consulting Partners has been extended to include Product Development Outsourcers (PDOs). We want to welcome PDOs to the program and inform them of the benefits available to them as a Consulting Partner. The Salesforce Consulting Partner Program offers a robust set of resources, trainings, and tools, enabling partners to develop expertise around specific business functions, product areas, and industries so they can best serve their customers, differentiate practices, and grow a profitable business. Unlike programs developed by traditional software providers, the Salesforce Partner Program for Consulting Partners is built exclusively for the cloud and takes advantage of its unique customer engagement models, economics, and potential to deliver unparalleled customer success.

Program Requirements
  • To maintain eligibility as a PDO Partner, you need to remain in good standing as a Salesforce Consulting partner. If you are already a part of the Partner Program for Consulting Partners, no action is required on your side. If not, register as a Consulting Partner here
  • All aspects of your Consulting Partner Program relationship with Salesforce are governed by the Salesforce Partner Program Agreement (SPPA) and Partner Program Policies - http://p.force.com/program
  • Consulting partners are evaluated across a range of core attributes including Salesforce Certifications, Specializations, Customer Satisfaction (CSAT), and Customer Success Stories
  • Consulting partners who wish to differentiate themselves as having extensive experience with AppExchange Partner (ISV) applications can pursue PDO Specializations and earn a PDO Master
  • Any contribution to a category during the rolling 18-month period counts towards the PDO Specializations and the PDO Master
  • Keep in mind - Consulting partners are only considered a PDO once they have achieved all of the required PDO Specializations
All core attributes listed below are required for any of the PDO Specializations.

PDO Specialization: Overview

There are several PDO specific Specializations Consulting Partners can pursue. To be considered a PDO in the Partner Program for Consulting Partners, you must complete all the required PDO Specializations and achieve the minimum core attributes for PDO Specialization. Core Attributes include Certifications, Customer Success Stories, and Customer Satisfaction Scores.

REQUIRED SPECIALIZATIONS REGISTERED
PROJECTS
 CUSTOMER
SUCCESS STORIES
 CUSTOMER
SALES REFERENCES
 CERTIFICATIONS
 PDO: Integration / Connects Apps / Lightning Connect 5 3 2 5 Platform Developer I
 PDO: Security Review & AppExchange Listing 5 3 2 5 Platform Developer I
 PDO: Namespaces / Managed Packages 5 3 2 5 Platform Developer I
 PDO: LMA / COA / Environment Hub 5 3 2 5 Platform Developer I
 Salesforce Platform: Custom App Dev (Lightning and Javascript) 5 2 2 5 Platform Developer II
OPTIONAL SPECIALIZATIONS
 PDO: Trialforce 2 1 1 5 Platform Developer I
 PDO: Lightning Components 2 1 1 5 Platform Developer I
 PDO: Einstein Analytics 2 1 1 5 Platform Developer I
 PDO: Shield 2 1 1 5 Platform Developer I
 Salesforce Platform: Custom App Dev (Visualforce and APEX) 10 4 4 5 Platform Developer II
 Salesforce Platform: Large Data Volumes (over 5 Million Records in the org) 10 4 2 5 Platform Developer II
 Salesforce Platform: Heroku (Customer-Facing applications) 5 2 2 5 Platform Developer II
 Salesforce Platform: Mobile Customer App Dev (Salesforce SDK/Force) 10 4 2 5 Platform Developer II
 Community Cloud: Customer Community Self Service (B2C) 10 4 2 5 Platform Developer II
 Community Cloud: Customer Community Self Service (B2B) 10 4 2 5 Platform Developer II
 Community Cloud: Chatter (process collaboration) 10 4 2 5 Platform Developer II
PDO Master
*All required specializations + 4 optional; Partner CSAT Score = 8.5+
 15 5 4
10 Platform Developer I
  5 Platform Developer II


PDO Specialization: Delivered Projects

Consulting Partners must register and close a minimum of 5 projects in the Business Console of the Partner Community (within an 18-month rolling time frame) that results in a new AppExchange Partner (ISV) application in market. Keep in mind: 
  • Those projects must identify the technologies used in order to qualify for Specializations 
  • One project could qualify for multiple Specializations
  • Consulting Partners should also make sure to report the technologies they are using in other Specializations (such as Salesforce Platform, Communities, Sales Cloud, or Service Cloud) within their project
PDO Specialization: Certifications

Consulting partners can earn credit towards a PDO Specialization by obtaining the Platform Developer I certification. The Platform Developer I credential is for individuals who have knowledge, skills, and experience building custom applications on the Force.com platform. The Dev 401 certification will be recognized in place of Platform Developer I until FY18. Consulting Partners must have a minimum of 5 Certified Consultants on permanent staff holding the Platform Developer I certification to qualify for a PDO Specialization. 

PDO Specialization: Customer Success Stories

Consulting partners can earn credit towards a PDO Specialization for their submission of Customer Success Stories. A minimum of 4 Customer Success Stories outlining the project milestones, timeframes, and delivered product over a rolling 18-month period must be submitted to qualify. To understand the process for submitting customer stories, see http://p.force.com/stories

PDO Specialization: Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)

Consulting partners can earn credit towards a PDO Specialization by achieving an average Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) score of 8.5 or higher. At the close of a PDO project, AppExchange Partners (ISVs) will complete a survey that generates a Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) Score for the relevant PDO. An average CSAT score of 8.5 must be maintained over a rolling 18-month period. In order for a project to count towards a Specialization, a CSAT must be returned.



PDO Master

PDO partners can further differentiate their practices by pursuing the PDO Master. To become a PDO Master, the PDO needs to further demonstrate their expertise by achieving additional Salesforce Certifications, Specializations, Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) and Partner Success Stories (in addition to meeting the above requirements). Any additional contributions to a category during the rolling 18-month period counts towards a PDO Master. Upon achieving the PDO Master, you will receive a press release to use and a PDO Master badge which can be used in marketing and proposals. 

The table of available domains is listed above under the ' PDO Specializations: Overview' section. To qualify as a PDO Master, follow these steps: 
  • Complete all the Specializations marked as required
  • Complete 4 Specializations marked as Optional
  • Submit 15 delivered projects and 5 customer stories
  • 10 individuals in your organization must obtain the Platform Developer I certification 
  • 5 individuals in your organization must obtain the Platform Developer II certification
Master Designation: Advanced Certifications

PDO partners can earn credit towards a PDO Master by obtaining the Platform Developer II certification. The Platform Developer II credential is for individuals wanting to demonstrate their skills and knowledge in advanced programmatic capabilities of the Force.com platform and data modeling to develop complex business logic and interfaces. Consulting partners must have a minimum of 5 Certified Consultants on permanent staff holding the Platform Developer II certification to qualify as a PDO Master.

Program Fee

To support the ongoing administration of the enhanced Salesforce Partner Program and to provision the program benefits, Salesforce charges an annual program fee for the Partner Program for Consulting Partners. There is no additional fee to be classified as a PDO as long as you meets the Consulting Program requirements and pay the annual program fee associated with your respective partner tier. Learn more here

Program Benefits

All Consulting partners, independent of tier, are welcome to pursue the PDO Specializations and earn a PDO Masters. Benefits of a Consulting partner are listed here

Resources


FAQ

Q: What is a Product Development Outsourcer (PDO)?

A: Product Development Outsourcers (PDOs) represent a broad spectrum of consulting partners and vendors with expertise in building commercial apps, as well as other valuable services like training, funding, marketing, or selling your app.  These specialized partners can help you architect & design a commercial app, tackle specific areas of your build (like third-party integrations), or simply augment your own development team.

Q: How do I become a PDO?
A: 
To become a PDO, you need to enroll in the Partner Program for Consulting Partners. Sign up here. After enrolling, you need to meet the above required criteria over an rolling 18-month period.

Q: I'm having issues signing up. Are there any instructions on signing up for the Partner Program?
A:
Yes. If you are having issues signing up, please go to http://p.force.com/signup and follow the steps for Option 1. 

Q: Why do I need to register as a Consulting partner in order to become a PDO?
A: The Partner Program for Consulting Partners is a well established program to track projects our Consulting partners have delivered. Most PDOs also do consulting work and are already on the AppExchange. Expanding the existing program to leverage the framework offers was the best way to get PDOs officially into the program. If you are already registered as a Consulting partner, no further registration is needed. 

Q: If I'm an existing PDO, does this get me grandfathered into the program?
A:
Not directly. First, it is essential to be enrolled as a Consulting Partner. If you are not enrolled, sign up here. Going forward, you need to meet the above required criteria over an rolling 18-month period. One of the original criteria for getting enrolled into the program was to have completed a minimum number of PDO projects. It is expected that PDOs continue working on AppExchange Partner (ISV) projects to maintain their status. 

Q: Do we get credit for a project as soon as we submit it?
A
: All specializations are calculated on a quarterly basis. The first credit calculation will happen for FY17Q3 (Nov 2016). Please use the month of October submit your initial projects. 

Q: Can we report multiple products and phases at a large product as different projects?
A:
No. However, while continuing to work on product enhancements, if you use additional technologies, you should update the project to reflect those specializations. 

Q: What are the fees for reporting PDO projects?
A:
No additional fee for reporting PDO projects. 

Q: Can we report our own AppExchange Partner (ISV) products as projects?
A: 
No, we cannot collect CSAT scores on those projects. 

Q: Does it matter if the app is a free app? 
A: 
No. You can report free apps as projects as long as they are listed on the AppExchange (publicly or privately). 

Q. Does it matter if the app is a Connector only app? 
A: 
No. You can report Connector apps as long as they are listed on the AppExchange (publicly or privately). 

Q: Can we report a Lightning component as an app?
A: 
Yes. As long as it is listed on the Component Exchange. 

Q: Do we get a badge for PDO status? 
A: 
Currently only the Master status gets a PDO Master badge. Specializations are not badged. 

Q: Can we only report new projects or can we also report the ones we are working on? 
A:
You can go back 18 months to report your projects. Please report only those projects which have, at the minimum, cleared the first phase and gone through the Managed Package/Security Review stage. 

Q: Will my AppExchange Partner (ISV) customers get a request for a survey? 
A: 
Yes. As soon as you report a project and provide contacts, the customer will receive a survey link. As a best practice, we recommend letting your customers know in advance. 

Q: When can AppExchange visitors search/filter for PDOs?
A: We are working with the AppExchange team to get a filter added for 'PDO' or 'AppExchange Development' under 'Type of Service'. In the meantime, we recommend that you update your Consulting Partner AppExchange Listing to include PDO on several fields. Many PDOs are already following this process and show up when someone searches for PDO in the Consulting partners section of the AppExchange. Here are some tips on listing keywords: 

  • If you include a keyword anywhere in your listing, your listing appears in the search results for that keyword
  • Generally, a keyword’s relevance is increased by appearing earlier in the listing
  • Generally, a keyword’s relevance is increased by appearing more than once in the listing
  • Note that listing a keyword multiple times in a row does not improve the listing's ranking

Q: How do I create an AppExchange Listing?
A:
Create your AppExchange Listing through the Publishing Console of the Partner Community. 

Q: Can we track the individuals in our organization that hold specific certifications (Platform Developer I, Platform Developer II)?
A: 
Yes! This can be tracked through the Business Console of the Partner Community. Keep in mind - you need the "Manage Partnership" permission to access this feature. 

Q: We do not work with Customer Admins. Who do we mention on the Project submission page?
A:
Please mention the product manager or your contact on the Salesforce AppExchange Partner (ISV) team. 

Q: What should I report for number of users?
A:
You should report the average number of users, per customer org, the AppExchange Partner (ISV) expects for their product. Your AppExchange Partner customer can provide you with this number as it is required for Technical Review. 

Q: Can we get credit for Annual Contract Value (ACV) on the PDO projects we worked on?
A:
ACV has not been included as a criteria for PDO projects. 

Q: Do Certified technical architects (CTAs) provide additional value to our status? 
A:
Yes. CTAs give you more points and help you achieve status in a higher tier in the Consulting Partner Program sooner. Keep in mind - they do not count towards your PDO requirements. 

Q: How does referral for PDOs work with this program?
A: 
Salesforce Partner Account Managers and Technical Evangelists will continue referring PDOs. Our internal process remains as well as the individuals managing the PDOs currently. 

Q: Is there a way to see our status on Registered Projects?
A: 
You can track the number of completed projects with completed customer surveys in the Business Console of the Partner Community. Keep in mind - we do not expose information on how a particular Consulting partner is tracking towards a Specialization or a Masters Badge. 

Q: Is there a deadline for submitting our projects, customer stories, etc?
A:
No. The sooner you register and start reporting, the sooner you will be considered for status grant. In addition, this will become the source of referrals going forward. If your company is not enrolled, it won’t be considered for referrals. 

Q: Will partners who took transition tests for certifications qualify for the certification requirements?
A:
Yes. 

Q: Do developers certified as DEV401 / DEV501 get credit as a PDO?
A:
Yes, until FY18. 

Q: What if an AppExchange Partner (ISV) doesn’t want to list on the AppExchange?
A: 
At the minimum, a private listing is required to go through the Security Review process. If the AppExchange Partner doesn’t want to make the listing public, they need to respond to the CSAT survey for the project to count.

Q: What should I do if I have additional questions?
A:
Please reach out to Manishi Singh and Courtney Dascenzo