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, supporting, marketing, or selling your app.

The Salesforce Consulting Partner Program 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, training, 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 Consulting Partner Program is built exclusively for the cloud and takes advantage of its unique customer engagement models, economics, and potential to deliver unparalleled customer success. Learn more about the Consulting Partner Program >


Officially Joining the PDO Program

The requirements to join the PDO program are defined as below:

  • - Being a member of the Consulting Program
  • - At least 1 Project with any PDO specializations (see Navigator Program info below) with a CSAT >4.2 in the last 24 months.
  • - Engage with the Salesforce PDO team to get officially approved. It consists of a 1 hour meeting where you will need to present the following:
    • -Company background
    • -Portfolio of project(s) completed
    • -Specific ISV projects
    • -Expertise and specialization
    • -PDO strategy

Navigator Program - Requirements

The Navigator program synthesizes three aspects of a partner’s expertise in an area into a measure of deployable expertise that is easy to understand:
  • - Knowledge: Technical understanding of Salesforce products and their applications, configurations and administration. Measured by credentials
  • - Experience: Accrued knowledge from implementing Salesforce products in different environments and with different customers. Measured by relevant projects completed
  • - Quality: Consistency with which partners are able to deliver customer success. Measured by CSAT achieved on those projects
1- There are 7 PDOs specializations aligned with typical Product LifeCycle phases. Each specialization has 2 levels (Level I and Level II). Below are the details of the requirements for each specialization and level:
  • - Ideation/Business Model/Value Prop
    • -You help ISVs define what kind of product to build, and come up with the right Epics/Stories for their product by providing:
      • - Product Discovery, Product Ideation, Design workshop
      • - Business Model, Total Addressable Market (TAM), and Product Market Fit Assessment
    • -Level I
      • - Knowledge: NA
      • - Experience: 3 Projects
      • - Quality: CSAT >4.2
    • -Level II
      • - Knowledge: NA
      • - Experience: 10 Projects
      • - Quality: CSAT >4.4
  • - Architecture & UX Design
    • -You help ISVs define the Technical Design to support their product's Epics and User Stories by providing:
      • - Tech Review Assistance
      • - Mockups of how the app may look, PoC/Wireframes as needed
      • - A Technical Design and Architecture Document
    • -Level I
      • - Knowledge: 1 Application or 1 System Architect certification
      • - Experience: 3 Projects
      • - Quality: CSAT >4.2
    • -Level II
      • - Knowledge: 5 Application/System Architect certification
      • - The sum of Application Architects certifications and System Architect certifications is at least equal to 5.
      • - Experience:10 Projects
      • - Quality: CSAT >4.4
  • - Development/QA/Release Management/Security Review
    • -You provide ISVs:
      • - Ongoing agile development, test automation, release automation for the ISV product
      • - Interact with ISV DevOps team, and help set them up on Salesforce CI/CD best practices
      • - Assist with Security Review testing, questionnaire and issue resolution during the security review process.
    • -Level I
      • - Knowledge: 1 Platform Dev I and 1 Platform Dev II certification
      • - Experience: 3 Projects
      • - Quality: CSAT >4.2
    • -Level II
      • - Knowledge: 5 Platform Dev I and 5 Platform Dev II certification
      • - Experience: 10 Projects
      • - Quality: CSAT >4.4
  • - AppExchange Listing, Trials and Demo
    • -You get ISVs ready for success after development by:
      • - Assisting in creating their AppExchange Listing via the Partner Community
      • - Helping the ISV Sales Engineers setup demo orgs that make use of trial technology (eg. LMA, TMO, TestDrive) to set them up for turning leads into closed deals
    • -Level I
      • - Knowledge: NA
      • - Experience: 3 Projects
      • - Quality: CSAT >4.2
    • -Level II
      • - Knowledge: NA
      • - Experience: 10 Projects
      • - Quality: CSAT >4.4
  • - Product Support
    • -You provide Tier 2/3 Technical support for ISVs once the product is released:
      • - Ongoing support and maintenance
      • - Assistance with installation and configuration into key accounts
      • - Ongoing assistance with documentation based on customer feedback
      • - Establish Product feedback loop to optimize product installation
    • -Level I
      • - Knowledge: 1 Platform Dev I and 1 Platform Dev II certification
      • - Experience: 3 Projects
      • - Quality: CSAT >4.2
    • -Level II
      • - Knowledge: 5 Platform Dev I and 5 Platform Dev II certification
      • - Experience: 10 Projects
      • - Quality: CSAT >4.4
  • - Package Review & Optimization
    • -You ensure a product is optimized for the long-term, and makes best use of recent or upcoming Salesforce features:
      • - Architecture, UX concerns for existing apps to ensure scalability and usability
      • - Introducing new Salesforce release technology where appropriate to ensure customer success and satisfaction
      • - Testing & Release Management Optimization and Guidance
    • -Level I
      • - Knowledge: 1 Application or 1 System Architect certification + 1 Platform Dev I certification + 1 Platform Dev II Certification
      • - Experience: 3 Projects
      • - Quality: CSAT >4.2
    • -Level II
      • - Knowledge: 5 Application/System Architect certifications + 5 Platform Dev I certifications + 5 Platform Dev II Certifications
        • -The sum of Application Architects certifications and System Architect certifications is at least equal to 5.
      • - Experience: 10 Projects
      • - Quality: CSAT >4.4
  • - Marketing Support
    • -You are helping ISVs get the data they need to properly Go To Market by:
      • - Helping ISVs to leverage the different ISV tools such as the Partner Business Org (PBO), and AppExchange Analytics.
      • - Providing technical marketing inputs as needed that the ISV partner can then make customer facing
      • - Help define, prioritize or execute go-to-market strategies
    • -Level I
      • - Knowledge: NA
      • - Experience: 3 Projects
      • - Quality: CSAT >4.2
    • -Level II
      • - Knowledge : NA
      • - Experience: 10 Projects
      • - Quality: CSAT >4.4
2- Requirements to become a PDO expert:
  • - You need to reach 4 Level II specializations. (see the above list for reference)

PDO Listing on the AppExchange

Your listing is available from the regular Consulting page on the AppExchange. There is also a dedicated page for PDO. That page is organized with 6 levels:
  • - Expert PDO
    • -PDOs who have reached the PDO Expert as defined above
  • - Level II Specialist PDO
    • -PDOs who have a least 1 Level II Specializations
  • - Level I Specialist PDO
    • -PDOs who have a least 1 Level I Specializations
  • - Other PDO
    • -PDO with no Level I Specializations
    • -New PDO
  • - Marketing Cloud PDO
    • -PDO dedicated to Marketing Cloud
  • - B2C Commerce Cloud PDO
    • -PDO dedicated to B2C Commerce Cloud
View the full Partner Navigator project requirements here. Any questions reach out to masters@saleforce.com.


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.

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 a rolling 24-month period, more details available on Understanding Navigator.

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: Can we report multiple products and phases at a large product as different projects?
A: Yes.

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: Can we only report new projects or can we also report the ones we are working on?
A: You can go back 2 years 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: Yes the AppExchange Consulting page has a dedicated filter ‘PDO/AppExchange’ - you will appear on this page based on your PDO Partner Navigator achievements. It will also be listed on your Expertise tab. We also 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.

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. You can send an email to navigator@salesforce.com to get the latest information on your registered Projects.

Q: Is there a deadline for submitting our projects?
A: We review attainment quarterly and include projects with CSAT based on two years from project end date.

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

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 pdo@salesforce.com.