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What is Salesforce Product Development Outsourcer (PDO)?
strike like lightning

What is Salesforce Product Development Outsourcer (PDO)?

4 min read

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Salesforce market is growing very fast these years. It is estimated that in 2020 the Salesforce ecosystem will be worth around 73 billion U.S. dollars. More and more enterprises and companies adopt Salesforce every day. That creates an entire world around Salesforce products, services, consultants, and startups. As many of you know, there are a lot of Salesforce customization company and AppExchange ISV products that are official partners of Salesforce. On a global scale, there are more than 1300 consulting companies and more than 3600 ISV apps.

Of course, there are various consultants and ISVs with different industry or service competencies. However, almost all of them face some cases when there is a need for custom Salesforce app development, package creation & deployment, security review, or Salesforce integration with other APIs, products, or internal systems.

In these cases, Salesforce consultants and ISVs either handle this type of work with their own in-house Salesforce developers or go to a particular group of Salesforce Consultants that are called PDOs — Product Development Outsourcing companies. PDO is a very new and unique type of Salesforce partners that are 100% focused on the technical side of Salesforce. So, in this article, we will shed more light on what is PDO, what types of PDO exist, and how to find a PDO company on AppExchange.

Based on our research, there are less than 20 Salesforce PDO companies worldwide in Q4 2019.

What is Salesforce PDO company?

what is Salesforce PDO

According to Salesforce, 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 architect & design a commercial app, tackle specific areas of your build (like third-party integrations).

In other words, Salesforce PDOs are aimed to handle all the technical issues, integrations with 3rd party services, technical implementation or configuration, or just custom component development. Even though these companies are primarily focused on the technical side of Salesforce, they can also serve as a team extension for other Salesforce partners that miss sufficient Salesforce development capabilities.

What are the main benefits of Salesforce PDOs?

benefits of Salesforce PDO
  1. Salesforce PDOs can handle the whole technical scope of any Salesforce project from the discovery phase to AppExchange app development, deployment or delivery for implementation projects.
  2. As PDOs work mainly with custom development, integrations, and app deployments, you can focus on principal business and product challenges.
  3. Usually, PDOs work in conjunction with your business team so that you can avoid any issues in the area of technical project requirements.
  4. PDOs can handle the whole Salesforce security review process if there is an ISV case.
  5. PDOs can work on multiple projects at the same time if they work with other Salesforce consulting companies that miss development capacity or expertise.
  6. If you work with an offshore or nearshore Salesforce PDOs, then you can decrease the costs and increase the profitability of the project.
  7. PDOs can also help to transfer all technical documentation, so your clients can use for further needs with other partners, codebase updates and improvements, or different integrations.
  8. PDOs can help you to conduct a successful technical pre-sales process and correctly evaluate the project timelines and budget.

What types of Salesforce PDOs exist?

types of Salesforce PDOs

Even if Salesforce PDO is a subcategory of Salesforce Consulting Partner group, there are a certain level and clusters for these PDO companies. In general, there are four main tiers for Salesforce PDO organizations.

  • Certified Specialist
  • Certified Navigator
  • Specialist Navigator
  • Masters Navigator

The main difference between them is the partnership status represented in search filtering on AppExchange plus some additional domain expertise inside of Salesforce ecosystem. The requirements are different for each level. Also, PDO program has its specialization directories for these partners that become available for top 2 PDO tiers — Specialist Navigator and Masters Navigator. You can see the full list of possible specializations below. Some of the specialities are not within the PDO Master selection on the project/story submission form. That is because it is a specialization within another Product Master. The ones that start with PDO are specific to the PDO Masters.

  • PDO: Integration / Connects Apps / Lightning Connect
  • PDO: Security Review & AppExchange Listing
  • PDO: Namespaces / Managed Packages
  • PDO: LMA / COA / Environment Hub
  • Custom App Dev — Process
  • PDO: Trialforce
  • PDO: Lightning Components
  • PDO: Einstein Analytics
  • PDO: Shield
  • Salesforce Platform: Custom App Dev — Coding
  • Salesforce Platform: Large Data Volumes (over 5 Million Records in the org)
  • Salesforce Platform: Heroku Application Development and Data Services
  • Salesforce Platform: Mobile Customer App Dev (Salesforce SDK/Force)
  • Community Cloud: Self-Service Community (B2C/B2B)

How to find Salesforce PDOs on AppExchange?

The AppExchange platform has a filter for AppExchange App Development. Also, your Salesforce Partner Account Managers and other Technical Evangelists can refer to proper PDOs that will be the best fit for specific requirements.

Salesforce AppExchange Ecosystem report

Who is responsible for PDOs at Salesforce?

Based on the publicly available information, we found three people at Salesforce who are involved in the partner process related to PDO program.

  1. Verity Denman — EMEA Senior Partner Program Manager at Salesforce
  2. Ravi Ravichandran — Architect at Salesforce
  3. Marc Kuster — Director, AppExchange & ISV Technical Enablement EMEA at Salesforce.

MagicFuse is a product development & consulting company purely focused on the technical side of Salesforce with a great ambition to receive an official designation of Salesforce Masters Navigator PDO company. If you have any other questions regarding Salesforce PDO or any other matter around the Salesforce ecosystem, please visit our website — Also, you can contact us directly at