Salesforce has announced its annual sub-Saharan African Partner Award winners for 2021.

Held as a virtual event for the second year running, the awards recognise excellence amongst Salesforce’s partner ecosystem in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) for financial year 2021 (to end January 2021).

Awards are judged based on how partners are driving customer success, number of certified resources and revenue contribution of the partner for that category.

Awards were handed out as follows:

* Customer Success – awarded to the partner which maintained at least a 4.3 Customer Success Score throughout the year and demonstrated significant growth in building industry or cloud-based go to market specialisations – as evaluated through the Navigator program – BlueSky

* Outstanding Knowledge – awarded to the partner that showed the most growth in number of credentials held from 2020 to 2021 – BlueSky

* Sales Excellence SMB – recognises partners that are committed to growing the Salesforce footprint within small to medium-sized businesses (1- 100 employees) – CloudSmiths Salesforce Partner & Reseller

* Sales Excellence Enterprise – recognises partners that are committed to growing the Salesforce footprint within the commercial and enterprise markets – Deloitte

* Community Impact – awarded to partners that dedicate their time, money and resources to have a positive impact on the local community. Measured through their enrollment in the Talent Alliance, Pledge 1% and sustainability programs – Tetrad IT

* Outstanding New Logo – celebrates partners which positioned Salesforce to help solve unique and complex business challenges for new customers across Africa – PwC

* Rising Star – recognises a new partner (which joined in the previous year) based on the Salesforce partner program pillars – iOCO

* Partner of the Year FY20 – this award serves to recognise partners that have gone above and beyond in their commitment to building a world class Salesforce practise – EXAH

“Salesforce and its customer and partner ecosystem will generate some 4,2-million jobs globally by 2024, impacting global GDP by $850-billion, according to global market intelligence firm IDC,” says Robin Fisher, senior area vice-president: EMEA Emerging Markets at Salesforce.

“The opportunity in South Africa is huge,” he states, noting that there are 344 certified Salesforce skills in South Africa (up 40% year on year) holding some 981 credentials (up 58% year on year).

Additionally, he says, according to IDC, cloud computing annual subscriptions in South Africa will grow 29% annually, from $370-million in 2018 to $1,7-billion in 2024. This represents a substantial market opportunity for Salesforce partners.

“Sub-Saharan Africa is a fast-growing market for Salesforce, boasting over 600 South African customers from Standard Bank to Cape Union Mart, Liberty and Multichoice.”

IDC’s forecasts show a significant payback from investments in cloud computing out to 2024, But even by then, spending on public cloud computing in South Africa will be less than 11% of spending on total IT – meaning there is massive growth opportunity for local cloud partners.