Top 8 Salesforce Managed Services Providers

Questions to ask before selecting a vendor and a breakdown of the best providers of Onshore, Nearshore, or Offshore teams.

When selecting a Managed Services Provider, one of the first considerations is geographic preferences.
You can choose Onshore, Nearshore, or Offshore vendors for Salesforce Managed Services, each with a distinct set of advantages and disadvantages based on the service level needed within your org.

A few questions you will want to use yourself to get started:

• Do I need the Salesforce team to be self-directed or will members of my existing organization be overseeing the work?
• Is the primary need for day-to-day support and administration or is there a need for Salesforce development?
• How much overlap in time zone do we need for meetings with our team?
• Will we have daily standups with the Managed Services team?
• What tools will we use to manage the team’s work, assign tasks, and monitor performance?

Criteria for Selecting a Managed Services Partner

Support vs Development

Typically, a Managed Services Partner will focus on either Support or Salesforce Development, so you want to begin your vendor selection process by defining the specific work you need to get done.

A Support Partner will mostly supply you with Salesforce Administrators to work with users and stakeholders, document business processes, and handle all user on-boarding and setup, permission set changes, and configuration with flows.

If you have capabilities on the internal team and you need additional horsepower on the development side, you should go with a Development Partner. This can range from engaging a single Salesforce Developer to embed within your team all the way up to hiring a 10-15 person Salesforce Development team that will work a full 40 hours per week with you and act as your de facto Development org.

Cost

Since companies are typically leveraging Managed Services Providers on a full-time basis (40 hours per week), costs can scale pretty quickly with this approach.

If you are looking at Managed Services as a cost-cutting measure compared to hiring a full-time staff in the United States, then you will need to look at Offshore vendors. These are most often based in India.
If cost isn’t the primary factor and you need strategic guidance, frequent communication with your team, and a real advisor in your Salesforce decision making then it’s a better option to look at Nearshore vendors (most often Argentina or Brazil) of an Onshore Partner (in North America).

Nearshore teams will often be 40%-50% of the cost of an Onshore Partner.

Time Zone

Similar to the above, the biggest factoring in determining location of your Managed Services Partner is the frequency of communication with the team. If you anticipate needing daily stand-ups or a heavy meeting schedule between your team and the Partner, it’s best to find a vendor within 3 hours of your time zone.

Be sure to discuss the typical work hours for the Managed Services team and do not assume they will be working on your local schedule.

Communication

A Managed Service team that is going to focus mostly on production (i.e. execution of assigned tasks) with less frequent meetings, can be based anywhere.

In fact, the less communication required, the more advantageous it is to find a team that is on the opposite time zone of you. This would allow your team to get work done between 9am-5pm Local Time, including creating technical requirements and assigning tasks, and the work would actually be completed between 9pm-5am Local Time - the ultimate asynchronous work environment allows for this type of collaboration, so that work is effectively getting done 24 hours per day.

The Best Salesforce Managed Services Providers

Onshore

FoundHQ: The #1 Salesforce Freelancer Marketplace, providing access to 1,200+ Independent Salesforce Consultants. The benefit of engaging a Managed Services Partner through FoundHQ is that we can assemble a custom team depending on your needs and budget, whereas other companies only have access to as many Consultants as they have on their staff (a fraction of FoundHQ’s total network).

Penrod: A Certified Salesforce Partner that provides both Implementation Services and Managed Services. Companies needing help with Health Cloud specifically would benefit from Penrod’s competency in this area.

Zennify: Another Industry-specific Salesforce Partner offering Implementation and Managed Services. Their focus on the Financial Services sector again provides unique industry expertise, which is often a good way to select Managed Services Partners. Since these teams are embedded in your organization, existing domain experience will significantly reduce ramp time to getting them productive.

Nearshore

BairesDev: A 3,000+ person Global IT Consultancy with primary operations in Brazil , BairesDev has a mid-sized Salesforce Managed Services Practice. While they aren’t the largest Nearshore Partner, the quality of their team is significantly higher than other vendors based on customer research FoundHQ has conducted across the market.

Oktana: Headquartered in Uruguay, this is one of the most reputable Nearshore Managed Services Partners in the Salesforce ecosystem. Founded by veterans of the Salesforce industry, this is a 300+ person Salesforce Practice with resources throughout South America.

Offshore

Persistent Systems: Global Consultancy with a 500+ person Salesforce Practice, most of which is based in India. While Persistent has long been purely Managed Services, they have expanded into more Salesforce Solutions Consulting over the last several years, which offers a blend of experience depending on project needs.

Tata Consulting Services (TCS): 500,000+ Technology Consultants across 46 companies, TCS is one of the largest global Professional Services organizations in any category. Similarly, they have a US-based Salesforce Practice that rivals Accenture, Deloitte, and IBM in Solutions Consulting but a huge bench of offshore Salesforce Developers available for staff augmentation.

Customertimes: Lesser known 200-person Salesforce Partner with primary operations in Ukraine. They do maintain a bench of 25+ Salesforce Consultants onshore, so this is a good option for companies needing a hybrid onshore-offshore team, helping to bridge the gap in communicating with offshore Developers while still looking for a cost-effective option.

Need help selecting a Salesforce Managed Services Provider?

Our team is available any time to help evaluate the right Salesforce Partner for you.

To learn more about Salesforce Managed Services, check out some of the resources available on FoundHQ. Don’t make the mistake of assuming this is only suitable for low-level support or as a cost-saving mechanism. The global Salesforce Consultant market has individuals and vendors across all skill sets - Salesforce Administrators, Developers, and Architects - available for these type of embedded services engagements to focus on high-level strategy & architecture, complex project execution, and ongoing support or maintenance packages.
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