This post is part of our “Get Onboard with the AppExchange” series, showing first-timers the ropes. Here are entries to date:

Part 1: Choose Your Path
Part 2: Utilize Your PAM
Part 3: Introducing Your Partner Success Manager
Part 4: Interfacing with your Technical Evangelist
Bonus Track: Sales Engineers

In this series to date, we’ve discussed the primary guides you will be interfacing with throughout your Salesforce onboarding experience — business development managers (BDRs), partner account managers (PAMs), and the optional partner success managers (PSMs). Prior to security review submission, however, you have another role to interact with — the Technical Evangelist (TE). Working closely with your PAM or BDR, the TE plays a critical role in your progression to submitting your application to the Security Review team.

To expand on the role that TEs play in the onboarding experience, we continue our conversation with (now former) Senior Manager of ISV & OEM Alliances Ryan Gibney.

Ron: My experience with TEs has primarily revolved around a technical questionnaire they distribute and demo of the application. What is their role in this process?

Ryan: TEs are an essential part of our overall program. In fact, I don’t know where we’d be without them. Once we evaluate a partner, we send a series of documents — and one of those documents is what we call the “technical review.” Behind the scenes, they are working with your PAM to build a snapshot of your application; basically, they are taking a step back and looking at the application holistically to understand how your application will interact with Salesforce.

Ron: What are they looking for in this document?

Ryan: We really need to see how your application will be interacting with other objects within Salesforce. This will allow them to provide guidance from a unified technology perspective. With the document, they’re better able to determine what are the most efficient paths, plus identify any situations where redundancies are taking place. This document helps to provide that level of insight into what the application does, or how it could be.

Ron: And this works in conjunction with the demo call you mentioned?

Ryan: Once they’ve reviewed the technical review document, we schedule a technical review where we look at an application that’s demo-able. So in order to do a technical review, you need to have a demo-able application. It can be version 1, which is fine, but it must be demo-able. Keep in mind, though, that a TE is not going to code for you. They’re really there as a trusted advisor as far as how your application is working from a technical perspective.

In closing, while the Technical Evangelist isn’t someone you’ll be interacting with on a regular basis, their role in the process is critical. Operating in a multi-tenant architecture demands applications interface properly with the Salesforce environment. The technical review document along with the technical review are essential steps in getting your application on the AppExchange.

If you’ve made it up to this point in the onboarding process, security review — a dreaded step by many — is just around the corner. After launching 220+ products on the AppExchange, we’re seasoned veterans and can help you get through it. If you need guidance on security review or any other steps in the process, feel free to contact us!