Salesforce just picked up Slack for a cool $27.7 billion based on the closing price of Salesforce’s common stock on November 30, 2020. It caught many off guard as the reasons for the big spend are still being digested.
Combining Slack with Salesforce Customer 360 could be transformative for customers and the industry. It seems like the combination could create a powerful new operating system that will enable companies to work in the brave new digital-first world.
Slack is competing with Microsoft Teams so maybe there were some challenges brewing when the usage of Teams exploded as a result of the pandemic. Maybe the new dynamic duo just wanted to accelerate into the future of digital work.
It reminded us of when Microsoft bought LinkedIn for $26 Billion. We could see how Microsoft’s CRM platform would leverage a massive B2B social network of prospects. As companies build out their exclusive platforms to reach deeper into all connectable areas, it makes you wonder just how many horses will be left in the race.
Big companies are always buying into their competitor’s technology strongholds as they push to own and control their entire ecosystem and marketplace. Apple just did it again with the introduction of their own M1 chip. It’s giving us a good glimpse into the future if big business as they continue to carve out their exclusive piece of the planet’s economy.
We are all experiencing in real time how Amazon is eating the breakfast, lunch and dinner of retail. They started just selling books. Today, they sell food and everything in between. Tomorrow, they will be selling health care. Amazon has become one of the biggest winners in the Pandemic. AWS, a spin-off of Amazon, could one day become the most valuable company on the planet.
Digesting these big business chess moves as they happen to figure out what it will mean to everyone down the road is very difficult. What you see today is not what you may end up getting in the future. With the combined resources of Salesforce and Slack, who knows what type of new fruit that will spawn.
Here is what the executives of both companies had to say:
“Stewart and his team have built one of the most beloved platforms in enterprise software history, with an incredible ecosystem around it,” said Marc Benioff, Chair and CEO, Salesforce. “This is a match made in heaven. Together, Salesforce and Slack will shape the future of enterprise software and transform the way everyone works in the all-digital, work-from-anywhere world. I’m thrilled to welcome Slack to the Salesforce Ohana once the transaction closes.”
“Salesforce started the cloud revolution, and two decades later, we are still tapping into all the possibilities it offers to transform the way we work. The opportunity we see together is massive,” said Stewart Butterfield, Slack CEO and Co-Founder. “As software plays a more and more critical role in the performance of every organization, we share a vision of reduced complexity, increased power and flexibility, and ultimately a greater degree of alignment and organizational agility. Personally, I believe this is the most strategic combination in the history of software, and I can’t wait to get going.”
From the company’s press release, the logic given is that Salesforce CRM enables companies to sell, service, market and conduct commerce, from anywhere. Slack brings people, data and tools together so teams can collaborate and get work done, from anywhere. Slack Connect extends the benefits of Slack to enable communication and collaboration between a company’s employees and all its external partners, from vendors to customers.
The plan is to have Slack deeply integrated into every Salesforce Cloud. As the new interface for “Salesforce Customer 360”, Slack will transform how people communicate, collaborate and take action on customer information across Salesforce as well as information from all of their other business apps and systems to be more productive, make smarter, faster decisions and create connected customer experiences.
Slack should also be able to expand its presence in the enterprise among Salesforce customers. Slack’s open platform seamlessly integrates with more than 2,400 apps that people use to collaborate, communicate and get work done. With the largest enterprise app ecosystem, the Salesforce platform may be the easiest way to build and deliver apps to connect with customers.
Together, Salesforce and Slack could create a huge ecosystem and marketplace of apps and workflows for business and empower millions of developers to build the next generation of apps, with clicks not code.
Could this be a great match? The paint is still wet on this deal so we will have to wait and see what it really looks like after it dries.