In its largest acquisition to date at approximately USD 27.7 billion, Salesforce has announced that it intends to acquire Slack in a move to add collaboration to its portfolio. Slack is a best-of-breed, cloud- and channel-based messaging platform used for business communications. It has a sizable fanbase in the software developer community. Its open APIs allow it to easily integrate into other business applications such as customer relationship management (CRM), bug tracking systems, or project management software.
This acquisition makes sense on paper. Any company employee involved in work that impacts customers should be able to easily access a customer’s information and view their account health and value to the company, which are all within a CRM. Adding in collaboration allows resources — now working primarily remotely — to better understand their customer and collectively organize around them, ensuring their customer’s success. Chatter has never truly filled that need.
Slack hasn’t made much noise as it should have during a year when we’ve seen much more remote work and presumably need more collaboration tools (contrast the buzz around Slack vs. the buzz around Zoom). And Microsoft has dominated the space in recent years, due to the large Skype for Business installed base that is now moving to Teams and Microsoft’s success in bundling Teams with M365. As of October 2020, there were 115 million daily active users of Teams; Slack had 12 million in 2019 (the last time that it reported active users).
Salesforce hopes that moving into this space will significantly extend the reach of its CRM. How?
While Slack may replace legacy messaging solutions (the now seemingly dead Chatter and Quip) in Salesforce customer accounts, this move will not erode Microsoft Teams penetration — in and outside of Salesforce accounts. Forrester sees no change in the short term for Salesforce and Slack customers.
Salesforce has an opportunity to exploit Slack’s special relationship with developers. A bigger and tougher opportunity is in its ability to tie together the entirety of its portfolio and embed workflows and communications (via Slack) into its portfolio that includes a unique mix of data (Tableau), interoperability (MuleSoft), CRM (Salesforce’s clouds), employee engagement (Work.com) platforms, etc. The endgame: Employees are more engaged with Salesforce applications in the way they work and communicate. If Salesforce can’t deliver on this, it paid a huge price tag that will result in relatively little impact.
The original article is here. It is written by Forrester’s Kate Leggett, vice president and principal analyst; Art Schoeller, vice president and principal analyst; Liz Herbert, vice president and principal analyst; Daniel Hong, vice president and research director; Stephen Powers, vice president and group director.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of CDOTrends. Image credit: iStockphoto/alphaspirit