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Salesforce buys Slack

Paul Brislen, Editor. 02 December 2020, 5:52 pm

In a deal worth US$27 billion, Salesforce is buying Slack, the company that pioneered the "business productivity and communications" app market.

The purchase is timely - COVID restrictions continue apace and globally IT-based workers are doing more work out of the office and away from the steely glare of middle managers. Having a tool that enables robust planning, team communication and cohesion and tracking capability is essential and for many users, Slack offers the best selection of tools on the market.

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff said in a statement: "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,"  while Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield is just as keen, saying "Personally, I believe this is the most strategic combination in the history of software, and I can't wait to get going."

Salesforce has expanded its portfolio of products beyond its original customer resource management (CRM) base over the past few years. Its warchest has paid for a number of acquisitions including a big chunk of data warehousing company Snowflake ($250 million), Demandware ($2.8 billion), MuleSoft ($6.5 billion), Vlocity ($1.3 billion) and Tableau, its largest purchase to date at $15.3 billion. It's also moved into social media management with the purchase of Radian6.

But Salesforce is up against a newly awoken Microsoft with its product set built on Teams and its suite of capability. Teams has been beefed up lately, with Microsoft taking on Zoom in the video calling space and bundling the capability in with its messaging app, planning tools and cloud-based storage capability to form the core hub of a new suite of office tools.

With Microsoft's embedded base in many corporations around the world, Salesforce will have its work cut out for it.


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