Salesforce completes $ 27.7 billion Slack acquisition, CRM Leader bets big on future where telecommuting will be ubiquitous
In December 2020, Salesforce signed an agreement to acquire the popular messaging software platform Slack Technologies for $ 27.7 billion in cash and stocks, making it the largest acquisition ever made by Salesforce. Last week, the US Department of Justice told the company it had closed its antitrust investigation into the deal, giving the green light for the deal to close.
The CRM giant officially closed its record $ 27.7 billion acquisition of the messaging app Slack Technologies on Wednesday. While the future of post-COVID work is still debated, Salesforce believes companies learned last year that if they don’t have a digital way to connect with their employees, customers and partners, they don’t. not much chance of surviving. Salesforce is betting big on a future where telecommuting will be ubiquitous. This is one of the reasons that prompted him to acquire the corporate communications and collaboration department.
“Together, we will define the future of enterprise software, creating the digital headquarters that enables every organization to drive customer and employee success from anywhere,” said Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce, in a press release. “The [corporate] headquarters are no longer on Madison Avenue or Main Street, they’re in the cloud,” Salesforce says to illustrate that employees will no longer need to be physically on their corporate premises to to be able to work. In other words, corporate headquarters will no longer be physical, but rather digital. “Every business, in every industry, needs to be optimized for a digital-first customer, employee and partner experience,” the company said.
Slack co-founder and CEO Stewart Butterfield, who will continue to lead the company, called the deal “a once-in-a-generation opportunity to rethink and reshape how and where we work.” For him, “Salesforce and Slack are particularly well placed to lead this historic shift towards a digital world”.
Slack is an enterprise communication and collaboration service for one-on-one messaging, as well as group chats and more structured rooms where users can join or be invited to chat. It provides many features that have made it popular with several free customers and it has over three million paying customers.
But with Microsoft’s introduction of Teams in 2017, Slack has seen some jolts. Teams quickly gained ground, in particular thanks to the strong presence of Microsoft in business and its integration with the Office suite; an integration that was not well received by Slack. In July 2020, Slack therefore filed a complaint against Microsoft with Brussels for anti-competitive practices, accusing it of having illegally linked its Teams product to its Office suite to eliminate its competitors. “Microsoft may have the unhealthy preoccupation of trying to kill us, and Teams is the way to do it,” said Stewart Butterfield two months earlier.
By joining Salesforce, we can therefore say that Slack is gaining muscle to be able to resist and continue to develop in the face of the pressure exerted by Microsoft. Analysts believed that finding Slack a headquarters among the largest technological players could ensure that Microsoft does not crush the communication and collaboration platform.
This is a winning deal given the possibility of selling the products of both companies to customers of the other, which could allow both parties to grow. Slack has a large market share among fast-growing startups, for example, while Salesforce’s products are used by a multitude of large companies. In addition, the purchase of Slack strengthens the portfolio of the giant customer relationship management where Salesforce Chatter has been the only social tool in the arsenal of the company.