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An Inside View of Salesforce Corporate Acquisition Strategy

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Phani Madhav Chegu,

April 6, 2023


An Inside View of Salesforce Corporate Acquisition Strategy

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Check out this interesting post to learn about Salesforce’s corporate acquisition strategy and how it enables the IT behemoth to enhance its ability to serve customers better.

It’s no exaggeration to say Salesforce is the uncrowned king of the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system market. The company’s Customer 360 platform is trusted by many businesses across the world, including several Fortune 500 organizations; no wonder, Salesforce’s share of the global CRM market is much more than the combined share of its three main competitors viz. Microsoft, SAP and Oracle. This begs a question – how has Salesforce managed to be consistently successful, becoming the undisputed leader of a highly dynamic technology landscape?

A key factor that helped Salesforce acquire the capability to harness the immense power of cutting-edge technologies and provide feature-rich solutions to meet a myriad of customer needs is its corporate acquisition strategy. Today, we’ll examine how Salesforce’s acquisitions enabled the CRM giant to effectively complement its own technological prowess and offer a wide range of solutions. Let’s begin by looking at some of the major companies acquired by Salesforce in recent years.

1. Slack

Salesforce pulled a coup when it acquired Slack for USD 27.7 billion in 2020. The acquisition enabled Salesforce to provide a strong alternative to Teams, which has been dominating the chat software market. Salesforce has married the rich features of Slack with its own unparalleled system integration capabilities, ensuring users of diverse IT platforms can use Slack effortlessly.

The acquisition of Slack thus empowered Salesforce to emerge as a major competitor to Microsoft in the hitherto unchallenged realm of business communications. You can learn more about the implications of the acquisition in this insightful write-up.

2. Tableau

It’s well-said that data is the new oil that powers the world of business. Salesforce’s corporate acquisition strategists quickly understood the huge business potential of combining a robust data management platform with the CRM bigwig’s powerful AI-driven analytical capabilities. The result – the acquisition of Tableau for a whopping sum of USD 15.7 billion in 2019.

The acquisition of Tableau sparked a revolution in the data analytics space when Salesforce integrated the former into its low- code platform, enabling non-technical users such as digital marketers to build data models of any complexity with little coding. An intelligent move that helped Salesforce cash in on the enormous demand for user-friendly analytics tools.

3. MuleSoft

MuleSoft was another major acquisition by Salesforce. The data integration software provider was purchased by Salesforce for USD 6.5 billion in 2019. As with all other acquisitions by Salesforce, MuleSoft went a long way in augmenting the capabilities of the CRM company.

The acquisition helped Salesforce establish itself as a major player in the IT infrastructure integration space. Today’s companies use a plethora of applications and integrating them effectively is necessary to get a 360-degree view of their business. A truly smart step that makes perfect business sense.

4. ClickSoftware

The USD 1.4 billion acquisition of ClickSoftware by Salesforce in 2019 is another fine example of how the CRM major utilizes the abilities of the companies bought by it to augment its own strengths; ClickSoftware was one of the leading providers of field service solutions, and the acquisition helped Salesforce boost the capabilities of its own field service product.

Salesforce combined the features of Field Service Lightning (FSL), its novel solution that facilitates seamless dispatching of technicians, with ClickSoftware’s smart scheduling features to enhance mobile service teams’ efficiencies in a big way.

5. Datorama

Datorama was a big-ticket acquisition by Salesforce, which was valued at USD 800 million. The purchase of the Israeli provider of AI-enabled data analytics solutions in 2018 went a long way in strengthening the capabilities of Salesforce Marketing Cloud (the marketing automation tool itself was acquired in an earlier form).

The acquisition helped expand Marketing Cloud’s ability to facilitate high-quality data integration and intelligence to enable real-time insights across all marketing channels and sources of data. This, in turn, allowed Salesforce customers to make better decisions throughout the customer journey and deliver optimal levels of engagement at scale.

6. Demandware

The last few years have witnessed a substantial growth in the number of e-commerce transactions, and corporate acquisition strategists at Salesforce spotted a massive opportunity to increase their company’s revenues by offering a robust solution to facilitate hassle-free online buying experiences.

This resulted in the acquisition of Demandware, a cloud-hosted e-commerce service platform for USD 2.8 billion, in 2016. The acquisition helped Salesforce come up with a new product viz. Commerce Cloud, which grew into one of the most widely used digital commerce solutions.

The above-mentioned acquisitions are just a few of Salesforce’s purchase of powerful, feature-rich products. The organization has a long history of acquiring innovative businesses such as Pardot, Rebel, Sequence, Krux, MetaMind and so on.

Acquiring well-known companies is nothing new for major IT organizations; we’ve seen instances such as Microsoft acquiring LinkedIn and Facebook buying WhatsApp. But what sets Salesforce apart from other tech giants is its unparalleled ability to spot the right products for acquiring and integrating the acquired products into its existing portfolio without hassles. This has paid handsome dividends, ensuring the CRM solutions provider gets the best ROI on the acquisitions. Indeed, the corporate acquisition strategy of Salesforce is very well formulated and has delivered the best results!

Hope you enjoyed this post. Which acquisitions of Salesforce do you think have made a significant impact on the company’s ability to meet the needs of its clientele? We’d love to know.

About Solunus

Solunus is a leading Salesforce consulting company, based in Dallas, TX, USA. Our proven ‘needs-first’ approach coupled with our unrivaled expertise of the Salesforce platform enables us to provide the perfect solution to help you deliver delightful services to customers and achieve rapid growth.