Salesforce Set to Acquire Slack for $27bn

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Salesforce has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Slack for around $27bn.

According to an announcement made yesterday, the deal will allow the combination of customer relationship management with enterprise communications and “create the operating system for the new way to work, uniquely enabling companies to grow and succeed in the all-digital world.”

The transaction is anticipated to close in the second quarter of Salesforce’s fiscal year 2022, subject to approval by the Slack stockholders, the receipt of required regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions. The aim is to create the “most extensive open ecosystem of apps and workflows for business.”

The move will see Slack be deeply integrated into every Salesforce Cloud, acting as the new interface for Salesforce Customer 360. Slack will allow communications, collaboration and the ability to take action on customer information across Salesforce.

Upon the close of the transaction, Slack will become an operating unit of Salesforce and will continue to be led by CEO Stewart Butterfield. “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,” Butterfield said.

“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.”

Marc Benioff, chair and CEO, Salesforce, said: “Stewart and his team have built one of the most beloved platforms in enterprise software history, with an incredible ecosystem around it. 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.”

Commenting, Stephen Kelly, chair of Tech Nation, said this acquisition reflects that, for software companies, the adage “grow fast or die slowly” applies more than ever.

“As organic growth of its CRM market leadership slows, acquisition has been a core engine for revenue growth and innovation,” Kelly said. “Salesforce has implemented multiple innovation acquisitions, as well as buying companies with customer bases in adjacent markets. The acquisition of Slack reflects all of these basic drives and is an increasingly strong offer as the coronavirus pandemic forces workers to adopt new forms of communication and collaboration software, putting this at the heart of daily life for office workers.”

Eric Christopher, co-founder and CEO of Zylo, said: “Salesforce’s acquisition of Slack brings together employees and customers in a single collaborative experience, which is exactly what’s driving the adoption of new SaaS applications. The challenge for companies now is to understand what they’ve invested in and whether those applications are being used to improve experience and effectiveness.

“They want to move from silos to integrated experiences and a central way to manage their growing portfolio of SaaS apps. Just as COVID-19 accelerated the adoption of SaaS for the digital workforce, this move will accelerate the move toward centralization of collaboration, experience and management. It will force the giants in both customer and employee engagement (Microsoft, Google, Amazon) to respond.”

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