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With a $27.7 bn Slack acquisition, Salesforce is set to take on Microsoft

With a $27.7 bn Slack acquisition, Salesforce is set to take on Microsoft
Photo Credit: Reuters
2 Dec, 2020

San Francisco, California-based customer relationship management (CRM) solutions provider Salesforce is set to acquire workplace messaging platform Slack for $27.7 billion. The deal is likely to see Salesforce emerge as a competitor to Microsoft, whose Teams solution is a Slack rival.

The transaction, a statement said, is expected to close in the second quarter of financial year 2021-22 -- Salesforce follows the February to January cycle -- subject to approval from Slack stockholders and regulators.

Post deal, shareholders would receive $26.79 in cash and 0.0776 shares of Salesforce’s common stock for each Slack share they hold. 

Read: Slack, AWS collaborate to tap into enterprise communications market 

Additionally, Slack will be an operating unit for Salesforce and will continue to be led by the former’s CEO and co-founder Stewart Butterfield. 

“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,” Butterfield said.

Read: Salesforce bets on return to-workplace solutions market with Work.com 

The new unified platform would give companies a single source of truth for their business to connect employees, customers and partners with each other as well as to the apps they use on a daily basis. This would allow employees to work seamlessly from anywhere, the statement said.

“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,” Marc Benioff, chair and CEO of Salesforce, said.

Salesforce said that Slack would be the new interface for Salesforce Customer 360, a tool that allows companies to connect Salesforce apps and create a unified customer ID to build a single view of the customer. The platform would help utilise information to make users more productive, enable quicker decision making and provide connected customer experiences.

Additionally, Slack would be integrated into every Salesforce Cloud platform, the statement said. 

The former is currently integrated with over 2,400 applications used for work by global firms, which is arguably its biggest strength among peers. The acquisition would create an extensive open ecosystem of apps and workflows for business, and enable Slack to expand its enterprise footprint among Salesforce customers.

Interestingly, in March 2016, Microsoft founder Bill Gates and CEO Satya Nadella reportedly talked other Microsoft executives out of an $8 billion bid for Slack.