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As of Wednesday, Salesforce has officially closed its $27.7 billion acquisition of Slack, six months after the massive deal to acquire the workplace chat app was first announced.
The cloud software giant has not been shy about the fact that this so-called “Slackforce” deal gives it a powerful new weapon against Microsoft, which has long dominated the productivity software market with apps like Word, Excel, and more recently, Teams — its own collaboration app.
Salesforce intends to make Slack the unified user interface for all its customer relationship management products, integrating their respective platforms to speed along collaboration. That’s an important concept as the pandemic has led to wider adoption of and interest in remote working.
“This year I do feel like the entire economy has gone digital, and in particular, all the areas where Salesforce serves our customers,” Salesforce chief operating officer Bret Taylor told Insider on Wednesday. “The opportunity to have Slack amplify and really be at the way people engage with our software and really engage with all the software that they use is this tremendous opportunity.”
Integration will be a challenge, both in terms of product and corporate culture, but Taylor and Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield — long-time peers and colleagues, laying the groundwork for the deal — tell Insider that the two companies have a lot they can teach each other, too.
For instance, Taylor says that Salesforce has much to learn from how Slack when it comes to adapting to an era where employees don’t need to be in an office.
When Taylor saw how Slack employees can just request a new laptop from its IT department via a command in Slack itself, he went back to Salesforce and had it revamp its own use of the app to do the same. The part that stuck with him, Taylor said, was what he described as the transformative idea of using Slack to connect and automate work itself, rather than just letting people chat with each other.
For his part, Butterfield said Slack can learn from Salesforce’s culture of boldness in telling its own story, as exemplified by CEO Marc Benioff himself. Slack sometimes takes an abstract, intellectual approach to marketing that sometimes makes it difficult for customers to understand what the tool can really do, he said.
Salesforce can help Slack be more bold and create “a really clear narrative” about itself, he added. “I think just putting ourselves out there more is something that I’m excited about,” Butterfield said. At the same time, he said, Slack will still look to hire people who are humble, hardworking, smart, and collaborative, in the name of preserving the company’s existing culture.
On the other hand, the two execs say that Slack and Salesforce place a shared emphasis on customer success.
“Both companies are as values-driven as we are mission-driven,” Taylor said. “That is unusual in the technology industry and needed in the technology industry as the impact of technology impacts so many stakeholders around the world.”
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Source:: Businessinsider – Tech
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