Salesforce Completes Acquisition of Slack – What’s Next?

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Salesforce has finalized its acquisition of Slack, the business communication platform powering organizations globally. This day has been anticipated since the initial announcement back at the tail-end of 2020 – after all, Slack is Salesforce’s largest acquisition to date ($27.7 bil), plus Salesforce will pin its future product architecture on Slack technology.

Why did it take so long? The time lag between the acquisition announcement and today’s news was due to anti-competitive investigations (also known as antitrust, or competition laws). This process aims to protect “consumers from predatory business practices and ensure fair competition”. These investigative reviews take place at the national level; here’s the verdict from Australia’s governing body, as an example.

“FormAssembly”

What’s next for Slack now that it has become part of the Salesforce ‘family’, officially? There’s talk of how Slack will become the collaboration engine powering Salesforce CRM, and secure its reputation as the leader in the “future of work”. Here’s what we know so far.

“Slack-first” Salesforce

“We’re going to rebuild all of our technology, once again, to become Slack-first”

Marc Benioff – Chair, CEO and Founder, Salesforce (source)

Benioff, Salesforce Chair, CEO, and Founder, painted a picture of how ingrained Salesforce and Slack will become, claiming Slack the “central nervous system for the new world of work”. Slack’s technology will be key for Salesforce to remain competitive in a new reality where organizations offer employees a “hybrid” way of working, split between working on-site/in the office, and working remotely.

“If you’re going to be successful from anywhere, you’re going to need an incredible platform like Slack”

Marc Benioff – Chair, CEO and Founder, Salesforce (source)

During the interview, Benioff used Service Cloud to illustrate how Slack has the potential to revolutionize Salesforce’s long-standing products. With the Slack-Salesforce integration, case close rate rose by 26% due to the fast-paced collaboration and the ability to “swarm” cases (ie. multiple agents contributing to find a solution). No doubt other use cases come to mind across the Salesforce core products.

Salesforce will remain the system of record, the “source of truth”. However, hyper-collaboration will be infused into all corners of the Salesforce platform, otherwise:

“How do you rally your teams around these systems [Salesforce] in this digital work-anywhere world?”

Bret Taylor, Salesforce president, and COO

New Era for Salesforce Collaboration

As seasoned Salesforce professionals know, Salesforce has been trying to crack ‘social collaboration’ for a number of years with features such as Salesforce Chatter – in fact, ever since Dreamforce ’09 when Benioff unveiled his vision for the “social enterprise” along with Salesforce Chatter. However, Slack’s intuitive user experience has meant it was taken up by organizations globally and is no match for on-platform collaboration.

Slack recently announced a spate of new features, including Slack Huddles, video recordings, Slack Atlas, and the ability to schedule Slack messages (which got many Slack fans talking).

“We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to rethink and reshape how and where we work, Salesforce and Slack are uniquely positioned to lead this historic shift to a digital-first world. I could not be more excited for what’s to come.”

Stewart Butterfield, Slack CEO and Co-Founder

The history of the “social enterprise” according to Salesforce has included Quip, Salesforce Meetings, and Salesforce Anywhere…

What Happened to Salesforce Anywhere?

Salesforce Anywhere, new for 2020, aimed to bridge collaboration gaps for teams working remotely. Anywhere’s main values were the ability to launch instant messaging and video chat from Salesforce records and fields. Salesforce Anywhere later combined with Quip capabilities, to send real-time alerts based on record changes.

This is the closest functionality to Slack that Salesforce built – clearly on the same track pre-Slack acquisition. What the future holds for Salesforce Anywhere is still in question, as product development paused while the Slack acquisition details were finalized. All we have left to say is: “watch this space!”

What do you think? How will Salesforce leverage Slack’s technology? Let us know in the comments, we love to hear from you!

Hear more from Salesforce & Slack Leadership

On Tuesday, August 17, 10:00 a.m. PT/1:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. BST, Salesforce President and COO Bret Taylor and Slack CEO and Co-Founder Stewart Butterfield will host an event to share more about how the two companies are creating a powerful platform for the digital-first, work anywhere world. You can tune into the event here.

Updates for Salesforce Partners

Salesforce released a set of partner value propositions for their Salesforce Consulting and ISV partners, as well as a series of Slack Learning Events to share what this historic opportunity means for you. If you are part of the partner program will have received an email with the announcement.

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