CRM heavyweight Salesforce is in talks to buy workplace collaboration tool Slack, according to reports.
Although concrete details regarding the acquisition price and timings remain unknown, Slack shares received a significant boost after reports of the purchase began to circulate, while Salesforce suffered a slight fall in value. It’s possible that investors are unconvinced about the move or remain concerned about the potential cost of the buyout.
For Salesforce and its CEO Marc Benioff, the Slack purchase has been some time in the works. Before Slack’s IPO last year, Salesforce was interested in the acquisition but felt Slack’s shares were overvalued. Now, after a difficult time on Wall Street, the office communication tool looks like a much more attractive proposition.
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In terms of potential synergies, Salesforce could use Slack as a way of bringing users into contact with some of its other workplace tools, including its CRM solution. Although Slack’s value has dipped this year and it has lost customers due to the coronavirus pandemic, it still remains a vitally important tool for many organizations – not just for communication but as a starting point for other office applications.
Salesforce's decision to purchase Slack may also have something to do with the firm’s rivalry with Microsoft. The two companies have a complicated history and the acquisition of Slack could strengthen Salesforce’s workplace software offering.
Not many people take on Microsoft and win, however. Slack itself has seen its market share take a hit after many users opted to use Microsoft Teams for workplace collaboration instead. While Teams has reportedly seen its daily user figures grow from 15 million to 20 million in the space of a year, Slack says that it has more modest 130,000 organizations on its books.
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