Cloud computing giant Salesforce has completed its acquisition of Slack, a $ 27.7 billion deal that adds the messaging app to its business software suite without immediately changing Slack’s functionality, branding, or leadership.
Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff said in a statement that “Together we will define the future of enterprise software, creating the digital headquarters that enables all organizations to achieve the success of their customers and employees from anywhere.”
While Slack hasn’t done away with email, it has attracted the attention of giants like Microsoft, the company that Slack co-founder and CEO Stewart Butterfield called “sickly concerned about killing us” in a conversation with The edge last year.
“In a different universe where Slack is incredibly successful over the next two years and 98 percent of knowledge workers use Slack, Microsoft cares because the relative importance of email has dropped dramatically,” Butterfield said.
Now Slack is moving from an upstart independent challenger to an established competitor on an equal footing. As Box CEO Aaron Levie told Casey Newton after the deal was announced: “The only advantage Microsoft has is distribution, and now they have neutralized the advantage … they can deliver on the final promise of opportunity because they have 10 times the number of salespeople who can distribute this to companies around the world. ”
Salesforce has referred to its employees as architects of a distance-friendly approach, and with Slack in its pocket, it will try to dominate as other companies move in that direction. To answer the question about what’s next, on August 17, Butterfield and Salesforce COO Bret Taylor plan an event “To share more about how the two companies are creating a powerful platform for digital work anywhere in the world.”