Cloud computing giant Salesforce has completed the acquisition of Slack, a $27.7 billion dollar deal that adds the messaging app to its suite of business software without immediately changing Slack’s functionality, branding, or leadership.
Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff said in a statement, “Together, we will shape the future of enterprise software, creating the digital headquarters that enables any organization to deliver success to customers and employees, everywhere.”
While Slack hasn’t quite killed email yet, it has caught the attention of giants like Microsoft, the company that Slack co-founder and CEO Stewart Butterfield called “unhealthy killing us” in a conversation with The edge last year.
“In another universe where Slack is incredibly successful over the next two years and 98 percent of knowledge workers are using Slack, Microsoft does care because the relative importance of email has plummeted,” Butterfield said.
Now Slack is moving from a fledgling independent challenger to a consolidated competitor on an equal footing. Box CEO Aaron Levie told Casey Newton after the deal was announced, “The only advantage Microsoft has is distribution, and now they’ve neutralized the advantage…they can deliver on the ultimate promise of the opportunity because they’re 10x the number of sellers who can distribute this thing to companies around the world.”
Salesforce has referred to its employees as architects of a remote-friendly approach, and with Slack in its pocket, it will try to dominate if other companies move in that direction. To answer the question about what’s next, Butterfield and Salesforce COO Bret Taylor on Aug. 17: plan an event “to share more about how the two companies are creating a powerful platform for the digital-first, working anywhere in the world.”