No matter how big you get as a company, here's a stark reminder that there's always a bigger one waiting to eat you up.
Yesterday, Bloomberg broke the news that Salesforce was working with financial advisors to help figure out its options after it was approached by a potential acquirer. Salesforce's stock jumped 11 points at the news, and the Twittersphere was immediately rife with speculation.
Salesforce currently has a market cap of nearly $50B, so there's really only a handful of companies who have the resources to buy it. In fact, it would be the largest amount of money ever paid for a software company. Microsoft certainly has the cash to execute such a takeover, and its new CEO Satya Nadella has been openly playing nice with Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff with CRM partnerships (and cheesy photo-ops.)
However, the smart money is on Oracle, the company Benioff left to form Salesforce, and the competitor he gleefully likes to poke in the ribs whenever he gets a chance. What makes Oracle such a likely buyer (other than its $43.8B cash war chest) is its drive to dominate the cloud computing industry. Oracle was famously late to the cloud and while many cloud computing platforms are built on its technology (Salesforce is one of them,) Oracle has been slow in pushing out quality cloud solutions of its own. Acquiring Salesforce would immediately give Oracle a huge boost in the computing world, not to mention access the Benioff's visionary leadership, and a slew of industry leading cloud solutions.
In a research note from FBR Capital Markets and Co, analyst Daniel Ives says Oracle has everything to gain from a takeover. "We view this more as Oracle trying to make a bold, decisive move to stake its claim in the cloud before it falls even farther behind," says Ives. "We believe a 'game changing' acquisition of salesforce.com would fit right into Oracle's wheelhouse as it could help accelerate the database stalwart's painful cloud transition (e.g., move to subscription-based model) and leap-frog SAP's latest attempt to surpass Oracle's cloud offerings through the acquisition of Concur."
If we focus purely on marketing tech, an Oracle-Salesforce merger could potentially create an uber-marketing cloud as each company uses the other to plug the holes in its offerings. Salesforce has ExactTarget and Pardot for marketing automation, and Buddy Media and Radian6 for social. Oracle has two heavyweight marketing automation platforms in Eloqua and Responsys, but crucially it has BlueKai, one of the biggest third-party customer data repositories in the business. What Oracle lacks in the social department, it could make up with Salesforce and support it with analytics from BlueKai, creating an extremely potent set of offerings. Put marketing together with the rest of the cloud solutions across both Salesforce and Oracle (including HR, CRM, service, web management) and we could be seeing the most comprehensive, end-to-end solution enterprise software suite in the market. This vision would be extremely desirable to customers of both platforms, who would have access to a single, unified ecosystem of products for all their enterprise needs.
However, keep in mind that at this point, it's all idle speculation. Even if Oracle was to takeover Salesforce, the amount of technological wrangling it would take to completely integrate all the solutions into a coherent enterprise offering could take years. But given how possible industry insiders think the acquisition is, customers and competitors alike might find it worth examining its impact sooner, rather than later.
Salesforce is fielding inquiries from potential buyers, one of whom may be its biggest competitor, Oracle.
A look at the best new startups to graduate from Alchemist Accelerator, an accelerator for enterprise collaboration tools.
Charlene Li and Jon Cifuentes share research on how leading organizations use social and digital technologies to create holistic employee engagement strategies that drive business impact and cultural change.
The increasing number of collaboration tools is overwhelming employees. Here’s why companies need to simplify.
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What will 2015 bring marketers? Rather than look into a crystal ball, we have only to look at the present.
Altimeter Group is planning to publish a research report this fall on how businesses are enabling sales organizations with social media tools. We will be discussing the markers for social selling transformation, best practices on training and governance, and a snapshot into the suite of tools available as marketing and sales organizations are pushed to […]
As part of our open research process, I would like to extend an invite for your input, feedback, case examples, or any other insights you’d like to contribute to our upcoming research around the Internet of Things.
Salesforce just announced the release of its Social Studio, an enterprise social relationship platform.
Marketing has changed substantially in the past few decades. With the proliferation of CRM, ecommerce, cookies, loyalty programs, etc. marketers have more customer data than ever.
IBM officially joined the Marketing Cloud battle today, with the news that it is acquiring marketing automation vendor SilverPop.
To learn more about the state of social media command centers, Altimeter Group spoke with three organizations — MasterCard, eBay, and Wells Fargo Bank.
Late last year, I started wondering about social media command centers. Salesforce had launched one, as had Brandwatch, but I wondered: were they really still relevant? Were companies investing in command center deployments, or had interest subsided since their heyday in 2010?
When Google bought Wildfire for $350M, it took many by surprise. What did Google want with a Social Relationship Management company? Google is in the ad business, not the SRM business.
Two things: To stay competitive with (or arguably ahead of) the giants in the social world—Salesforce, Adobe, and Oracle—Sprinklr needed to build out its analytics capabilities. Sprinklr’s customers increasingly need custom consulting services, especially for implementation and training.
As we launch into 2014, the analysts at Altimeter each pulled together a compilation of trends and issues they are watching closely this year.
Adobe Marketing Summit and Oracle OpenWorld both took place recently. It’s another month until Dreamforce, but I expect similar announcements to be made there.
In this report, industry analyst Susan Etlinger demonstrates how leading organizations are deriving actionable intelligence from a holistic view of social and enterprise data.
Over 30 Technologies Have Emerged, at a Faster Pace than Companies Can Digest. If you think social was disruptive, it was really just the beginning.
My colleague Brian’s blog is abuzz with comments about mobile strategy, so key to success he urges readers to “[f]orget about social media,” at least for a moment. Brian’s comparison of social to mobile is apt, both began as fragmented, bootstrapped efforts, then social got the attention of the CMO.
Last week, Jeremiah and I published Altimeter Group’s first “short doc,” focused on in-depth case studies that illustrate how large brands are managing complex, distributed social media programs.
One of the major themes in our research this year is Adaptive Organization. As we think about what makes organizations adaptive, it’s not just the tools and services that they embrace but also their ability to adapt to change to stay in touch internally and to reach customers and prospects proactively.
Google announced Google+ for Enterprises today with Hangouts integration into Docs and Calendar as well as administrative controls such as default posting to only within the company.
Today marks the publication of Altimeter Group’s newest enterprise mobility research report, authored by analyst Chris Silva.
Did you miss today’s webinar with Charlene Li and Chris Silva talking about the proper foundation for mobile business? If so, please see a full replay of today’s content, available on Vimeo.
In 2011, the US hit a milestone — more than half of all adults visit social networking sites at least once a month. But when it comes to using social-networking technologies inside organizations, many business leaders are at a loss to understand what value can be created from Facebook-like status updates within the enterprise.
This week, Altimeter (myself and Andrew Jones) hosted a webinar stemming from the the recent report on Social Media Proliferation, which you can download the full report on this blog post.
Get account control now –or risk a career of continual social media sanitation. To match the growing consumer adoption of social media, many companies have launched social media efforts with little planning.
This webinar follows Altimeter Group’s recently published open research report: Social CRM: The New Rule of Relationship Management, which covers 18 uses cases of social CRM.
Social and CRM: How Companies Will Manage Their Social Relationships Over the last six months, I’ve been working closely with Ray Wang who is well known in the CRM space as an expert. Coupled with my focus on social technologies we did a deep dive on how our worlds are intersecting at Social CRM.
Groundswell is required reading for executives seeking to protect and strengthen their company’s public image.