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Salesforce completes $27.7B Slack acquisition

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Salesforce has now officially completed its Slack acquisition, nearly eight months after first announcing plans to acquire the team communication platform for a whopping $27.7 billion.

As a result of the deal, Salesforce said that it plans to combine Slack with Salesforce Customer 360, a customer data platform tool it introduced in 2018 that allows companies to connect Salesforce apps, Map teams and reconcile data sources across a whole organization.

“Together we’ll define the future of enterprise software, creating the digital HQ that enables every organization to deliver customer and employee success from anywhere,” Salesforce CEO, chair, and cofounder Marc Benioff said in a press release.

Cutting Slack

The pandemic-driven remote work boom has created an insatiable appetite for team collaboration tools, with the likes of Zoom and Microsoft Teams capitalizing on the burgeoning distributed workforce. However, Slack struggled to fully seize the moment due — in part, at least — to aggressive competition from Microsoft Teams. Since hitting the public markets in the summer of 2019, Slack had gone from its opening day valuation of $38-per-share into free fall.

It’s worth noting that Slack has a pending antitrust complaint against Microsoft in the EU. The crux of Slack’s complaint is that while Slack is available as a standalone service and application with various pricing tiers, Microsoft Teams substantively comes as part of an Office 365 subscription — this bundling, Slack argues, is Microsoft using Office’s market dominance to force millions of people to install Teams. It’s not clear how — or even if — that complaint will proceed now that Slack is essentially an operating unit inside Salesforce.

At any rate, with Slack under its wing, Salesforce now has an even more powerful collaboration artery directly into the enterprise, enabling it to create deeper social integrations across its product suite. But, perhaps more importantly given the digital transformation that has engulfed industry over the past 16 months, Salesforce and Slack together could also play a big part in powering the future of work.

“We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to rethink and reshape how and where we work,” said Slack cofounder and CEO Stewart Butterfield, who will continue to lead Slack post-acquisition. “Salesforce and Slack are uniquely positioned to lead this historic shift to a digital-first world.”

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