Salesforce apparently wants to expand its product portfolio to include audio and video conferencing services: As the Wall Street Journal reports, the provider of countless corporate cloud services is negotiating with the 14 billion euro company Slack Technologies about its takeover.
Slack, operator of the groupware service of the same name with currently 130,000 paying corporate customers, sees itself pushed to the wall by Microsoft because it is now distributing the competing product Teams as a standard component of its Microsoft 365 office platform and thus, according to Slack, hinders competition.
By incorporating it into the much larger Salesforce, the Slack developers could continue their original concept of adding interfaces with services from other providers, such as exist for web storage such as Dropbox, Google Drive or GitHub. This is in contrast to the Microsoft philosophy of realizing all imaginable functions exclusively with their own products.
Since the company was founded, Salesforce has positioned itself not only as a software developer for corporate web services, but also as a platform for marketing applications that its customers have developed and made available to other customers. The company has its own groupware products at the start with Chatter and Quip, but these have so far been entirely geared towards allowing users to communicate with each other via text messages and documents.
Complement the portfolio
Slack, on the other hand, also enables audio and video calls and has just announced that it will soon support a push-to-talk mode and also so-called stories. These are video clips that can be used to pre-produce and possibly replace a brief appearance in a video conference. With Slack, Salesforce could close a gap in its service offering and strengthen its position compared to competitor Microsoft.
In the short term, we were unable to get Slack or Salesforce to provide information about the negotiations, but Slack’s share price jumped almost 30 percent today, Thursday.