Salesforce Acquires Tableau!

This surprised me, though maybe it shouldn’t have.

I’ll try to restate the facts without coloring them with any opinion I may have. Let’s see:

  • Last week, Google acquired Looker for $2.6B, showing that large tech companies are continuing to focus their resources on analytics and big-data.
  • This week, Salesforce scoops up Tableau. It’s Salesforce’s largest deal, at $15.7B.
  • After the announcement, Tableau’s stock price (DATA) immediately jumped up by about 35%. Salesforce’s stock (CRM) fell by about 5%.
  • Salesforce’s CEO mentions that Seattle will become “HQ2.”
  • Tableau will continue to operate independently and under its own brand.

I will pause the retelling of facts to mention I’m personally not a fan of this new trend of having multiple headquarters. It diminishes the meaning of what headquarters are, and I doubt employees will appreciate having to specify where they work, when previously they could just say “I work at headquarters!”

Additionally, it is worth mentioning that given that Tableau’s market cap at the time of purchase was well below the $15.7B price that Salesforce paid, it would appear that they paid a high premium.

Okay, back to it! Let’s look at some related moves Salesforce has made in the past, as maybe we can start to see a trend.

  • In 2013, Salesforce acquired EdgeSpring for $134M, which it integrated to become the core of it’s Wave Analytics product, later to be again renamed.
  • In 2016, Salesforce acquired MetaMind for $32.8M, looking to gain capabilities in machine learning and natural language processing.
  • Also in 2016, Salesforce acquired BeyondCore for $110M. With this acquisition, they looked to improve in smart data discovery and prediction. This would go on to become the basis of the current Einstein Insights product.
  • Last year, Salesforce acquired Mulesoft for $6.5B. This move would in theory allow customers to unite data sources which were previously difficult to pull together.

Consolidation is the name of the game right now. However it remains to be seen where and how integrations will occur to bring all of these products under the same roof, if at all. To me, this seems especially important from a marketing perspective for customers who may be confused about cannibalizing, competing products.

Okay, that’s all for now! Thanks for reading.

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