Salesforce saddles itself with MuleSoft for $6.5bn

Prepare for 'deep customer experiences throughout a personalized 1:1 journey’

Salesforce Mulesoft acquisition logo mashup fun

Salesforce has decided to buy API-farmer MuleSoft for a cool US$6.5bn – about a billion bucks above the latter company’s market capitalisation.

Mulesoft offers a cloudy integration platform that lets you discover APIs, then connect them to other APIs. The platform promises just about any-to-any integration to let data flow between applications, databases, clouds ... you name it.

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On the off-chance you need a primer on Salesforce, it’s a SaaS-y CRM that’s growing rapidly into marketing automation and other horizontal enterprise applications.

Salesforce will use MuleSoft to create “Salesforce Integration Cloud” a new effort “which will enable all enterprises to surface any data - regardless of where it resides - to drive deep and intelligent customer experiences throughout a personalized 1:1 journey.”

Which sounds like:

  1. Pretty much business as usual for MuleSoft, but in the service of sales automation
  2. Not a million miles away from what Cambridge Analytica did for its clients, but to sell stuff, not scarifying ideas

The two companies are a good fit. Both are committed to pure-play SaaS, are young, aggressive and growing fast. Little wonder both boards signed off on the deal unanimously.

Both said the deal should be done by July 21, 2018.

Salesforce execs told a hastily-convened conference call that the company decided to buy Mulesoft because it felt it could scale its services faster by acquiring it, rather than deepening a partnership. The execs also said that integrating data sources is seen as a key part of bolt-on IT digital transformation, that Salesforce customers want access to legacy system data and that nobody does that better than Mulesoft. Salesforce therefore sees acquiring MuleSoft as the way to CEOs’ hearts. And of course to deeper, harder-to-unravel, engagements.

Salesforce execs also warned that the deal may make it harder to achieve some of its recently-stated financial targets , especially operating margins. The company said it will issue new guidance that incorporate the impact of the MuleSoft buy in its Q1 results, due in June 2018. ®

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