Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff
Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff

Can Slack Help Salesforce Battle Oracle and SAP on Road to $35 Billion?

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Betting $28 billion that Slack will help Salesforce stay ahead of hard-charging Oracle and SAP, Marc Benioff is redefining his company as businesses seek out the best enterprise-software partners to help them forge their digital futures.

(On my weekly Cloud Wars Top 10 rankings, Salesforce is #3, SAP is #5 and Oracle is #6.)

While Slack will give Salesforce not only a suite of modern collaboration solutions to offer to customers eager to become digital businesses, Benioff is also carefully calibrating his own company’s current positioning as well as its evolving destiny.

And to understand just what that destiny might look like, please check out our new exclusive deep-dive analysis of Salesforce as part of our Cloud Wars Top 10 Special Report: Which Cloud Vendors Will Thrive in 2021? 

The proposed acquisition—one of the largest in the history of the enterprise software business—comes as Benioff has stuck stubbornly to the CRM category that has enabled him to push the brand of Salesforce as “the customer company.”

But as the data-driven digital economy forces businesses to overhaul everything from end-to-end processes to business models to org structures, the challenges posed by Oracle and SAP and their more-extensive portfolios have become more intense.

As Benioff and his team map out just how Slack can help keep Salesforce highly differentiated, they’ve still got their “Customer360” juggernaut that earlier this week posted fiscal-Q3 revenue of $5.42 billion, up 20% from a year earlier.

Can Benioff stick with an exclusive focus on CRM when Oracle and SAP can also tap into data from ERP systems and HCM systems to deliver business outcomes that meet the end-to-end and even “closed-loop” requirements that are emerging?

  • Our Cloud Wars Top 10 Special Report focuses on that existential question for the CRM category king along with other strategic issues while also analyzing the unique culture and leadership style that Salesforce has developed under Benioff.  Can a CRM-only software company—even one as wonderfully gifted and successful as Salesforce—continue to thrive in an end-to-end digital world?
  • Can the advantages gained in data and analytics from the acquisitions of Tableau and MuleSoft sustain Salesforce’s differentiation, or are others catching up?
  • After 21 years as the driving force behind the company he founded, will Marc Benioff look for other big challenges—perhaps in the political world?
  • Has the CRM focus that’s made Salesforce a global powerhouse caused it to miss the next wave of CX?

Our Cloud Wars Special Report digs into those and other key issues confronting Salesforce and its remarkable CEO. You can check out our overview of the entire industry landscape, plus our in-depth analyses of each company in the Cloud Wars Top 10, here.

We’ll be rolling out one new analysis per day from now through next week, and we hope you’ll join us to stay abreast of what’s coming in the Cloud Wars.

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