2022 was slow for vendor acquisitions, and Salesforce was no different. The vendor's three acquisitions in 2022 focused on improving integrations and supporting its ecosystem.
Some years are standouts for vendors: big acquisitions, new product releases and major innovations. 2022 was not that year.
Still, Salesforce made three significant acquisitions of very different companies. It acquired consultancy Traction on Demand, privacy and compliance services vendor Phennecs and sales automation bots provider Troops.ai. Overall, Salesforce's 2022 focused on making sure its existing ecosystem of partners and platforms could all integrate and offer ways to improve the integration process overall, according to Liz Miller, vice president and principal analyst at Constellation Research.
Yet, a slow acquisition year doesn't mean the year wasn't important. Salesforce, in particular, had major leadership changes in 2022. However, these slower acquisition years always happen after big purchase years, Miller said, so Salesforce is still trying to make its 2020 purchase of Slack fully integrate into its existing ecosystem.
"Pre-acquisition, everybody had been using Slack however they wanted to," Miller said. "… But when Slack becomes your digital HQ, now all of a sudden there's a formalized process that happens through it. There's channels of communication. There are best practices. That all had to roll out in 2022."
Acquisitions of companies like Troops.ai became a natural extension of the Salesforce ecosystem, Miller said. Troops uses a bot system to aggregate data between Salesforce and team collaboration platforms like Slack or Microsoft Teams, then alerts sales teams when updates occur. Even before Salesforce acquired Slack, Troops served as a bridge between the two platforms.
More acquisitions like these three may be likely in 2023 -- at least later in the year. Most vendors are still recovering from bloated numbers due to how the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated technology purchases in 2020.
"It's not going to be as slow [as 2022] because I think that once we start to level out probably mid-year -- when the world doesn't light on fire in January … when everyone kind of takes a breath, I think we will start to see some [acquisitions] happen," Miller said.