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Quip acquisition of Unity&Variety beefs up subsidiary

Salesforce hopes to add visual and creative elements to its document tool, while Commerce Cloud's integration with Facebook Ads hopes to make buying easy.

While Salesforce hasn't continued its spending spree from 2016 into early 2017, one of its recently acquired subsidiaries picked up the slack.

Quip, which was purchased by Salesforce in August, bought Unity&Variety, a San Francisco-based productivity tool company that was founded in 2015.

The Quip acquisition by Salesforce was a move toward a more complete collaboration platform for its users, and it seems the document management company is doing its part to beef up its offerings.

"With Salesforce IQ (email and calendar) and Quip (documents and chat), it's clear Salesforce wants people doing their work within Salesforce tools," said Alan Lepofsky, vice president and principal analyst at Cupertino, Calif.-based Constellation Research Inc. "Integrating its business process into collaboration provides a compelling user experience [for Salesforce customers]."

The Quip acquisition of Unity&Variety is intended to add creative and visual elements to Quip, according to public reports. The company's website was thin on details, with just one paragraph of text beneath Unity&Variety&Quip&Salesforce, using a popular meme format to announce the deal.

"Here at Unity&Variety we've been cranking on some new productivity tools," the site said. "We're hyped to announce that starting today we'll be continuing our work with our talented friends over at Quip, a Salesforce company."

It's these productivity tools that Lepofsky believes caught Salesforce's attention and led to the Quip acquisition.

Salesforce purchased Quip for $582 million plus previous investments. The acquisition was one of a group that totaled more than $5 billion in 2016. Financial terms for the Quip acquisition of Unity&Variety were undisclosed.

Commerce Cloud to integrate with Facebook Dynamic Ads

The largest Salesforce acquisition of 2016 continues its development in 2017, as Commerce Cloud, formerly Demandware, and integrates with Facebook Dynamic Ads.

The integration is intended to make it easier for consumer companies to better reach their audiences and present them with easy and efficient buying opportunities.

"With Dynamic Ads, Commerce Cloud customers can extend their brand and products to an enormous -- Facebook has over 1.1 billion daily active users -- audience, drive shoppers back to their site and ultimately increase conversion and sales," Gordon Evans, vice president of product marketing for Commerce Cloud at Salesforce, said in a blog post. "... Commerce Cloud's direct integration with Facebook and Instagram connects your product catalog to these platforms and places the Facebook activity tracking pixel on your site."

In June, when Salesforce purchased Demandware for $2.8 billion -- its largest purchase -- CEO Marc Benioff called it another "billion-dollar cloud."

"With Demandware, Salesforce will be well-positioned to deliver the future of commerce as part of our customer success platform," Benioff said in June.

It appears Salesforce sees social media to be a large part of that future of commerce, as the Facebook integration indicates.

"It's clear that connected customers are fundamentally transforming retail, interacting with brands through many touchpoints including web, mobile, online marketplaces, stores, ads, connected devices, and of course social media," Evans said in the blog post. "... For brands, the beauty of this is that they are able to leverage Commerce Cloud's integration with Facebook to easily promote products and manage ads through the same control panel they use to manage their site."

Evans added that the integration between Commerce Cloud and Facebook Dynamic Ads is still in beta, but will be available in the first quarter of 2017.

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