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Salesforce acquisition spree continues unabated

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Salesforce has been on a fast and furious buying spree since December 2015 with no sign of a letup.

Since February, Salesforce, a cloud-based CRM vendor, has been on an acquisition spree, purchasing a rash of companies to fill out its portfolio. The goal seems to be fleshing out its CRM platform with additional services, but some of these purchases make more sense -- at least on the surface -- than others.

"The acquisitions are coming fast and furious," said Brent Leary, a principal at CRM Essentials, a CRM consultancy company. "They are constantly in acquisition mode."

Since the beginning of the year, Salesforce's acquisition roster includes, Coolan, Demandware, Implisit, MetaMind, Quip and PredictionIO, as well as SteelBrick, a configure, price, quote application, in late 2015. While most of these acquisitions seem to enhance the core CRM mission, some don't fit squarely in that model. "I'm still trying to find that connection with Quip to their Customer Success Platform," Leary said.

Leary speculated, though, that following Microsoft's purchase of LinkedIn, the social networking site, -- which Salesforce also wanted to make a bid for -- Salesforce may have purchased Quip as a tit-for-tat maneuver to edge in on Microsoft's core business in content collaboration with services like Office 365.

Demandware, which Salesforce acquired in June, was a notable purchase, enabling Salesforce to add an e-commerce component. "It's about being able to do the actual transaction online -- not just stopping at digital marketing," Leary said.

Given the battery of business processes and applications it takes to acquire and manage a customer account, "It goes from a lead to a closed transaction all online. It allows a complete customer journey -- where you do all that online -- and allows [Salesforce] to stay on competitive footing with SAP with Hybris and Oracle with ATG and NetSuite. It was a needed piece," Leary said.

Some acquisitions have focused on bringing intelligence to the Salesforce platform, such as the purchases of MetaMind and Implisit.

The podcast also discusses the move of Adam Bosworth, former head of Salesforce IoT Cloud, from Salesforce to Amazon. Last year, Salesforce rolled out its IoT Cloud at Dreamforce 2015, and Bosworth was an important factor in building out the maturity of the internet of things strategy. "The timing seems interesting," Leary said.

For more on Salesforce's acquisition issues, check out the podcast above.

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