What Would a Salesforce Purchase by Microsoft Look Like?
With rumors of a possible acquisition of Salesforce circulating – and with Microsoft a leading contender to make that buy – it’s interesting to wonder what such a purchase might entail, and what its impact on the procurement market would be.
Jeff Muscarella of the spend management consultancy NPI offered several important considerations of such an acquisition in a recent Spend Matters post. In general, he saw such a purchase as a wise buy:
“As old guard vendors like Microsoft try to re-architect their businesses for a cloud- and mobility-first approach,” he said, “acquiring the technology and customer base of a pioneer in those areas looks like a smart idea.”
Muscarella identified several useful points of interest to be scrutinized in any Microsoft/Salesforce merger.
- Pricing. The two companies employ vastly different pricing strategies. Either side would have a rough time assimilating the other’s approach.
- Quality of service. Microsoft makes vast bargeloads of money from support. How would it live alongside a completely different support model/infrastructure? Or would Salesforce be forced to adopt its parent’s support, and how would that go over?
- Innovation? Microsoft needs to innovate in this domain if it is to become a serious player in procurement – and given its lofty goals for Azure, that would be essential. Given Redmond’s penchant for recycling and mixing/matching, could it manage?
- Contractual practices. Microsoft’s approach to contracting and negotiation would need to soften. Could it manage? And if not, what would be the impact on Salesforce?
Microsoft/Salesforce is fascinating what-if; but if it comes to pass, Muscarella said, “One thing is certain – it will have an impact on the thousands of customers that use both vendor solutions.”