Acquisition of Salesforce Could Have a Profound Effect on the Procurement Market
Speculation about the fate of CRM giant Salesforce includes its potential impact on the procurement market, suggested Pierre Mitchell, Managing Director of Azul Partners, in a recent article for Spend Matters Network.
With Salesforce currently valued at $50 billion, the circle of potential buyers is very small, but also very interesting, Mitchell pointed out. Depending on who bites, in the end, Salesforce’s vast armies of users might find their world changing dramatically.
A number of the potential buyers are already in the procurement business, it turns out, and many – Microsoft, IBM, Google, Oracle, Amazon – are already gigantic platform providers. To which of them would Salesforce be a strategic plus?
Mitchell pointed out that Microsoft’s cloud presence is strong and growing rapidly, but that it isn’t yet a player in procurement. Acquiring Salesforce would change that. How would this affect current Salesforce users’ perceptions of security and ease of use? Azure has expanded a great deal, but is still an evolving creature.
IBM, Mitchell said, is strong in the market, but passe and in need of a face lift, which Salesforce could provide. Oracle could buy Salesforce without missing the money, but already owns Siebel.
Google might be the most interesting buyer, because it has steered clear of real business integration and would have to rally and innovate to make it work.
Whatever happens, Mitchell concluded, the potential impact on terms, pricing, service and security could be significant, and all players should have their responses gamed out in advance.