Salesforce’s purchase of integration company MuleSoft last week took the market by surprise.
But it should not be a surprise that one of the world’s largest sales application providers decided to take more control over the integration of its apps. Apps need integration, whether they are in the cloud, on-premises or mobile. Integration is at the heart of digital transformation.
We believe that this acquisition provides a big opportunity for Software AG and its webMethods Integration Platform. Salesforce just paid $6.5 Billion for an integration company – proving just how important integration is. This high-profile acquisition provides us with a golden opportunity to discuss with customers how critical integration has become to digital transformation.
By agreeing to be acquired by Salesforce, MuleSoft has relinquished its status as an independent integration provider. This is highly significant. Enterprises need an integration platform provider that can be trusted not to show favoritism toward a large application vendor such as Salesforce, Oracle, SAP or Microsoft.
Many questions remain about the Salesforce/Mulesoft deal:
- As part of the Salesforce platform (and eventually Salesforce Cloud Integration), to what extent will MuleSoft continue to support integrations between applications that are not connected with Salesforce in any way? Will equal R&D priority be given to supporting these integrations over the long term?
- If Salesforce wishes to actively discourage customers from using competing products and platforms, will MuleSoft continue to support connections to (or between) those products over the long term? What level of support will be provided?
- How will competing vendors feel about letting their data flow through Salesforce? Will they take steps to block or prevent connections to MuleSoft? The same question could be asked in general related to SAP, Oracle, IBM, etc. Do these vendors want Salesforce to access proprietary system data via MuleSoft?
- According to published sources, 50% - 70% of MuleSoft’s business is on-premises. Yet Salesforce is a 100% service-based platform. What resources will Salesforce provide over the long-term toward selling, maintaining and upgrading MuleSoft’s on-premises software?
- MuleSoft’s heritage is based on open source, and MuleSoft developers like the familiar usability and accessibility of the tools (especially the free OSS version of the Mule ESB). To what extent will Salesforce – the “no software” company – continue to support this aspect of Mule’s offering, as well as the ecosystem of developers around it?
These questions will all be answered eventually, but meantime there will be a period of uncertainty where webMethods will shine as a beacon of independent hybrid integration. It’s no secret that webMethods has been there to help you deliver significant business value through your systems integration.
We look forward to hearing more about the Salesforce/MuleSoft deal; it is an exciting time to be in the integration business.