The move to remote work has found many companies adopting new technologies in order to keep business running. But even as life goes back to a new normal, some systems will likely remain in place due to the added efficiency they can bring to operations. Salesforce is counting on that approach, with its recent announcement that it will acquire the messaging service Slack this week.
Salesforce’s customer relationship management (CRM) platform is used across multiple industries, including retail. The cloud technology supports the selling, strategizing and marketing of commerce in a single centralized platform, which enables users to see all their customers, data and tools in one place. This unified approach can help streamline operations – a critical benefit in a competitive landscape like retail in 2020.
“Salesforce started the cloud revolution, and two decades later, we are still tapping into all the possibilities it offers to transform the way we work,” said Stewart Butterfield, CEO and co-founder of Slack. “The opportunity we see together is massive.”
While Salesforce has been a popular tool for many retailers prior to the pandemic, Slack was a newer solution for many companies. Designed as a replacement for email, the internal messaging workspace has become the go-to tool for companies looking to maintain immediate communications, even as teams have been separated geographically.
With this acquisition, which is still to formally close, Salesforce will combine Slack into its Customer 360 platform. It is expected that there will be little change to the daily operations of the messaging service, but the synchronised access to the software will make it easier for companies to manage their solutions.
“Stewart and his team have built one of the most beloved platforms in enterprise software history, with an incredible ecosystem around it,” said Marc Benioff, chair and CEO at Salesforce. “This is a match made in heaven. Together, Salesforce and Slack will shape the future of enterprise software and transform the way everyone works in the all-digital, work-from-anywhere world.
The emphasis on a connected experience has mostly been seen in consumer-facing strategies, as retailers look to provide personalized shopper journey. But the digital, accessible-from-anywhere approach can also be applied to the internal operations of companies.
Just as multiple individual solutions can create an overly complex consumer experience, so too can it complicate the employee experience. As businesses continue to conduct their affairs remotely, or even build out permanently remote workforces, larger technology integrations may become necessary for a productive staff. It also enables smaller businesses to focus on setting up a simpler digital infrastructure – a daunting task for those who have primarily been offline until now.
“As software plays a more and more critical role in the performance of every organization, we share a vision of reduced complexity, increased power and flexibility, and ultimately a greater degree of alignment and organizational agility,” said Butterfield. “Personally, I believe this is the most strategic combination in the history of software, and I can’t wait to get going.”