Last week Salesforce announced the purchase of one of the leading integrations platforms/services paying a whopping $6.5 billion. While this post is not about the finances, and whether this was a good buy at the price or not, it was a very, very large purchase – even dwarfing Salesforce’s purchase of ExactTarget at $2.5 billion. Regardless of the price paid, Salesforce clearly views integration with other services and applications as vital for pushing their growth plans. Let’s take a quick look at what they are getting and how it might impact current and future Salesforce customers.
Salesforce is the dominant player in the customer relationship management market with over $10 billion in sales in the CRM space last year. In order to fuel continued growth, especially upscale into legacy app markets, they needed to have a better story than “go find it on the App Exchange”. Certainly, there are a lot of good options in the App Exchange for pushing and pulling data into Salesforce – Jitterbit, InaPort, Dell Boomi and other players and would expect the shrinking competitive market to be even more dramatic if they push MuleSoft downstream. Based on Salesforce’s history, I wouldn’t expect to see a low-end, discount edition any time soon, but Salesforce is aggressive in their bundling of products. There is a community edition of MuleSoft, which is gaining some traction with independent integrators, so you should be seeing some attractive pricing in the next year or so as operations get more in line.
From an integration platform market position, MuleSoft is a little more like Informatica than some of the lesser players. MuleSoft is the only integration platform to be in both Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for API management and Enterprise Integration Platform as a Service. MuleSoft offers a traditional on-premise integration tool, but I am sure that Salesforce was much more attracted to their Anyplace Platform of cloud integration tools. And with MuleSoft’s highly scalable architecture, this should position Salesforce in the expanding IoT area with cloud-based integrations to thousands of devices that only worked with connected legacy apps before.
To make an NFL analogy, this is a pretty high priced free agent signing, but clearly the Salesforce management team viewed this as very valuable space, and MuleSoft was the best player available, so they made sure to get it any price. I don’t know if the price was good or not, but I do see the value in adding a product like this to the Salesforce ecosystem. I think that current and future Salesforce customers who need integrations will benefit.
About the Author
Jim O'Neill is our Senior CRM Account Manager. With more than 15 years of CRM experience, Jim specializes in assisting companies select CRM and marketing automation solutions.