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Salesforce and Slack execs outline their goals for the $27.7 billion deal

Here's what they said at Salesforce's annual investor day.

Salesforce logo

Salesforce recently spent $27.7 billion to purchase Slack.

Photo: Stephen Lam/Getty Images

Top Salesforce and Slack executives have laid out their vision for how to integrate the two companies following last week's much-publicized $27.7 billion acquisition.

The discussion took place on Tuesday at Salesforce's annual investor day and included remarks from Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, Chief Operating Officer Bret Taylor and Chief Revenue Officer Gavin Patterson, as well as Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield.

According to research from analysts at RBC Capital Markets, highlights of the pending merger discussed by the execs include:

    • The ability for Salesforce customers to input data in their customer relationship management software directly from Slack.
    • A more robust version of Slack Connect, which allows users to talk to people outside their immediate company. Contracts, for example, can be signed and shared by connecting Slack Connect and DocuSign. This idea signals ambitions for Slack to become a platform used in virtual business negotiations.
    • While Salesforce previously acquired workplace productivity startups Quip and Chatter, the company intends to have Slack serve "as the future center point of the communication/collaboration offerings," per the analysts.
    • As companies increasingly look to digitize their customer service function, the execs argued that Slack could serve as the conversational platform for those call centers.
    • From a sales perspective, executives say Slack will benefit from Salesforce's robust network of enterprise connections, while Slack's "self-serve" sales model could help in "re-strengthening the virality of the Salesforce platform," per the analysts.
    • Combining the capabilities of MuleSoft (which Salesforce purchased in 2018 for $6.5 billion) and Slack, Benioff sees Salesforce becoming the "single source of truth for customers." MuleSoft provides APIs, the tool used to connect applications to one another, while Slack will serve as the platform to connect people.

    Yes, GameStop is a content moderation issue for Reddit

    The same tools that can be used to build mass movements can be used by bad actors to manipulate the masses later on. Consider Reddit warned.

    WallStreetBets' behavior may not be illegal. But that doesn't mean it's not a problem for Reddit.

    Image: Omar Marques/Getty Images

    The Redditors who are driving up the cost of GameStop stock just to pwn the hedge funds that bet on its demise may not be breaking the law. But this show of force by the subreddit r/WallStreetBets still represents a new and uncharted front in the evolution of content moderation on social media platforms.

    In a statement to Protocol, a Reddit spokesperson said the company's site-wide policies "prohibit posting illegal content or soliciting or facilitating illegal transactions. We will review and cooperate with valid law enforcement investigations or actions as needed."

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    Issie Lapowsky
    Issie Lapowsky (@issielapowsky) is a senior reporter at Protocol, covering the intersection of technology, politics, and national affairs. Previously, she was a senior writer at Wired, where she covered the 2016 election and the Facebook beat in its aftermath. Prior to that, Issie worked as a staff writer for Inc. magazine, writing about small business and entrepreneurship. She has also worked as an on-air contributor for CBS News and taught a graduate-level course at New York University’s Center for Publishing on how tech giants have affected publishing. Email Issie.
    Protocol | Enterprise

    Inside Christian Klein’s determined bid to remake SAP

    The 40-year-old, first-time CEO has a tough road ahead of him in turning around the nearly 50-year-old vendor.

    Christian Klein became SAP's sole CEO in April.
    Photo: Picture Alliance/Getty Images

    On April 19, the day before SAP announced that Christian Klein would take over as sole CEO of the German software giant, his wife joked that she was going into labor with their second child.

    That joke became a reality at 2 a.m. the next day.

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    Joe Williams

    Joe Williams is a senior reporter at Protocol covering enterprise software, including industry giants like Salesforce, Microsoft, IBM and Oracle. He previously covered emerging technology for Business Insider. Joe can be reached at JWilliams@Protocol.com. To share information confidentially, he can also be contacted on a non-work device via Signal (+1-309-265-6120) or JPW53189@protonmail.com.

    Protocol | Enterprise

    January's Slack outage started with an AWS networking error

    And problems with Slack's infrastructure meant things got far, far worse from there.

    This sign was about as interactive as Slack's software on Jan. 4.

    Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

    The hours-long outage that kicked off the 2021 working year for Slack customers was the result of a cascading series of problems initially caused by network scaling issues at AWS, Protocol has learned.

    According to a root-cause analysis that Slack distributed to customers last week, "around 6:00 a.m. PST we began to experience packet loss between servers caused by a routing problem between network boundaries on the network of our cloud provider." A source familiar with the issue confirmed that AWS Transit Gateway did not scale fast enough to accommodate the spike in demand for Slack's service the morning of Jan. 4, coming off the holiday break.

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    Tom Krazit

    Tom Krazit ( @tomkrazit) is a senior reporter at Protocol, covering cloud computing and enterprise technology out of the Pacific Northwest. He has written and edited stories about the technology industry for almost two decades for publications such as IDG, CNET, paidContent, and GeekWire. He served as executive editor of Gigaom and Structure, and most recently produced a leading cloud computing newsletter called Mostly Cloudy.

    Protocol | China

    More women are joining China's tech elite, but 'Wolf Culture' isn't going away

    It turns out getting rid of misogyny in Chinese tech isn't just a numbers game.

    Chinese tech companies that claim to value female empowerment may act differently behind closed doors.

    Photo: Qilai Shen/Getty Images

    A woman we'll call Fan had heard about the men of Alibaba before she joined its high-profile affiliate about three years ago. Some of them were "greasy," she said, to use a Chinese term often describing middle-aged men with poor boundaries. Fan tells Protocol that lewd conversations were omnipresent at team meetings and private events, and even women would feel compelled to crack off-color jokes in front of the men. Some male supervisors treated younger female colleagues like personal assistants.

    Within six months, despite the cachet the lucrative job carried, Fan wanted to quit.

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    Shen Lu

    Shen Lu is a Reporter with Protocol | China. She has spent six years covering China from inside and outside its borders. Previously, she was a fellow at Asia Society's ChinaFile and a Beijing-based producer for CNN. Her writing has appeared in Foreign Policy, The New York Times and POLITICO, among other publications. Shen Lu is a founding member of Chinese Storytellers, a community serving and elevating Chinese professionals in the global media industry.

    Protocol | Enterprise

    Databricks plans to take on Snowflake and Google and score a huge IPO

    Even against intensifying competition, Databricks hopes to be a hit when it heads to the public markets this year.

    Ali Ghodsi is the CEO of Databricks.

    Photo: Databricks

    Enterprise software had a huge 2020 on Wall Street as companies such as Snowflake and C3.ai went public with blockbuster initial offerings. Databricks CEO Ali Ghodsi is hoping to ride the same wave in 2021.

    The public debut of the data analytics startup, valued at $6.2 billion, is among the most-watched IPOs for the year. And for good reason: It competes in a similar space as the much-hyped Snowflake, helping customers find the data to power the algorithms that help with everything from picking which products to order to which candidates to bring in for job interviews. While Databricks has been tight-lipped on its specific plans, including which bankers it is tapping to help navigate the often arduous process, it is taking steps internally to prepare.

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    Joe Williams

    Joe Williams is a senior reporter at Protocol covering enterprise software, including industry giants like Salesforce, Microsoft, IBM and Oracle. He previously covered emerging technology for Business Insider. Joe can be reached at JWilliams@Protocol.com. To share information confidentially, he can also be contacted on a non-work device via Signal (+1-309-265-6120) or JPW53189@protonmail.com.

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