Salesforce's Chicago office building.​
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The Slackification of Salesforce

Protocol Enterprise

Hello and welcome to Protocol Enterprise! Today: how Salesforce President and Chief Revenue Officer Gavin Patterson plans to keep the company growing, open-source software developers are taking the fight to Russia, and Protocol Enterprise has got the munchies.

Spin up

Worries about a new AI winter can be put aside for a little while longer, if you believe IDC. The analysts over there predicted spending on AI services in the U.S. will double by 2025, adding $120 billion in revenue over that period.

Gavin Patterson’s plan for Salesforce

Salesforce shows no signs of slowing down, but the SaaS pioneer is also taking a pause from its string of acquisitions over the past few years. Instead, the company plans to look inward at strengthening integrations across its existing products and growing those businesses across the globe. Leading those growth efforts is Gavin Patterson, Salesforce’s president and chief revenue officer.

In a recent conversation with Protocol, Patterson discussed how Salesforce plans to keep growing, the importance of Slack, the tech landscape in Europe and the company’s plans for globalization.

One of the things [mentioned] in the earnings call was that there are no immediate plans for any sort of M&A, no big acquisitions or deals. So where do you see the growth coming from over this coming year?

One of the pleasing things you can see in our numbers is if you want to call it the core or the base business — the existing business, pre-acquisitions — is growing as fast as the acquisitions, if not faster in some places. That’s quite remarkable in many ways. To deliver the sort of growth rates we're talking about, you need the bulk of the business to be growing at 20%-plus, and that's what you can see. Be it those core Sales Cloud numbers over 20%, Service Cloud the same or annual sales: Each of them have over $6 billion [in revenue] now. That’s bigger than many SaaS companies in totality. And those two clouds are now over $6 billion, growing 20% a year.

The U.S., if you look over the last couple of years, we're really growing fast again. It's our most mature market, it's our biggest market, it’s probably two-thirds of the revenue of the company. In order to grow at the rate we're growing at the moment, the U.S. needs to grow. We need to grow both outside the U.S. and inside the U.S. We can't make the growth rates based on the international business alone. So that has made a real difference.

We're at the beginning of the Slack integration. It's a brilliant product. You give it to a customer, they play with it a little bit or they've already experienced it, they won't give it back. I mean, it's an extraordinary product. In my lifetime, I've only probably seen two things like this. And people, once they get [started] using it, it's very, very sticky because it changes the way you work. And you realize that email hasn't changed in 40 years, and it wasn't really designed for the way it's being used.

Once you start organizing around channels, not people, and you've got access to 2500 different apps now that are part of the Slack open architecture and can plug straight in, the way you work just changes. And so we're right at the beginning of that. I see a huge opportunity in really bringing that to customers and helping them change the way they work.

What is Slack’s impact for Service Cloud and Sales Cloud, and the overall vision for where Salesforce is going? It’s obviously a huge strategic priority for the company.

Well, it's integrated in each of the clouds, so they come Slack-ready. And if I give you a couple of use cases, because I think it's easy when you describe how it gets used, it begins to become clear why it changes the way you work.

So we did the whole Slack acquisition on Slack; we closed the deal on Slack. So it works in a sales process extremely well if you want to. If you want to swarm around closing a deal and making sure that all the documentation is evergreen, you're able to work with outside advisers and inside colleagues, lawyers, investment bankers. It applies the same way in our own selling motion, you just move faster. The data is fresh, it doesn't get stuck in people's emails and, because you're able to plug in things like DocuSign and other apps, you just move quicker.

So [it] significantly reduced time to close deals and radically reduced, I think it's almost 50% fewer emails have been sent since we've started using Slack. And it's because you don't have all this noise behind it.

Read the rest of the interview with Gavin Patterson here.

— Aisha Counts (email | twitter)


Dataiku is the only AI platform that connects data and doers, enabling anyone to transform data into real business results — from the mundane to the moonshot. Because AI can do so much, but there's no soul in the machine, only in front of it. Without you, it's just data.

Learn more

And we shall fight them on GitHub

During the Trump administration, some corners of the open-source software community debated whether or not “ethical source” licenses, which stipulate the users of the software adhere to certain ethical guidelines, were proper. In 2022, welcome to “protestware.”

An open-source maintainer known as RIAEvangelist changed the source code of a popular networking tool they maintain earlier this month to overwrite data on computers using that tool in Russia and Belarus, according to Bleeping Computer. The code did not appear to affect computers based in other countries, just adding “a message of peace” to their desktops.

Still, there are lots of people in Russia and Belarus who have had nothing to do with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and open-source purists were not pleased. Some expressed their displeasure in the physical world: Motherboard reported that RIAEvangelist updated the GitHub page for their networking tool to say “Thanks for all the free pizza, and thanks to all the police that showed up to SWAT me. They were really nice fellas.”

— Tom Krazit (email | twitter)

You ever think about, like, data

Marijuana is legal in 18 U.S. states, but weed businesses are required to take steps to ensure they are not marketing their products to minors. Statara Solutions, a data analytics company recently profiled in Protocol Enterprise, just launched a service for this market that promises to deliver a prerolled set of potential stoners for their advertising activity.

They’re calling it “Baked Audiences.” (We’ll just let you sit with that for a minute.)

“We create proprietary compliance filters, so you reach only the 'intended' outbound audience (adults aged 21 and over),” Statara said on the above site, adorned with a pleasant green background. The company also plans to provide point-of-sale age verification services based on its data expertise and advertising assistance upon request.

As of publication time, April 20 is still 33 days away. Smoke if you got ‘em.

— Tom Krazit (email | twitter)

Around the enterprise

Microsoft will build a new data center region in Finland, which will not only allow it to save on server cooling costs but will actually help heat the cities of Espoo and Kauniainen.

AWS also announced plans to expand its presence in Europe this week, pledging to spend almost 2 billion pounds ($2.6 billion) in the U.K. to build and operate new data centers.

The FIDO Alliance published an outline of technology that could help finally bring on the “passwordless” future we’ve all been promised, and it relies on cryptographic keys stored on a device behind a biometric lock, according to Wired.


Dataiku is the only AI platform that connects data and doers, enabling anyone to transform data into real business results — from the mundane to the moonshot. Because AI can do so much, but there's no soul in the machine, only in front of it. Without you, it's just data.

Learn more

Thanks for reading — see you Monday!

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