George Hu, Executive Vice President of Platform and Marketing for Salesforce.com Inc. shared yesterday that he believes his company’s recent acquisition of internet monitoring software firm Radian6 will allow for the creation of a new type of cloud marketing service.
“I think Radian6 is a game changer,” Hu divulged at the Wells Fargo Tech Transformation Summit in San Francisco on Wednesday. “I think it may, or probably will be the foundation of our marketing cloud.”
Salesforce.com began as a general SaaS (software as a service) company in 1999 with early investors such as Oracle founder Larry Ellison, but has since become a specialty company in CRM and cloud computing. Last month, Salesforce.com announced that it would acquire Radian6 for $326 million in cash.
While Hu and many others are understandably excited about the upcoming merger, not everyone is on the bandwagon. Cowen & Co. analyst Peter Goldmacher seems to think that the purchase of Radian6 is a bit premature and pricey, saying that the social media monitoring industry is “still vaguely defined and unproven,” further adding, “why buy when partnering was still a viable strategy?”
Several others seem to think that Salesforce.com’s recent acquisition(s) are indicative of what’s next to come. Already, companies are rushing to buy social media monitoring companies. On Tuesday, Kana Software announced that it was acquiring Overtone which provides listening platforms for various social media outlets. It’s been said that Kana hopes to combine its customer service software with Overtone’s listening platforms so that customer service agents can monitor real time “customer insights.” This of course could open the door for a slew of other issues such as invasions of privacy, information manipulation, etc.
Salesforce.com has also recently acquired Heroku, a cloud application platform for Ruby that have many saying “too much, too soon.” Dennis Howlett of ZDNet cites that “Salesforce is applying layers of new technology without thinking of core integration.”
Is Salesforce getting too big for its britches? Should similar companies follow their suit?
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