Salesforce just spent $750 million to thumb its nose at Microsoft – Business Insider


Salesforce.com Marc Benioff
Salesforce.com CEO Marc
Benioff

Salesforce.com

Salesforce surprised the tech industry on Monday by
acquiring Quip, the productivity app founded by Facebook’s
former CTO, Bret Taylor, for a
reported $750 million.

In forms filed with the SEC, Salesforce reports that it is buying
Quip
with $582 million worth
of stock, but
TechCrunch’s Ingrid Lunden reports
that there’s a cash
component as well, which will bring the total up to about $750.
(The SEC forms don’t specify that, mentioning only that, in
addition to the stock, Salesforce will assume “other equity
awards” as part of the deal.)

Make no mistake, this deal is Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff
thumbing his nose at his
rival-turned-partner-turned-rival-again, Microsoft
. There’s a
bonus nose-thumbing at Google, too.

That’s because Quip is on an express mission to replace Microsoft
Office with a modern day version of a word processor and
spreadsheet.

Quip’s big claim to fame is that it wants to kill email.
Instead of creating a document and emailing it around or
uploading it to Box and emailing a note about that around, Quip
has chat built in to every document. And it integrates with
Slack.

While Quip works with Microsoft Office and Google Apps, Quip
was designed to be an alternative from the get-go and Taylor
isn’t shy about saying so. Last month, he told
Annie Gaus at San Francisco Business Times
.

“Quip is a collaborative productivity suite intended to be the
next generation of what Microsoft Office was in the previous
generation.”

Why should Salesforce buy Quip?


Bret-Taylor-Quip
Bret Taylor, co-founder of
Quip

Quip

As we previously reported, Salesforce Ventures, the company’s
venture arm, had been a backer of Quip. So why buy the
startup outright?

Because Benioff has a vision for the next generation of cloud
software, where smart machine learning helps everyday people do
their jobs.

That’s the same vision that Microsoft and Google has.

But in order to take this idea from vision to reality, those
smart machines need data. Lots and lots of data. They need to
know what you are working on, with who.

Right now, Salesforce has access to the data companies store on
their customers. It’s main cloud product, customer relationship
management, helps companies manage customer contacts and
prospects.

But Microsoft is a huge competitor to Salesforce with its
Dynamics CRM product, so it has access to similar sorts of data.

And with Microsoft’s immensely popular Office 365 cloud service,
Microsoft also has access to the data stored in spreadsheets and
documents.

In fact, during a short-lived period where Microsoft and
Salesforce were friendly (and Microsoft talked about buying
Salesforce), they integrated Salesforce’s products with Office
365.

That friendship has been severely
strained with Microsoft’s enormous $26 billion purchase
of LinkedIn,
snatched out of Benioff’s hands

So Salesforce wants its own document and spreadsheet
software, and access the data people will store in them.

Microsoft is buying LinkedIn for the same reason Benioff wanted
it: to have the data from LinkedIn’s professional network to
create a next-generation of smarter sales apps. 

If you want to know just how much Benioff had competition with
Microsoft (and Google) on the brain when announcing the purchase
of Quip, here’s a few of his retweets.

He retweeted this link from 2015 saying Quip was shaking up the
industry and warning Microsoft and Google to take note:

 

He retweeted a review between the Offic3 365, Google Apps
and Quip that put Quip on top:

 He retweeted this:

And, just for fun, he retweeted a little barb at his classic
rival Oracle, who made news last week with its $9 billion
acquisition of NetSuite, the company founded during
the same meeting with Larry Ellison that inspired Benioff
to
found Salesforce.

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