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Salesforce to buy Mulesoft

After last week’s announcements big Salesforce announcements relating to Dropbox, CloudCraze and Salesforce Essentials. It appears that 2018 could be shaping up to be a big year for acquisitions… As Salesforce has announced they will buy Mulesoft.

UPDATE: It has now been officially announced, that Salesforce will acquire Mulesoft for $6.5bn (source here). Previously, Business Insider had confirmed that Salesforce was working on a big deal, but they couldn’t confirm the acquisition target was Mulesoft.

Is 2018, the year to buy?

After a quiet 2017 on the acquisition front. We have now seen a number of purchases early on in 2018, is this just the start of a big year of acquisitions?

With CloudCraze announce just last week, focusing on B2B e-commerce. And Attic Labs adding to the Quip offering. Could we see Mulesoft being added soon?

When this deal closes, it will be one of Salesforce’s largest purchases to date, coming in at an estimated $6.5bn.

Also, this would be another acquisition which was initially funded by Salesforce Ventures. As Mulesoft received $128m in funding from Salesforce Ventures back in 2015. (Look out Dropbox!)

Salesforce to buy Mulesoft – but what is Mulesoft?

Salesforce to buy Mulesoft for $6.5bn
Mulesoft is in target.

Mulesoft has created a cloud platform called Anypoint. As a platform, this aims to facilitate data integration across multiple systems. And it is targeted at enterprise companies, counting Coca-Cola, McDonald’s and Spotify as customers.

By using published APIs for applications, the platform takes a fair amount of the development out of connecting systems together. In turn, this helps speed up the delivery time to integrate systems together.

Mulesoft is also behind the Dataloader.io platform, which many businesses use for admin data loading tasks, instead of the Apex Dataloader.

Why would Mulesoft help Salesforce?

As we know Salesforce is huge in the enterprise CRM market. This is a market which also typically has multiple systems which need to integrate with each other, be it CRM, ERP or general database systems – ultimately there needs to be a connection where data will be synchronised.

There are a variety of tools you can use. But many of them require a developer to create and maintain. I have seen a number of different solutions to this problem over the years. Though tools like Jitterbit, Boomi and Mulesoft have taken a page out of Salesforce’s book and have reduced the development overhead needed to integrate often complex systems.

Where does this help Salesforce though?

As we have seen over the last few years, there is a push from Salesforce to support Big Data Objects, External Objects with oData and Lightning Connect. It is all about data!

This is where you can imagine – a platform like Mulesoft would be an add-on subscription. ‘Integration Cloud’ anyone? But much like Wave Analytics is to Reports and Dashboards. Mulesoft would be in a different league to the existing Salesforce solutions. (Also no doubt, Mulesoft would have a side benefit for Wave Analytics = more data! More sources! )

The value for Salesforce also lies in being able to help customers, integrate and connect systems to the base CRM system. After all, if you get customers to continue to integrate Salesforce in their IT infrastructure, you make it harder for them to move away from Salesforce… And there is a lot of money in that!

Personally, I would love to see how other add-ons, like Einstein, could in turn be used to make this even more compelling in the future!

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