Salesforce fires tractor beam at RelateIQ, hauls upstart into mothership

If you can't beat it – pay $390m to EAT IT


Salesforce has announced plans to acquire younger rival RelateIQ, a move that will shore up its core customer relationship management business with some advanced technology.

The software-as-a-service giant said in an SEC filing published on Friday that it had agreed to pay $390m to purchase CRM startup RelateIQ for $350m in stock and $40m in cash.

By acquiring the company, Salesforce has bought a firm whose approach to customer relationship management threatens Salesforce's core business.

"Salesforce.com pioneered the shift to enterprise cloud computing, redefining modern CRM as we know it. As you know, RelateIQ is pioneering the next generation of intelligent computing through data science and machine learning. Looking ahead, salesforce.com’s acquisition of RelateIQ will extend the value of salesforce.com’s #1 CRM apps and platform with a new level of intelligence across sales, service, and marketing," said RelateIQ's chief executive Steve Loughlin in a blog post announcing the acquisition.

RelateIQ's technology uses, sigh, big data and machine learning to identify contacts in users' emails and phone calls, then slurps information from contact books, phones and other data stores to automatically build profiles of people that reflect how and when they've been contacted.

By plugging RelateIQ's software into an organization's various systems, managers can get a clear idea of not only the customers their team is chatting to, but also how their own employees are talking – and working – among themselves.

"Capture customer interactions automatically as you work, eliminating all gaps in your team's records," RelateIQ explains on its website.

"Merge contacts across your team and augment records with data from around the web, like links to LinkedIn and Twitter profiles, to build a shared address book that's always up-to-date.

Its technology is a valuable addition to Salesforce, given the latter's devotion to building software to live at the heart of sales divisions within large organizations.

It also shows how Salesforce, once a young scrappy company, has now grown sufficiently old to need to buy in code and knowhow from outside its own walls. The RelateIQ acquisition is reminiscent of Salesforce's buy of Heroku in 2010, and given that Heroku's platform-as-a-service technology has been slowly integrated into Salesforce's larger "Salesforce1" software suite, we can expect the same of RelateIQ.

"The acquisition is anticipated to close in the Company’s third fiscal quarter ending October 31, 2014," Salesforce wrote in its SEC filing. RelateIQ had previously raised $69m in venture capital funding, according to Crunchbase, and was founded in 2011. ®


Other stories you might like

  • Venezuelan cardiologist charged with designing and selling ransomware
    If his surgery was as bad as his opsec, this chap has caused a lot of trouble

    The US Attorney’s Office has charged a 55-year-old cardiologist with creating and selling ransomware and profiting from revenue-share agreements with criminals who deployed his product.

    A complaint [PDF] filed on May 16th in the US District Court, Eastern District of New York, alleges that Moises Luis Zagala Gonzalez – aka “Nosophoros,” “Aesculapius” and “Nebuchadnezzar” – created a ransomware builder known as “Thanos”, and ransomware named “Jigsaw v. 2”.

    The self-taught coder and qualified cardiologist advertised the ransomware in dark corners of the web, then licensed it ransomware to crooks for either $500 or $800 a month. He also ran an affiliate network that offered the chance to run Thanos to build custom ransomware, in return for a share of profits.

    Continue reading
  • China reveals its top five sources of online fraud
    'Brushing' tops the list, as quantity of forbidden content continue to rise

    China’s Ministry of Public Security has revealed the five most prevalent types of fraud perpetrated online or by phone.

    The e-commerce scam known as “brushing” topped the list and accounted for around a third of all internet fraud activity in China. Brushing sees victims lured into making payment for goods that may not be delivered, or are only delivered after buyers are asked to perform several other online tasks that may include downloading dodgy apps and/or establishing e-commerce profiles. Victims can find themselves being asked to pay more than the original price for goods, or denied promised rebates.

    Brushing has also seen e-commerce providers send victims small items they never ordered, using profiles victims did not create or control. Dodgy vendors use that tactic to then write themselves glowing product reviews that increase their visibility on marketplace platforms.

    Continue reading
  • Oracle really does owe HPE $3b after Supreme Court snub
    Appeal petition as doomed as the Itanic chips at the heart of decade-long drama

    The US Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear Oracle's appeal to overturn a ruling ordering the IT giant to pay $3 billion in damages for violating a decades-old contract agreement.

    In June 2011, back when HPE had not yet split from HP, the biz sued Oracle for refusing to add Itanium support to its database software. HP alleged Big Red had violated a contract agreement by not doing so, though Oracle claimed it explicitly refused requests to support Intel's Itanium processors at the time.

    A lengthy legal battle ensued. Oracle was ordered to cough up $3 billion in damages in a jury trial, and appealed the decision all the way to the highest judges in America. Now, the Supreme Court has declined its petition.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022