back to article Salesforce: There's no more Slack left to cut

The philosophy behind tech industry leaders during the pandemic appeared to be, "never waste a good crisis." While the likes of ServiceNow scrambled to show the advantages of producing a new workflow on the fly, Salesforce reached for its checkbook. But 18 months after the CRM giant paid $27.7 billion for chat platform Slack, …

  1. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

    Sounds like Salesforce have too much money to play with and are just wasting it on anything that looks "cool" in the vain hope something might come of their corporate splurging.

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Or...?

      Sounds like Microsoft have too much money to play with and are just wasting it on anything that looks "cool" in the vain hope something might come of their corporate splurging.

      M'Lord, I give you the $10B investment by MS into ChatGPT

      Megacorps buying everything just to stop other megacorps from buying it.

      Personally, I hope that all of them crash and burn.

  2. katrinab Silver badge

    Tableu

    Re Tablaeu, people are likely to think about something like that when their Excel spreadsheet becomes too unmaintainable. Microsoft offers PowerBI for that purpose, so surely most people would reach for that?

    1. Zippy´s Sausage Factory

      Re: Tableu

      PowerBI is a bit more complex to set up than Tableau, I think. If you're an end user and there isn't a PowerBI guru already on staff you're probably going to want to go for Tableau. (I have a feeling Tableau is a good deal cheaper as well.)

      That said, both will cheerfully feed you pretty pictures of colourful nonsense if you don't know what you're doing, so I guess they're pretty much even.

      1. bigtimehustler

        Re: Tableu

        If you think Tableau is simple you want to try managing a server installation, user account integration and embedding views. It's a total nightmare and anything but simple.

        1. Zippy´s Sausage Factory

          Re: Tableu

          Oh good point; I was only thinking of the average accounting user using the desktop version. The server side version has always felt like a do-not-touch-with-bargepole type item to me.

      2. spireite Silver badge

        Re: Tableu

        My experience tells me that PBi is cheaper, and simpler than Tableau - but I guess it is different for everyone.

        That said, I find Tableau as better 'faster' user experience, based on my exposure to limited implementations.

        1. Zippy´s Sausage Factory

          Re: Tableu

          I have the impression Tableau is better for end users, PowerBI better for developers. This is simply borne out by the people I've seen using it, you understand, I've tried very hard to ensure I don't become a resident expert in either if I can possibly avoid it. (I used to do IT support for accountants years ago, the old "why is my graph out by five cents" question is something I intend to cheerfully plead ignorance on for as long as I can)

    2. Binraider Silver badge

      Re: Tableu

      They're reasonable graphing engines, but they do little to resolve the underlying problems with your data sources.

      Says me who has to live with 100MB spreadsheets as a matter of routine because core systems are not suitable for the demand now placed on them. Exacerbated by staff shortages and re-organisations that have lead to data quality going to the dogs.

  3. CloudMonster

    Higher interest rates i.e. money no longer cheap + inflation = buying up businesses and their customer bases instead of investing to integrate apps into a platform to penetrate down below the "CRM" layer, was always going to run out of steam eventually.

  4. Pascal Monett Silver badge
    Flame

    "I take responsibility for that"

    And the consequence will be ?

    Are you going to step down ? I doubt it. Are you going to slash your bonuses ? Don't be silly.

    Oh, I know : you'll skip your first coffee of the morning.

    Yeah, that'll about do it.

    1. aki009

      Re: "I take responsibility for that"

      When I hear a public company executive "take responsibility", I take it to mean the same level of responsibility that a teen takes when loudly emitting a cloud of methane at the dinner table and smirkly stating "Excuse me".

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "I take responsibility for that"

      Maybe that’s why BT Gav - the fob-haired cunt who was over-promoted again to Chief Strategy Officer - is being tossed.

      BT Sport

      Slack

      Tableau

      … sounds like he is ready for Government now so he can waste money as another grade up.

  5. Kev18999

    As usual, CEOs waste money on acquisitions to enrich themselves through stock deals and bonuses then cut the workforce afterwards. That's the kind of stuff they do and blame it on slowing economy. They got billions which could've paid for the salaries for decades.

  6. Ace2 Silver badge

    Slack is getting super pushy about getting you to upgrade from the free tier. Groups I’m in are moving to Discord in response. $26B? Wow.

  7. thejoelr

    salesforce ruining slack.

    I watched one of their presentations on new slack features coming soon. They looked useful. The problem is they want you to use salesforce instead of adding new things to slack. If they are only going to use slack to upsell and shill their other stuff they are going to lose customers. They are just going to kill a growing product.

  8. BigAndos

    I wonder how often these acquisitions actually pay back? A lot of them seem to be done mainly so it looks good on the CEO's CV (and of course any personal profits they can squeeze out of the transaction)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The big ones? Never.

      The successes are the very small takeovers, where the buyer gets some specific technology or new related market segment.

      Like when Philips went round buying everything that owned LEDs patents.

      Oh. That didn't work either, they've all been spun off again.

  9. Richard 12 Silver badge
    Holmes

    Slack is too expensive, that's the problem.

    The very cheapest paid-for tier is a ludicrous jump because it's per-user for the entire instance.

    A small volunteer organisation will tend to have 100 or more users - so £7000 a year?

    Nope, they'll stick on the free tier, it's completely unjustifiable.

    Discord lets anyone into the instance for free, and you only pay to upgrade specific users. That is much easier to justify, as the majority of users don't need all the features anyway.

  10. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    10%

    Nothing says carefully thought out deeply researched right-sizing than a nice round number

  11. captain veg Silver badge

    eBay buys Skype

    History repeats.

    -A.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Slack vs Teams - no contest if you already run Office365

    Back at the point before Covid was a thing we, as a small organisation, used Slack on the free tier. It had enough features for what we needed and (then) video calls or meetings weren't necessary as everyone generally sat in the same building. That was obviously all upended when covid landed and more or less overnight we switched to operating as a remote organisation.

    With a stop gap of Zoom for video calls and meetings along with Slack for chat, we soon needed a better solution - either upgrading to a paid tier at $7-10/user (if memory serves) or testing out Teams.. Free for a year with everything we needed or something like $1/user top-up over our Office365 subscription. Office365 wasn't going anywhere so we tested Teams and switched overnight to using it as it integrated with all the existing Office stuff, used the same accounts & had everything we needed under one roof for minimal cost.

    Slack was, and from the looks of things, simply too expensive for what it offered, which was precious little compared to other solutions.

    Really not surprised to hear that it's become a difficult product to sell.

  13. pwjone1

    Slack is good, but...

    I like Slack, it is in many ways the market maker in the group or team chat realtime communication segment, but I have to say that Discord, with the exception of threads and thread viewing (very useful if the chat goes into multiple topics), has by and large caught and in some cases passed Slack in terms of basic functionality. Discord is just generally faster, the reply function is better, etc. It lags a bit on formatting capabilities, but has most of the basics. Microsoft Teams remains a kind of distant 3rd, I think most people use it because they get it with Microsoft365/Office365, so bundling, and it is getting better also, but if you had to pay for it, maybe not. Slack remains ahead on Bots and APIs. So I think Salesforce can cut Slack's funding and staffing, but it risks killing it, or at least making it lose further market share, so if that is the direction, it should probably look around and see if it would not make more sense to just sell or spin it off. There are some obvious potential buyers, Google for example has some group chat capability, but it is pretty awful, so they might jump at the chance to pick up Slack. Or perhaps Meta, again an instance where their group chat is pretty crap compared to Slack, but I am not sure Meta understands the market segment, though they must comprehend that a lot of people have pulled content out of Facebook to Slack or similar, striving for more responsiveness, privacy, and no ads. But I think for Salesforce, it is in terms of Slack, invest or die. This is not something layoffs and off-shoring can fix.

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