Salesforce Acquisition of Mulesoft
This has been a significant week for the technology world, with Salesforce announcing their intent to purchase Mulesoft, whose platform allows developers to use APIs to integrate applications together as a network. The major significance lies not in the company being acquired, but that a major cloud application vendor is acknowledging the importance of integration with a $6.5B purchase: the largest in its history.
The Importance of Integration
Long before I started Perspectium in 2013, the enterprise race to SaaS was begun by none other than Salesforce.com. The immense value of the ubiquitous and simple cloud based app soon fueled its rapid adoption and over time, many cloud app vendors followed. Now, many years and petabytes of customer data later, the reality sinks in: “no platform is an island” and “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts”. For any cloud platform to flourish, it must be connected to something bigger than itself – the rest of the company. It must be connected interactively, contextually, and with meaning to time and process, like a cross-app, cross-department/people workflow. The “system of record” in reality should be interconnected “systems of record”.
Consider an example from our IT service management roots. Incident management sounds entirely related to IT, and that’s how ITSM vendors have built their applications. However, when a customer reports a product issue to their account executive who forwards the incident to the IT helpdesk, who then determines that DevOps needs to take action – we have demonstrated a workflow that spans across CRM to ITSM and subsequently DevOps.
That is one of many examples that illustrates why the integration market exists. A business does not think about systems of record or even applications: they think about the processes that help them achieve business goals, and care about the value in the data being managed by those systems. Data mobility between systems and automation of workflows across systems is what enables true collaboration between business functions. This is the primary value offered by integration solutions, and likely a big driver behind why Salesforce are now choosing to add an integration solution to their portfolio.
From my perspective, this creates a very positive outlook for Perspectium. The validation of the integration market puts a spotlight on the value that comes from integrating Salesforce and other applications in shared processes, rather than attempting to centralize all data into Salesforce. We already have customers using our integration solutions to:
- Unify their incident management process across Salesforce and service desk systems
- Improve sales operations processes by linking Salesforce with configure/price/quote applications
- Highlight areas for growth or efficiency through big data analyses, with real-time integration between Salesforce and corporate data warehouses
- Enable service providers to offer rapid on-boarding and collaboration when providing 1st line support services for their customers
We congratulate Salesforce on their acquisition, and wish them luck as they embrace the openness of working with other systems of record within their customer base.
Founder and CEO, Perspectium