Salesforce, Slack, and the future of work

Salesforce officially announced the intent to acquire Slack today. To state the obvious: this is a major moment for the enterprise software landscape, and importantly the best-of-breed software ecosystem. As the first best-of-breed software player to challenge Oracle and SAP, Salesforce was the original champion of cloud and SaaS, primarily focusing on Sales, then Marketing, Customer Success, and recently Data Analytics and Software Integration.

With Slack, Salesforce is blowing past those traditional departmental boundaries and entering the communication and collaboration space in the biggest way possible, enabling them to go enterprise-wide and have a new front-end for the future of work. This isn't just about the future of "collaboration." This is a new "operating system" for how knowledge workers will interact in the future, connecting the front office, back office, and customers all together in a single platform.

For Slack, they now have the backing of one of the world's largest software companies, which means they get a major distribution advantage bringing their platform to vastly more customers globally. This is almost invariably a great thing for them. Salesforce knows how to disrupt markets and in Slack, they know they're getting a great product, which is why unlike more legacy acquirers they'll surely let the Slack team continue to do what they do best -- keep moving fast, pioneer, and innovate.

Most importantly,this is massive validation of the modern, best-of-breed enterprise software stack. It creates even more choice in the ecosystem for the future of work. And given Slack's focus on being an open platform, there will be even more opportunity for developers to integrate into a common platform that tens of millions of users are already working from and interacting with everyday. It's hard to overstate how critical this development is for innovation in enterprise software and for IT buyers and users. We're on the verge of another massive wave of adoption and innovation that is going to be fundamentally enabled by the move to the cloud.

What's amazing is that even though the current wave of enterprise software to power the future of work has been going strong for 10+ years, we're still in the very earliest of stages in this market. The last decade has been about building the tools that power new ways to work from anywhere, collaborate with anyone, and automate workflows and business processes in the cloud. The next decade will be the era when organizations adopt these technologies en masse and transform their enterprises. While many of us in Silicon Valley and similar ecosystems have been using tools like Slack for years now (and even Microsoft Teams, more recently), 90%+ of the world's digital workers are still not leveraging these modern platforms for the majority of their work. While it's hard to imagine, we're still in the early innings of this market.

Ultimately, choice is what drives innovation in software. It drives technology providers to compete and innovate, and it enables enterprises to get the most value from their IT stack. At Box, we're incredibly excited to be building the singular cloud content management platform that connects connects with all the technologies our customers use. Whether enterprises are working from Slack, Teams, Webex, Zoom, Salesforce, Google Workspace, or others, our focus will always be to enable customers to secure, manage, and work with their content from anywhere.

Go cloud!