According to reports, mark Benioff, co-founder and CEO of salesforce, a cloud software company, has been hoping to replace e-mail with new forms of collaborative software, but his attempts to build this future have mostly failed. But now it looks like Benioff may be able to realize his wish, which he hid for more than a decade, through a potential acquisition of slack technologies. < / P > < p > the acquisition of slack by salesforce may be the most radical decision Benioff has made so far, in order to improve the position of salesforce in the field of enterprise office software. The deal is also a big threat to Microsoft, a common rival of slack and salesforce. However, due to regulatory barriers, Microsoft is almost impossible to become a competitor to acquire slack. What’s more, although the purchase price is likely to exceed $23 billion, the deal is finally promising to help Benioff realize the dream that began in 2009. < p > < p > that year, salesforce launched a product called chatter. That year, salesforce’s marketing team put forward the grand vision of “social enterprise”, in which chatter was an important pillar. In 2009, Benioff began to promote a concept that was still new at that time: as people interact on Facebook, twitter and other platforms, employees within the company can more and more collaborate and share ideas in the same way. < p > < p > slack CEO Stuart Butterfield (left) and salesforce CEO Mark Benioff (right) < / P > < p > according to Anshu Sharma, former vice president of salesforce and CEO of skyflow, a data privacy startup, there was a social enterprise startup called yammer that started to attract attention. Inspired by yammer, salesforce started to do the same. (Microsoft acquired yammer in 2012.) In 2008, yammer debuted at techcrunch 50. Benioff happened to be a judge at that meeting. After seeing yammer’s introduction, Benioff gradually realized the potential of social enterprises. Benioff then asked most of the company’s engineering team to put aside their work and concentrate on developing chatter, and envisioned using chatter instead of inefficient email communication within the company. < / P > < p > however, although chatter did receive extensive attention at the beginning and attracted some users, chatter has never been able to maintain its momentum beyond salesforce and close business partners. One reason, Sharma said, was that salesforce bundled chatter with the company’s flagship customer management software. As a result, the entire product portfolio is of little use to teams outside the corporate sales department, such as the engineering team. Sharma also said that while the desktop version of chatter attracted a small number of users, the mobile version of chatter did not perform well. By 2014, executives at salesforce almost no longer mentioned chatter in company meetings and outside events, Sharma said. A salesforce spokesman did not respond to a request for comment. < / P > < p > at the same time, slack also began to enter the field of collaborative software. But the products of slack are very different from the collaborative software developed by yammer and salesforce. While these companies have similar intentions to bring social networking capabilities to large enterprises, abandoning the traditional E-mail used within groups and companies, slack’s products are designed to allow individuals and teams within the company to have instant conversations. After chatter left the stage, Benioff began to look for other ways to turn salesforce into a social networking powerhouse. In 2016, he made a takeover bid for LinkedIn, an enterprise network service, but lost to Microsoft in June of the same year. Microsoft, at a high price of $26.2 billion, took LinkedIn. A few months later, Benioff began to explore the possibility of buying twitter. < / P > < p > a person familiar with the matter said that although chatter is still used internally in salesforce, the use of slack is also increasing within salesforce. Aware of the growing popularity of slack within the company, salesforce recently reached an agreement to provide slack software to its nearly 50000 employees, the person said. A former executive at salesforce said that salesforce had evaluated companies for acquisitions and had signed similar agreements with them. A slack spokesman did not respond to requests for comment. Daniel Newman, founder and chief analyst of future research, said that for salesforce, the acquisition of slack is consistent with the company’s strategy of driving growth through acquisitions in the past. “Slack is an app that involves consumers, educational institutions and big companies.” Newman said. The acquisition of slack can give salesforce an opportunity to attract new customers while boosting the revenue of existing customers. < / P > < p > even before salesforce agreed to offer slack to its employees, the relationship between the two companies had begun to heat up. In 2016, slack and salesforce established a partnership to integrate their respective products, making it easier for common users of the two companies to perform data sharing and other tasks. Last October, the two companies further deepened their cooperation by launching an application called “salesforce for slack”, which allows users to access records on salesforce from within slack. < / P > < p > however, despite the success of slack, many large companies began to use the company’s instant messaging products, but the rise of remote work has promoted the growth of zoom and Microsoft’s related businesses, but has not brought much help to slack. Investors were disappointed with the company’s revenue. From the beginning of March to the middle of November, slack’s share price rose by only 10%. Slack’s share price soared about 38% after the news of salesforce’s plan to buy slack came out. Over the same period, zoom’s share price rose nearly 280%. < p > < p > Microsoft has become a headache competitor for slack by binding Microsoft office application components together and launching teams products. Recently, slack filed a lawsuit with the EU antitrust agency, accusing Microsoft of making improper use of its dominant position in the field of enterprise applications and strangling its competitors. There is no doubt that Benioff will take advantage of this opportunity to stand on the same front with slack against Microsoft. < / P > < p > due to antitrust litigation, Microsoft is unlikely to buy slack again. But there are still other companies that may be interested in buying slack, such as Amazon. Earlier this year, slack and Amazon reached a partnership. According to the cooperation agreement, slack can integrate Amazon’s video conferencing technology. However, Amazon may also face strict regulatory scrutiny over the acquisition of slack. < / P > < p > the acquisition under negotiation between salesforce and slack, an office collaboration application, will become the largest acquisition in the software field. However, the deal between the two companies has not been formally finalized. < p > < p > at the beginning of the year, slack missed out on the great opportunity brought by remote work. Since its listing, slack’s share price has fallen by nearly a quarter in 17 months. The stock price of slack didn’t improve until the news of the acquisition negotiation came out. < / P > < p > after due diligence on slack’s IPO, salesforce and its chief executive, Benioff, initially gave up the acquisition of slack, according to an insider. At the time, slack’s share price seemed to be overpriced. < / P > < p > at the same time, after the outbreak of the first wave of epidemic, the market demand for cloud software surged, and the share price of salesforce soared to a new height. The company’s share price has soared by as much as 57% since June last year. After the news of the acquisition, the share price of salesforce fell only slightly by about 5%. < / P > < p > today, Benioff is in a dominant position to make an acquisition. But is it worth it for him to buy slack? < / P > < p > take asana as an example. Asana is a task management software company whose chief executive is Dustin Moskowitz, co-founder of Facebook. Asana successfully bypassed the traditional IPO process and went public directly last month with a market value of more than $4 billion. < / P > < p > although Wall Street may worry that the acquisition of slack will drag down sales force’s revenue, Benioff and Stewart have a common enemy: Microsoft. < / P > < p > in recent months, the growth of Microsoft has put pressure on the stock price of slack. Before the pop rally on November 25th, slack’s share price was down 14% from its June peak, while the S & P 500 index was up 17% in the same period. According to the new Xingyun index of NASDAQ based on 54 cloud software stocks collected by American Bertrand venture capital company, the ratio of enterprise value to expected revenue of slack is 20.5, which is lower than the other 14 companies in the index and less than 5% higher than the average level. < / P > < p > and thanks to the free integration of almost the most popular office software suite in history, teams are growing rapidly. Microsoft’s teams product has recently reached a new high of 115 million users a day, an astonishing increase from 20 million a year ago. The wide market share of office suite also prompted slack to file an anti-monopoly lawsuit against the EU to a certain extent. < p > < p > salesforce is concerned that Microsoft’s teams products will continue to attract users to use other Microsoft products, including customer relationship management software. The software directly threatens the core business of salesforce. < / P > < p > in addition, salesforce has previously expanded its services through mergers and acquisitions. For example, in 2016, salesforce acquired quip, a cloud collaboration company; last year, it acquired tableau, a graphics software provider. “If it is acquired by salesforce, slack will have a greater opportunity to compete with Microsoft’s team for enterprise level deployment,” Alex Zukin, an analyst at Royal Bank of Canada, wrote in a report on Wednesday Global Tech