Seeking Alpha, inc. (CRM)

  • Sep. 19, 2014, 11:23 AM
    • SAP (SAP -3.9%) investors have a case of sticker shock after the company agreed to pay $8.3B (to be financed through a credit facility) to buy cloud travel/expense management software leader Concur Technologies. The acquisition price is equal to 9.6x Concur's estimated FY15 (ends Sep. '15) sales.
    • On the other hand, enterprise cloud software names are rallying on hopes of fresh deal activity. CRM +1.5%. N +2.7%. NOW +2.6%. PAYC +5%. ULTI +2.2%. JIVE +1.8%. DWRE +1.8%. MKTO +1.7%.
    • SAP CEO Bill McDermott proclaims combining Concur's products with Ariba's cloud procurement/B2B marketplace offerings and Fieldglass' cloud labor-management software will help his company redefine "how businesses conduct commerce across goods and services, contingent workforces, travel and entertainment."
    • McDermott also praises Concur's corporate travel ecosystem, which includes Hertz, Delta, Expedia, Sabre, and many others, and sees an opportunity to create real-time travel collaboration tools running on SAP's Hana in-memory database. SAP notes only 30% of Concur customers are currently SAP clients, yielding plenty of cross-selling opportunities.
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  • Jul. 11, 2014, 10:25 AM
    • Salesforce (CRM) is buying RelateIQ, provider of an analytics-based cloud CRM software platform, for $350M in stock. (8-K)
    • RelateIQ has pitched itself as a data-driven alternative to Salesforce and other CRM platforms. Its apps analyze a user's inbox and calendar to find valuable contacts, merge relevant data, and keep track of customer interactions. The company recently raised $40M at a $245M valuation.
    • Salesforce, already the CRM market's largest vendor (16.1% 2013 share, per Gartner), is looking to stay ahead of both established software giants such as Oracle, SAP, and Microsoft (expanding their cloud offerings), and upstarts such as SugarCRM.
    • The RelateIQ deal is Salesforce's largest since last year's $2.5B purchase of cloud marketing automation software vendor ExactTarget.
  • Jul. 3, 2014, 12:12 PM
    • Marc Benioff, ahead of a keynote at a Munich Salesforce (CRM -0.4%) conference: "We have a dream of becoming a $1 billion software company right here [in Germany] ... We’re looking at making some local acquisitions to improve our position ... These could be core technologies as well as system integrators or next-gen cloud companies."
    • The remarks coincide with news of a partnership with Deutsche Telekom's T-Systems (IT services) unit, under which T-Systems will be Salesforce's main reseller in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. As one would expect, SAP has historically loomed large over the German enterprise software market.
    • Separately, Salesforce has announced a Mobile Reports & Dashboards product for its mobile-centric Salesforce1 CRM app development platform (previous). Among other things, Salesforce promises APIs giving developers "programmatic access to report data that can be integrated into any web or mobile apps," and states users will be able to "drill through dashboards to access and update underlying records and data."
    • Salesforce has also updated its SMB-focused cloud help desk app (complements the more powerful Service Cloud) to feature a better agent console and new APIs.'s pricing ranges for $3-$50/user/month; Service Cloud goes for $65-$300/user/month.
    • The moves follow a cloud healthcare app partnership with Philips that's part of an effort to offer industry-specific apps.
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  • Feb. 24, 2014, 12:23 PM
    • Two months after agreeing to buy cloud marketing automation software vendor Responsys for $1.5B, Oracle (ORCL +0.8%) has struck a deal to buy BlueKai, developer of a popular, cloud-based, data management platform (DMP) for online, offline, and mobile marketing data.
    • Business Insider reports the purchase price is around $400M. AdExchanger reports a $350M term sheet was signed a month ago, but adds the price tag may have gone up since.
    • Forbes states BlueKai, which competes against Adobe's (ADBE +1.1%) AudienceManager DMP, had 2013 revenue of $64M. The deal might pressure Salesforce (CRM +1%), which has been gobbling up cloud marketing software firms itself in an attempt to build an end-to-end platform, to acquire a BlueKai rival, given the company doesn't yet offer a DMP.
    • Constellation Research's Ray Wang thinks BlueKai's mobile DMP solution is the startup's "crown jewel," and fills a major hole in Oracle's product line. AdExchanger observes Oracle could struggle with conflicts of interest for BlueKai's data exchange business (separate from its DMP), whose neutral stance towards 3rd-party cloud marketing platforms has been a selling point.
    • Oracle says BlueKai will be integrated with both Responsys and Eloqua's cloud marketing offerings.
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  • Jan. 6, 2014, 6:03 PM
    • Sources tell the WSJ Microsoft (MSFT) has acquired Parature, developer of a cloud-based customer support software platform. No word on deal terms. (PR)
    • Parature's platform includes tools for interacting with customers via live chat, e-mail, social media, a self-service knowledgebase, and mobile apps, and complements Microsoft's SMB-focused Dynamics CRM software. Microsoft already has a partnership with Parature related to Dynamics.
    • Dynamics CRM has seen healthy growth in recent years, but also faces intensifying competition from Salesforce (CRM), SugarCRM, and other cloud software firms.
    • Salesforce has seen healthy uptake for its Service Cloud customer support platform. Oracle bought RightNow, another industry player, for $1.5B in 2011.
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  • Dec. 20, 2013, 9:33 AM
    • Oracle (ORCL -0.1%) is acquiring cloud marketing automation software firm Responsys (MKTG) for $1.5B, or $27/share, in cash. The price represents a 38% premium to Responsys' Thursday close. The deal is expected to close in 1H14.
    • Oracle has already made several online/social media marketing software acquisitions in recent years, the largest being its $871M purchase of Eloqua. Responsys' products, like Eloqua's, will be added to Oracle's Customer Experience Cloud, which offers a number of cloud-based sales/marketing software products..
    • Oracle is doubtlessly looking to better compete against Salesforce (CRM +0.5%), which just spent $2.5B to buy marketing automation software vendor ExactTarget. The deal fueled hopes Responsys or Marketo (MKTO) would be acquired as well. Marketo and Constant Contact (CTCT +4.2%) are trading higher in response to the deal.
    • Adobe (ADBE) is also moving aggressively in this space; it recently bought French marketing automation vendor Neolane for $600M. Oracle, Salesforce, and Adobe, along with SAP and IBM, are each trying to profit from an ongoing shift in ad spend towards digital channels (inc. social media), and a shift in IT spend towards CMOs.
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  • Oct. 24, 2013, 10:55 AM
    • A source close to Oracle (ORCL) tells BI the company paid "hundreds of millions" for cloud sales configure price quote (CPQ) software vendor BigMachines at a valuation of ~5x sales. With BigMachines reportedly set to produce 2013 sales of $100M (up from 2012's $58M), the price tag could be in the $400M-$500M range.
    • BI observes half of BigMachines' customers are also customers of Oracle CRM software archrival Salesforce (CRM +1.9%), and that the startup's client base include major enterprises such as GE and H-P. Oracle already offers an on-premise CPQ solution, but (as with other CRM markets) demand is shifting towards cloud-based offerings.
    • Salesforce invested in BigMachines last year, and more recently took a stake in rival cloud CPQ vendor Apttus. Much as it responded to Oracle-Eloqua by acquiring ExactTarget, Salesforce could turn its sights on buying Apttus or another BigMachines rival.
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  • Oct. 23, 2013, 12:09 PM
    • Oracle (ORCL -1.3%) has acquired BigMachines, a developer of cloud-based software that automates the creation of complex price quotes for sales teams. Terms are undisclosed. (PR)
    • BigMachines' software complements Oracle's existing cloud CRM software offerings, and represents an attempt to better compete against Salesforce (CRM -1.7%), whose mainstay Sales Cloud sales force automation platform has been rapidly taking share from Oracle (and SAP's) on-premise CRM apps.
    • The purchase comes shortly after Oracle bought cloud content marketing software vendor Compendium. The purchase was the latest in a string of cloud marketing-related acquisitions by Oracle, which is competing in this space with Salesforce's Marketing Cloud, as well as offerings from SAP, Adobe, and IBM.
    • Previous: Salesforce rises, Oracle falls in enterprise app survey
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  • Jun. 27, 2013, 4:50 PM
    Adobe (ADBE) responds to Salesforce's (CRM) deal to buy ExactTarget in a big way, agreeing to purchase French ExactTarget rival Neolane for $600M in cash. Neolane, whose acquisition comes a year after Adobe paid $400M to buy online ad buying platform Efficient Frontier, develops software that lets businesses integrate offline and offline data to created automated ad campaigns; the company claims 400 customers. On top of ExactTarget, Neolane competes with Marketo (MKTO), Responsys (MKTG), and Oracle-acquired Eloqua. The company will be added to Adobe's Marketing Cloud unit, which posted 18% revenue growth and 25% bookings growth last quarter.
  • Jun. 11, 2013, 9:39 AM
    Salesforce (CRM) has followed up on the ExactTarget deal by acquiring EdgeSpring, a startup that's fresh off releasing a business intelligence/analytics software platform that can handle both structured and unstructured data. The deal, which likely cost a lot less than the $2.5B paid for ExactTarget, could bolster Salesforce's unit, and makes sense in light of SAP and Oracle's efforts to merge analytics with CRM software.
  • Jun. 5, 2013, 6:14 PM
    "Educated guesses" put the price tag for SAP's purchase of hybris around $1.2B-$1.5B, says AllThingsD's Arik Hesseldahl. BMO believes the deal makes SAP a top-3 e-commerce software vendor, along with Oracle and IBM, and others see similarities between SAP's plans to create an end-to-end CRM software platform for analyzing retailer data and engaging with customers across channels, and Salesforce's (CRM) attempts to create an end-to-end cloud marketing platform with the help of ExactTarget. Discussing the deal, co-CEO Bill McDermott stated SAP wants to provide "everything a CEO needs to run a corporation in full intimacy with their consumer" in real-time.
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  • Jun. 4, 2013, 9:14 AM
    Responsys (MKTG) +10.5% and Marketo (MKTO) +5.7% following news Salesforce (CRM) is buying cloud marketing automation software rival ExactTarget for $2.5B (a 53% premium). Salesforce has long been expected to make a cloud marketing acquisition following Oracle's purchase of Eloqua, and the deal might pressure rivals (Microsoft? SAP?) to make a similar move. Salesforce promises to add ExactTarget's software to its Marketing Cloud platform, which includes social media marketing software from the Buddy Media and Radian6 acquisitions, as well as the app.
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  • Jun. 4, 2013, 7:42 AM (CRM) purchases email marketing firm ExactTarget (ET) for $33.75/share in cash, a total transaction value of about $2.5B. expects the purchase to reduce FY14 non-GAAP EPS by about $0.16. Assuming a late Q2 close, new EPS guidance for Q2 FY14 is $0.06-$0.07, and for FY14 of $0.31-$0.33 on revenue of $3.955B-$4B. ET +51.8% to $33.54 premarket, CRM +3.3%. CC at 8 ET. (PR)
  • May. 9, 2013, 6:39 PM
    Salesforce (CRM) has bought Clipboard, a startup that (as its name suggests) allows users to save/store a variety of Web content in a central location. A source tells AllThingsD the deal's price was in the $10M-$20M range. The standalone Clipboard service will be shut down; look for Salesforce to integrate the underlying tech into its Chatter enterprise social networking platform, which Marc Benioff recently declared would become the primary UI for all of Salesforce's software.
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  • Feb. 6, 2013, 11:15 AM (CRM) has acquired EntropySoft, a French developer of tools that enable software vendors and enterprises to integrate their apps with content management software (from EMC, Open Text, etc.) and cloud storage repositories. The purchase should bolster the integration capabilities of Salesforce's and Heroku app development platforms, and comes a week after Oppenheimer trumpeted's growing popularity as a data-integration solution. (also)
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  • Dec. 20, 2012, 6:33 PM
    Salesforce (CRM) might respond to Oracle-Eloqua by making a cloud marketing purchase of its own, thinks BMO's Karl Keirstead. He views the deal as a "modest net negative" for Salesforce, believing it will make it a little tougher to eat away at Oracle's (ORCL) traditional Siebel CRM software base. Startups Marketo and HubSpot are named as potential Salesforce targets - both compete with Eloqua, and would complement Salesforce's Marketing Cloud offerings. (previous)
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Company Description Inc provides enterprise cloud computing solutions, offering social and mobile cloud apps and platform services, as well as professional services to facilitate the adoption of its solutions.
Sector: Technology
Country: United States