Why Salesforce bought Slack (and every other company it’s bought)

A shared ambition to build the most efficient workflow possible is behind Salesforce's $27.7bn acquisition of Slack.

Last week Salesforce announced that it was to buy workplace messaging app Slack for $27.7bn. It is one of the biggest tech mergers in recent years and by far the most significant in the company’s history.

Salesforce, of course, isn’t averse to acquisitions. Back in 2016, the company famously went on a record buying spree, with a total of as many as twelve. This, along with the introduction of Einstein, helped lay the groundwork for artificial intelligence (AI) to be embedded across the entire platform.

Einstein, Salesforce’s AI platform, Zone7 Co-Founder Tal Brown was a product leader in, delivered advanced AI capabilities into sales, service, marketing and more, empowering the company to deliver personalized and predictive customer experiences.

For instance, Salesforce began using machine learning to deliver article recommendations, response recommendations and next best actions to their customer service agents in real time as they interacted with customers.

The introduction of AI across each division of the business was ultimately part of a broader ambition though – To build the most efficient workflow possible. An ambition shared by their new $27.7bn colleague, Slack.

It also helps us to understand the mindset of Zone7’s founders, Tal Brown and Eyal Eliakim, who both worked for the world’s #1 CRM company until 2017.

“Injuries in professional sports cost billions annually, but in the era of big data it doesn’t have to be that way,” said Brown.

He continued, “Professional sports franchises have massive amounts of untapped health and performance data that, when unlocked by AI, can become one of a team’s most valuable assets. By better understanding every athlete’s breaking points and implementing personalized intervention plans to prevent injuries before they occur, teams no longer have to accept injuries as an inevitability.”

Just as introducing native AI products provided Salesforce with the ability to provide business insights to help steer teams toward action rather than analysis, Zone7 aimed to help athletes, and anyone engaged in physical activity, to reach their maximum potential while avoiding injuries through the use of AI.

As such, Brown and Eliakim developed pattern recognition based on an athlete’s past performance and medical history to determine what course of action is best for the player to ensure that they don’t get hurt.

And it works, too. Zone7 has reported a 70% reduction in incident rates amongst clients, which include professional sports teams, such as Rangers, Getafe CF, and several other clients competing in Champion’s League, NBA and MLB.

In turn, Zone7 has created a more efficient workflow for the athlete, coach, and team. Ironically, removing the slack.