Salesforce.com, the first company to introduce round the clock software delivery over the cloud, is a leading provider of cloud-based enterprise software-as-a-service (SaaS). Founded in 1999, the San Francisco based company became an industry pioneer by bringing cloud, social and mobile to Customer Relationship Management (CRM). Salesforce is also the name of their flagship product which is a highly customizable CRM software with a multi-tenant environment.
With its cutting-edge technology solutions and products, Salesforce has won many accolades and built a strong patent portfolio. Salesforce was recognized as the “Innovator of the Decade” by Forbes in 2016. Along with its suite of innovative products, a series of acquisitions have added to the company’s technology portfolio and patent assets. Salesforce recently announced that it will be acquiring Tableau Software, the popular data visualization and analytics company for $15.7 billion in an all-stock deal, its biggest acquisition to date.
We provided an analysis of the technology trends and patent assets for Salesforce a few months back. This week we update our analysis of Salesforce’s patent portfolio and provide a glimpse into the patent assets held by Tableau.
Acquisitions have played a vital role in Salesforce’s growth strategy. The company has acquired close to 50 companies, with 2016 being the year with the maximum number of acquisitions.
Salesforce acquired around 12 companies in 2016 that fuelled its Artificial Intelligence (AI) platform, Einstein. Its acquisition of Demandware led to the development of Einstein’s commerce cloud, powering its predictive email and product recommendation features.
In the same year, Salesforce acquired Krux, a company that enables marketers, publishers and agencies to deliver smarter content and marketing experiences. Krux was incorporated into the Marketing Cloud and now forms Salesforce Data Management Platform (DMP). Another major acquisition of 2016 was Quip, a content collaboration platform that was embedded directly into Salesforce’s sales and customer service clouds. Quip is included as a tab in the Sales or Service Cloud interface where employees can collaborate on documents and manage information using a single platform.
Another significant acquisitions in 2016 was BeyondCore, a data analytics start-up with expertise in AI (artificial intelligence) and deep learning. BeyondCore’s technology provided the Einstein Analytics Cloud with Automated Analytics & Storytelling, Smart Data Discovery and Smart Data Prep features. Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff said that due to the tremendous shift in the software space, the demand for smarter and predictive analytics software is on the rise. The company invested in acquiring other machine learning and predictive analytics players such as Prediction IO, Tempo IO, MinHash and RelateIQ.
Salesforce purchased MuleSoft, an application and data integration company for $6.5 billion in 2018. Mulesoft provided integration software for connecting applications, data and devices. The company’s integration platform, Anypoint, enabled users to link their business applications, corporate IT infrastructure and databases into a unified system. Salesforce turned Anypoint platform into its Integration Cloud.
In 2018, another key acquisition by Salesforce was of the B2B e-commerce platform company, CloudCraze. The platform enabled businesses to deploy B2B or B2C storefronts and offered a configurable user interface with pricing, promotion and content management functionality, along with inventory, shipping and tax solutions integration. These attributes were added to Commerce Cloud, Salesforce’s cloud-based e-commerce platform that was built from the Demandware acquisition in 2016.
Salesforce acquired Attic Labs, creator of the first open-sourced decentralized database Noms, in 2018. Analysts commented that the acquisition was to provide Quip with enhanced back-end capabilities, enabling the tool to accumulate more data.
Earlier this year, Salesforce acquired MayAnything, a company that provided a suite of location intelligence apps and platform services to drive productivity and planning across multiple business needs. On the company blog, Salesforce commented, “The addition of MapAnything to Salesforce will help the world’s leading brands accurately plan: how many people they need, where to put them, how to make them as productive as possible, how to track what’s being done in real time and what they can learn to improve going forward.”
To top all of the above, Salesforce recently announced its acquisition of Tableau Software at an enterprise value of over US $15 billion. “Tableau helps people see and understand data, and Salesforce helps people engage and understand customers. It’s truly the best of both worlds for our customers – bringing together two critical platforms that every customer needs to understand their world,” said Marc Benioff, Salesforce’s chairman and co-CEO, in a statement.
This deal would enable Salesforce to include data visualization tools in its product portfolio with its core customer relationship management software.
Experts predict that this may make Salesforce a direct competitor to technology giants such as Microsoft and Google.
Figure 1 shows a significant upward trend after 2012 in the overall number of published patents for Salesforce. The patenting activity peaks in 2018 with 615 publications.
Figure 2 is a Topic Map of the top technologies (based on key concepts) covered by Salesforce’s portfolio. In the figure, the size of a bubble corresponds to the total number of patent applications for a technology category. The bubble proximity corresponds to the similarity or “relatedness” of the individual technology categories.
The technologies related to database, telecommunications, user interface and application server are major contributors to the company’s technology portfolio.
Salesforce’s acquisitions, though not growing its patent portfolio significantly, have allowed it to incorporate powerful features into its platform and offer a greatly enhanced suite of products. It would be interesting to see what other acquisitions Salesforce has planned for 2019 and how these acquisitions change the competitive scenario in the SaaS space.
The dilemma of where, when, and how much to invest in the innovation space is a critical factor...Know More
M&A is a strategic process, aimed at a mutually supportive and complementary association, resulting in a synergized end...Know More
Innovation reaches a dead-end if it cannot be monetized when the innovator fails to trace and reach out...Know More
Management of IP assets is costly and labor-intensive. Relecura offers classifier tools for categorizing and organizing data automatically...Know More
Relecura’s forte is its flexibility and adaptability to address specific problems and close-fitting solutions. The basic problem is that innovators are often not able to identify the industrial and commercial significance of their innovation as due diligence takes long days of analyses, necessitating a deviation from their regular and familiar activities. And it is a tedious iteration process. The latest custom AI capabilities help you assess the commercial value of innovation and technical due diligence can be automated to yield meaningful and immediate results. The repetitive tasks could be automated, and your time and energy could be devoted to strategic missions.
Management of large Innovation data is costly and labor intensive. Relecura offers AI-powered classification tools for categorizing and organizing data automatically and instantly. Automated Categorization against suitably chosen training documents keeps your innovation portfolio updated and lucidly classified, amenable to instant analyses.
Relecura offers fully automated custom AI solutions to track and explore developments in different technology areas. You can stay updated on the latest developments in different companies and technologies of your interest, which facilitates intelligent decision-making.
Competitive intelligence is a prerequisite for strategic decision making. Relecura provides tools to track the innovation and publication dynamics of your competitors, based on which you can prioritize your innovation initiatives and thus hone up your competitive edge.
Relecura uses white space analysis within its product platform known as the TechTracker, an AI-powered tool that provides insights on various technological trends and offers a peep into your competitor’s patent arsenal. Additionally, it helps you keep track of emerging organizations and technologies to help you manage your budgets and investments, optimally.
“Relecura helps us remain innovative by allowing us to see where the competition is playing through the landscaping tools. It lets us see where there are new opportunities and helps us focus in on those areas in an intelligent way.”
“Relecura helps us ride the crest of innovation wave keeping a competitive edge.” It helps us identify the white spaces and where the opportunities are.”
‘Our policy decisions regarding the focus areas of research and investment are being taken based on the insights offered by the custom AI tool, TechTracker, which offers a clear picture about the emerging technologies, companies, and the white spaces on the technology landscape of the key players. This helps us optimize resource utilization and maximize returns,’
‘The Classifier tool, introduced by Relecura, is indeed useful in managing and updating large datasets. After having subscribed to that AI-powered tool, in-house big data management and analyses have become easier and hassle-free.”
“Relecura platform is fueled by the latest technologies, and the tools that the platform hosts make our in-house innovation management smooth and accurate, in addition to being synchronized with the global technology frontline.”
Make faster, better technology decisions with Relecura
Our professional services offer training and support to minimise time-to-value on the Relecura platform and make more timely, confident IP decisions