What Salesforce acquisition of Mulesoft means for your enterprise

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Your Data Integration and Analytics practice

You may have seen this week that Salesforce acquired Mulesoft for $6.5 Billion. I always like to think about “what does this mean to me?”.
To answer that we arranged a conference call with Richard Ganley, SVP of Digital Transformation with Informatica this morning. He has been with Informatica for more than 13 years and seen this industry evolve and shift each and every year.

First, here is a good article summing up Salesforce’s perspective:
Salesforce announced Tuesday it has signed an agreement to buy data integration vendor MuleSoft for $6.5 billion as the backbone for a new Integration Cloud.
With more than 1,200 client companies in 60 countries, San Francisco-based MuleSoft offers a platform for building application networks that connect apps, data and devices.

In a statement, the CRM-centered giant said the acquisition will allow it to “unlock data across legacy systems, cloud apps and devices to make smarter, faster decisions and create highly differentiated, connected customer experiences.”

The new Integration Cloud will offer an Integration-Platform-as-a-Service that is intended to let enterprises access any data anywhere.
Doesn’t Salesforce already have the capability to integrate data from anywhere?

Kelsey Mason, a senior analyst with research firm Technology Business Research, wrote in a blog post today:
While the front-office aspect of digital transformation is important, true enterprise-wide digital transformation cannot occur without access to back-office systems that Salesforce lacks within its own portfolio and the insights that come from those systems and solutions. Though Salesforce could acquire its way into the ERP market, legacy giants SAP and Oracle, as well as custom-built ERP systems, will continue to occupy the majority of large enterprises’ back office IT environments.

She added that MuleSoft’sAnyPoint Platform, which can be deployed on-premises or in the cloud, helps enterprises create and manage APIs (application programming interfaces) that can connect with legacy and cloud systems, as well as with the wide diversity of Internet of Things devices.
Analyst David Raab, founder of the Customer Data Platform (CDP) Institute, told me that it wasn’t clear yet what synergy Salesforce-plus-MuleSoft offers that wasn’t available before to a client that was a customer of both companies. But the ability to connect to the growing number of diverse Internet of Things devices, and to share data across vendors and enterprises, is now inside Salesforce.

Now let me paste in the latest Gartner Magic Quadrant on Integration Platform as a Service:

You can see that Informatica is substantially above Mulesoft on Execution and also in front of Mulesoft on Completeness of Vision.

But wait there’s more …
Informatica also has the Gartner very top offering in Data Integration, Master Data Management, Data Protection, and Data Quality Platforms. Mulesoft does not.

Back to our call this morning, Richard Ganley has seen this before – with IBM’s acquisition of Cast Iron and with Oracle and SAP acquisitions. He believes that the breadth of Informatica’s offerings combined with the higher quality offering they have in iPaaS and the fact that Informatica basically invented Enterprise Data Management 20 years ago … that this acquisition may be a great thing. As Mulesoft (with their uniquely wonderful culture) get absorbed into Salesforce there will be “Change Capital Spent” at Mulesoft and acquisitions like this always come with risk of key people eventually leaving.

This acquisition could be one of the best things to happen to CMI just as we are starting to launch our Data Integration and Analytics practice.

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