I am a big fan of Marc Benioff, I admire him for many reasons but two stand out the most; he is an intelligent and generous person. His 1-1-1 integrated corporate philanthropy model was pioneering just like the SAAS model he started over a decade ago.
There is big news in Benioff quarters today, Salesforce has just acquired Radian6 for $326 Million in cash and stock ($276 million in cash and $50 million in stock). Radian6 is one of the leading social media monitoring firms in the world offering social media monitoring services to more than half of the FORTUNE 100 companies.
“With Radian6, Salesforce.com is gaining the technology and market leader in social-media monitoring,” said Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce.com, in a statement. “We see this as a huge growth opportunity. Not only will it accelerate our growth, it will extend the value of all our offerings.”
With integration of Radian6 SalesForce.com will be able to combine analysis of public network conversations with its own secure corporate social network, Chatter, as well as other “cloud” sales management products. Of course this is a huge step for SalesForce.com, the deal acknowledges the fact that social media is the future of internet marketing. Knowing Benioff, he is never wrong when it comes to predicting future technology trends – you don’t have to look too far to realize that, just look at how the industry ridiculed him when he started SalesForce.com and how he went on to prove them wrong by crashing Seibel corporation.
The time of the this acquisition and Warren Buffets comment on social netowkring sites is rather interesting. Just yesterday, Buffet, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., said “it’s extremely difficult to value social networking companies. Some will be winners, which will make up for the rest.”