I’m going to need help with this. Mulesoft, a small tech company with less than $300 million in revenues is being purchased for $6.5 billion by Salesforce.com. Salesforce offered $44.89 per share, a 36 percent premium over the market price. Others are already saying that the transaction price represents more the value than the actual price. I don’t know, I am not that smart.
What I do know is the Mulesoft is an integration platform that brings together data from other clouds and even legacy apps. That’s really important as companies all over the landscape race to build what I’m calling the information utility. For that to happen you can’t have data sitting outside of the utility because, presumably, it’s all important, and it is.
In fact we don’t have a clear idea of what the information utility will look like or do yet. Yes, we can see the broad shapes and yes, enabling apps everywhere to access and share data seems like a no brainer. That’s what a utility like this should do.
But now we have to take things a step further. In light of the blowback from the social network shenanigans associated with the 2016 election we’re beginning to see that Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg are doing a revival of “Home Alone”. Adults are not in the room and all heck is breaking loose in social media.
The social networks you see today are dinosaurs, kiss them good bye. It takes more effort to pull a plumbing permit to work on your new kitchen than it takes to get permission to mess with 50 million Facebook profiles. That’s wrong and unsustainable.
I can see a day in the near future when we’ll need Mulesoft to integrate social networks with encryption and storage systems that protect customer identity data. The systems that encrypt and secure identity aren’t around yet but might be coming to market in a year or two.
We’ll need those systems as governments in the EU and US ponder ways to enhance GDPR and lock down personal data in an effort to prevent future cyber war.
Here are some links to articles that flesh out my meaning:
So, grudgingly, because $6.5 is a lot of money, I say the Mulesoft acquisition makes sense in a roundabout way. It speaks to a vision of the future at Salesforce that I can only speculate about as an outside analyst covering them. That said, I’ve been right about stuff like this before.
(Cross-posted @ Beagle Research Group)