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Quip is one of the leading office productivity apps in the market today, housed under the tag-line that “the content of your document becomes the communication” and used by giants like Facebook, Pinterest, Al Jazeera and Quora. Founded in 2012, it has raised over $40 million funds in collaboration with many investors (along with Salesforce Ventures and Marc Benioff).
In early August, Salesforce announced its acquisition of this app at the price of $750 million (including the cash incentives). In an enthusiastic note to the acquisition, Bret Taylor and Kevin Gibbs said: “We’re inspired by the possibilities ahead of us. As part of Salesforce, we will be able to expand our service more quickly and reach millions of people all over the world — which has been our mission since day one. And, we’ll be able to extend the Salesforce Customer Success Platform in powerful new ways with our next-generation productivity capabilities. The possibilities of mixing data, content and communication are amazing.”
The motivation to include Quip, a four-year old startup with over 40 people in its community can be found in Salesforce’s leap towards owning the CRM and collaboration domain. Here are the ways in which Quip-included Salesforce family will hugely impact the CRM and collaboration market:
The threat of being commoditized and worse, of eventually becoming irrelevant has loomed in the recent past of document creation, management and CMS vendors. Apps like Dropbox, Office 365, SharePoint, OpenText, Google Docs and Box have to find ways to cater to the customer and sales journey more rigorously. If they fail to do so, the risk of commoditization will become almost inevitable. The primary regions where these vendors can contribute (in the form of insights) include the internal and external content usage of prospects and customers. With Salesforce acquiring Quip, either the vendors must acknowledge the necessity for entering the front-end (sales and customer journeys) as essential or end up being components of low importance within the structure.
Previously, collaboration and CRM solutions have converged at different degrees. While it is undeniable that they have always been a significant way in which companies interact with prospects and customers, they have remained independent of one another for large part of their histories. This age of non-integration will soon end.
With Salesforce bringing Quip into its CRM landscape, it is declaring out loud the plan to completely own document workflows and collaboration of users. Why would Salesforce aim for such an integration?
When you observe customer journey with companies, it is evident that content is part of almost every step. Sales representatives employ many documents and collaterals to talk about value and to convert potentials into buyers. Account departments engage with the customers using different types of content. Customer support and service teams make use of documents to record and respond to requests. Once Salesforce has access to the content shelves, it will be able to derive insights and push forward thriving deals.
Rivals to Salesforce like Microsoft, Oracle etc. will need to plan global-level integrations to respond to this move. It will not be enough to simply integrate document and collaboration management. These companies will need to foresee and either partner or purchase technologies working on collaboration and document management.
While the talk of including a robust artificial intelligence in their systems has been pertinent across software vendors’ dashboards, this has been quite a challenge due to the lack of access to data from every corner of the organization. While CRM and Sales data is helpful, it is not adequate enough to prepare AI for handling the company communications. Once collaboration, document management and content are integrated, Salesforce will be able to design a predictive content machine. This machine will be able to come up with content suited for almost every imaginable sales opportunity. Previously, we have witnessed technologies that can tell us which deals are most probable of closing. However, with Quip-acquisition, Salesforce is actually looking at increasing the probability of closing deals by putting up the right type of content.
The wedding of customer relationship and data will allow artificial intelligence to seep into almost every communication that populates the company, allowing for higher conversion rates.
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