The Salesforce Ecosystem is exploding

Tom Paine

Although shaken like everyone else by Covid-19, the universe of companies that have built around Salesforce, many within Salesforce’s portfolio of investments, seems to be booming, perhaps exceeding the growth of the mothership itself.

A few recent cases out of many:

New Jersey-based Cognizant Technology Solutions shares rose yesterday after the company announced that it would acquire digital marketing agency Lev Digital, based in Indianapolis. On its home page, Lev says “Lev is the most influential marketing-focused Salesforce consultancy in the world”. I don’t know how they back that up.

Lev will be Cognizant’s third recent acquisition related to its effort to expand its Salesforce business. Last month, Cognizant acquired two other Salesforce premium partners. Cognizant had previously purchased another Salesforce consulting firm in 2018.

Although Cognizant is much larger, the strategy reminds me of LiquidHub’s strategy of buying and integrating Salesforce marketing shops prior to being acquired by Capgemini in 2018. An update from Capgemini Invent, the global group established around LiquidHub and other acquisitions, says it grew 15% in 2019 and passed the $1 billion revenue mark. The LiquidHub acquisition certainly contributed a big chunk of that.

In other deals, Accenture (NYSE: ACN) completed the acquisition of the Workday, Salesforce and U.S. MuleSoft practices from Alpharetta, GA-based Sierra-Cedar. The acquisition adds to Accenture approximately 275 professionals focused on the small and medium-sized education and government markets.

And of course, Bob Moore’s Philly startup CrossBeam, in which Salesforce is an investor, is built on a Salesforce platform.

An IDC study projects what the Salesforce ecosystem might look like in six years..

Its a good time to buy high-quality smaller firms which may not have much access to capital markets, although that may not be the reason behind these specific deals.