For the last several months, there has been a rumor, always denied that salesforce.com was going to acquire Radian6. In my direct conversations with various people, I was told it wasn't the case. But today, it is now the case. And it is a blockbuster move on behalf of both parties. Needless to say with what Radian6 is doing, their future game plan and the holes that salesforce.com had, this is going to accelerate salesforce.com's leadership in the social and socialCRM and platform space. Its a not-unexpected but still stunning move for each party and one, if the cultures mesh, will potentially change the dynamics of at least the social and SCRM markets, if note even more.
But there is a question mark....and that is the difference in the cultures. I'm intimately acquainted with both - and, despite the fact that "coolness" applies to each company, their cultures are very, very different and Radian6, which is in the process of growing up as a young, market-making company with a young culture is being merged with another market marking culture that's become let's just say, infinitely more corporate in its approach to internal life in the last few years, as it must, given its rate and level of growth. Equally cool cultures don't mean the same one. I can think of highly specific aspects of things that go on at each company down to individuals that don't quite mesh. However, I will leave that to private discussions with the individuals. I'm not going to be public about it.
However, if that hurdle is overcome and I am confident, with the usual caveats that come along with it, that it will be, this will reshape salesforce.com, already a force to be reckoned with, as an even greater force to be reckoned with, and will impact salesforce.com products such as Chatter as something that can be more externally focused with far more robust information about whatever it is that matters to the Chatter user.
I'm curious as to how Radian6 will function - will it be absorbed or independent? I don't know and I'll spend some time to find out much more and report much more here in the next few days and weeks.
This is big stuff, far more interesting than the $276 million cash and $50 million stock that salesforce paid for Radian6. This deal has a lot of potential and adds what was a major missing piece for salesforce.com (though I wouldn't call it solving a weakness). It will make a difference.
Here's the press release if you want to read it, though its pretty standard and boring - far less interesting than the actual event.