Salesforce continues its fast and furious acquisition spree by picking up ClickSoftware for $1.53 billion to beef up its field service capabilities. Field service is a rapidly growing area in CRM. Growth is fueled by the demand for: 1) differentiated customer experiences, which extends to a field worker showing up at a customer or a work site; 2) growing use of contingent labor for field service; 3) management of a growing mobile workforce (think insurance adjusters and health care workers, in addition to field techs); and 4) proactive and predictive maintenance of connected devices to manage cost structures.
This acquisition comes as no surprise. Other CRM vendors like Oracle, Microsoft, and SAP have made acquisitions in this space and have more robust field service capabilities than Salesforce. Salesforce and ClickSoftware are already cozy, with Salesforce currently OEM’ing ClickSoftware’s schedule and dispatch optimization functions — something it has done from the launch of Salesforce’s Field Service Lightning in 2016.
This acquisition also keeps revenue numbers growing the right way for Salesforce’s Service Cloud product (under which Field Service is reported), which just surpassed the $1B mark for the first time in its latest earnings report.
The positives of this acquisition are the strengths of ClickSoftware’s full-featured solution suitable for enterprise-grade, complex deployments. It incorporates many AI-fueled optimizations for scheduling and dispatch to predict when service is needed and to predict job durations. It provides robust mobile experiences for its field workers. It has a strong customer base in industries such as utilities, communications, and manufacturing. It also has a customer-centric culture that Salesforce has gotten to know well over their continued collaboration.
This acquisition gives Salesforce cloud and on-premises products with overlapping capabilities to its Field Service Lightning product, more heterogeneity in its code base, and another dimension of complexity to manage. At this stage, Salesforce cannot divulge how its product lines will coalesce and what the impact will be on its customer base.