Social media monitoring company Radian6 has been snapped up by Cloud giant Salesforce.com in a deal worth over $300 million.
Founded in 2006, Radian6 is used by more than half of the FORTUNE 100 to track and analyse their social media efforts, with a client base including the likes of Kodak, Dell and PepsiCo. It only recently completed an acquisition of its own when it bought UK-based social media consultancy 6Consultancy.
The Salesforce.com acquisition, which should be completed by July, is designed to extend the value of its products (including the Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, Chatter and Force.com) with social intelligence, while the combination of Salesforce.com and Radian6 is hoped to bridge conversations happening on public social networks and Salesforce.com's private, secure social corporate social network, Chatter.
Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO of Salesforce, said: "With Radian6, Salesforce.com is gaining the technology and market leader in social media monitoring. We see this as a huge opportunity. Not only will this acquisition accelerate our growth, it will extend the value of all of our offerings."
"Social media has made every business recognise the value of paying attention to the voice of the customer. Radian6's technology is built for the new norm of customer engagement - real time, two way conversations that includes social channels," added Marcel LeBrun, CEO of Radian6. "Joining the Salesforce.com team will allow Radian6 to grow faster to meet the demands of our rapidly expanding customer base."
The acquisition has sparked speculation about the wider implications for the industry. "The acquisition of Radian 6 by Salesforce marks an industry watershed: social business is overtaking social media at the top of the corporate agenda," said David Bashford, director SITEFORUM Group. "Customer interaction and community are now the focus of attention as social media channels get fuller and noisier, amidst increasing concerns about data ownership and privacy. Brands are realising it is time to own the conversation and directly engage with the tools their customers like, but owned and operated by organisations they know and trust. Expect to see more and more sites using social technology as an integral part of sales and service delivery, providing the long-awaited answer to the ‘how do we make money from social?’ question."