Salesforce’s Tableau acquisition is huge, but not the hugest

TechCrunch | 6/10/2019 | Staff
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When you’re talking about 16 billion smackeroos, it’s easy to get lost in the big number. When Salesforce acquired Tableau this morning for $15.7 billion, while it was among the biggest enterprise deals ever, it certainly wasn’t the largest.

There was widespread speculation that when the new tax laws went into effect in 2017, and large tech companies could repatriate large sums of their money stored offshore, we would start to see a wave of M&A activity, and sure enough that’s happened.

Box - CEO - Aaron - Levie - Twitter

As Box CEO Aaron Levie pointed out on Twitter, it also shows that if you can develop a best-of-breed tool that knocks off the existing dominant tool set, you can build a multi-billion company. We have seen this over and over, maybe not $15 billion companies, but substantial companies with multi-billion dollar price tags.

Tableau is a perfect example of best-of-breed winning. 15 years ago the BI market was destined to be owned by incumbents, then simpler, better, more democratized software came along, and a $15B company was built.

Year - Deals - Prize - IBM - Red

Last year alone, we saw 10 deals that equaled $87 billion with the biggest prize going to IBM when it bought Red Hat for a cool $34 billion, but even that wasn’t the biggest enterprise deal we could track down. In fact, we decided to compile a list of the biggest enterprise deals ever, so you could get a sense of where today’s deal fits.

At the time, this was the biggest deal Salesforce had ever done — until today. While the company has been highly acquisitive over the years, it had tended to keep the deals fairly compact for the most part, but it wanted MuleSoft to give it access to enterprise data wherever it lived and it was willing to pay for it.

Rival - Microsoft

Not to be outdone by its rival, Microsoft opened its...
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