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Who's courting Salesforce? IBM, Oracle among top guesses

Katherine Noyes | April 30, 2015
A report that Salesforce.com is entertaining takeover offers whipped up a storm of speculation Wednesday, as analysts and other observers mulled the possibility and what it could mean for the enterprise software market.

Of course, the cultural differences are stark between Salesforce and IBM, he noted.

"Salesforce is California laid-back, IBM is New York pinstripes; Salesforce is a risk taker and IBM is risk averse," he said. "I don't think Benioff or his company would survive in IBM. IBM is where software companies go to die."

Regardless of the identity of any potential buyers, there could be several factors motivating Salesforce to consider putting the company up for sale.

"The best time to sell, of course, is when the share price is at or near its top," Scavo pointed out. "So, its possible that Salesforce sees selling out as a better opportunity right now than to continue to invest for growth."

The company may feel the need of a larger organization to help it, "perhaps to fill in the lack of their own infrastructure portfolio," suggested IDC research manager Larry Carvalho.

In the end, the company is obligated to shareholders to entertain all offers, Wang pointed out. "What they really want to do is get ahead of that and put in a mechanism to ensure a fair and objective process."

 

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