Salesforce sends message to Microsoft with Slack acquisition, the hottest Kubernetes startups of 2020, Amazon positions for a decade of change and more

12/03/2020 - Jin Woo

The Blue Print recaps the industry’s most intriguing news, unexpected shifts and developing trends that are defining the business and technology landscape.

CNBC: Salesforce acquires Slack for over $27 billion, marking cloud software vendor’s largest deal ever
Salesforce is making the biggest acquisition in its 21-year history. The company announced on Tuesday that it’s buying chat software developer Slack for over $27 billion. The purchase marks one of the largest ever for the software industry. The biggest was IBM’s $34 billion purchase of Red Hat in 2018, followed by Microsoft’s $27 billion acquisition of LinkedIn in 2016. Salesforce said the Slack purchase comes to an enterprise value of $27.7 billion, which takes into account shares outstanding along with debt and cash. The deal values Slack at over 24 times estimated revenue for next year.

Why It Matters: Microsoft and Salesforce have been known to be partners, competitors and had been the target of acquisition rumors. The pandemic and resulting shift to remote work has increased interest in collaboration and communications tools. With the acquisition of Slack by Salesforce, not only will Microsoft and Salesforce be competing (Slack v Teams) but is likely a precursor to a fierce competition over the next decade. In the meantime, Microsoft also announced new features for Teams. Wall Street was not a fan of the acquisition as Salesforce stocks were down more than 8 percent before rebounding slightly on Thursday (Dec. 3).

Tags: Salesforce, Slack, IBM, Red Hat, Microsoft, LinkedIn

siliconANGLE: AWS positions for next decade and a changed world in advance of re:Invent 2020
When Amazon Web Services last held its re:Invent conference one year ago, the process of digital transformation was making slow but steady progress. Then the world was suddenly turned upside down and shaken vigorously. A global pandemic, a huge shock to the world economy, and a major shift in how humans live and work suddenly reordered priorities. Nearly every business of any size was forced to move to a digital platform to continue to function effectively, which had profound implications for AWS as the world’s leading public cloud provider. The question would no longer be how to migrate business operations to the cloud, because that question was largely settled. Now the focus for many firms would be how to manage the business once it was operating in the cloud. This has become the focus for AWS and every other major cloud provider as the clock ticks down on a tumultuous 2020 and ushers in what is, in many respects, a new decade.

Why It Matters: The pandemic has forced companies to rethink the speed of digital business rollout. Now companies want services that are more cost efficient with faster speeds and more secure in hybrid cloud environments. Among the key issues that will be addressed this year includes how to manage businesses operating in the cloud, including removing barriers between development teams and the rest of the organization including finance and security as companies look to innovate at the edge utilizing 5G, AI/ML and other emerging technologies.

Tags: AWS, pandemic, digital, cloud

TechCrunch: AWS brings ECS, EKS services to the data center, open sources EKS
Today (Dec. 1) at AWS re:Invent, Andy Jassy talked a lot about how companies are making a big push to the cloud, but today’s container-focused announcements gave a big nod to the data center as the company announced ECS Anywhere and EKS Anywhere, both designed to let you run these services on premises, as well as in the cloud. These two services, ECS for generalized container orchestration and EKS for what’s focused on Kubernetes, will let customers use these popular AWS services on premises. Jassy said that some customers still want the same tools they use in the cloud on prem and this is designed to give it to them.

Why It Matters: While much of the recent attention is focused on cloud-native and multi-cloud, the reality is we live in a hybrid multi-cloud world with many organizations having both on-premises and cloud, depending on the use case, geographic location (distance to closest node), preference and other factors. Seamlessness and ease-of-management are two critical enterprise needs in the short-term as Jassy points out that in 2020, just 4 percent of worldwide IT spend is on the cloud.

Tags: AWS, re:Invent, Andy Jassy, container, cloud, on premises, ECS Anywhere, EKS Anywhere

CRN: The 10 Hottest Kubernetes Startups Of 2020
It‘s been a few years now since Kubernetes took the cloud by storm. The open-source container orchestrator has rapidly gone from a bleeding-edge technology developed at Google to something close to standardized infrastructure for cloud-native environments. As enterprises and cloud services providers rapidly adopt Kubernetes to undergird modern applications, a new generation of startups is emerging to enhance the core technology with deeper observability, code delivery and integration, management and security features. The following are 10 red-hot startups making waves across the Kubernetes ecosystem.

Why It Matters: As Kubernetes went from experimentation to production, and 2021 is anticipated to be the year of Kubernetes at scale, enterprises are looking for complimentary technologies to simplify and improve management, security, automation and governance. (Disclosure: Styra is a 280blue client)

Tags: Kubernetes, container, DevoOps, Ci/CD, cloud-native, open source, Alcide, Codefresh, Diamanti, Kubermatic, Lightrun, Pulumi, Shipa, Spectro Cloud, Styra

SDXCentral: Alkira Rolls Software-Defined Underlay Into Multi-Cloud Offering
While software-defined overlays like SD-WAN have been around for years, distributed enterprises still had to wrangle complex underlay contracts or work with a managed service provider to physically bridge the distance from one branch to the next. Today, multi-cloud vendor Alkira is making the software-defined underlay a reality with the launch of its cloud backbone-as-a-service offering. The platform takes advantage of the large private networks built by Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform (GCP), and Microsoft Azure to support their public cloud offerings.

Why It Matters: Cloud interoperability and portability are key challenges for enterprises managing its business in cloud environments. Different teams have preferences of using one cloud over another based on workload, geographic location and other factors. Alkira went from emerging from stealth and securing a $30 million Series A round in April to securing an additional $54 million B round in October. This is quite a feat, especially given the pandemic but speaks to the need for a solution around this problem.

Tags: Alkira, cloud, AWS, Google Cloud Platform, Microsoft Azure