Back Story Behind Salesforce.coms Radian6 Buy
Fong said Radian6 will funnel tweets, comments and other pieces of sentiment to call center agents using Salesforce.com. These agents can then respond in kind. Scout Labs provided a more general social sentiment analysis, making it a better fit for Lithium, which helps other companies build customer communities, Fong said. One would think Jive Software would have had a great shot at buying Radian6, considering that the companies helped launch Jive's market engagement tool in September 2009.Jive did consider acquiring Radian6. Jive CEO Tony Zingale called the company a good partner and a good group of people. Ultimately, Zingale told eWEEK, Radian6 was overkill for what Jive needed because its specialty was catering to social media experts at PR agencies. "While we were interested in agencies as a potential advocate for the Hive Social Business Platform, it just seemed like there was such as heavy product there that was way more than was needed and consequently was way more expensive than was necessary for us to put that cash and stock outlay at that time," he said. Jive picked Filtrbox because it could be easily integrated into Jive. "It just seemed like a much better price/performance, return-on-shareholder-value kind of equation." Zingale said Radian6 is five times more product than even Salesforce.com needs, adding that he doesn't think Salesforce.com salespeople call on PR agencies. But Salesforce.com knows what it is buying; it's already been leveraging Radian6 to integrate social data into its Service Cloud to help users see what their customers and prospects are saying. To wit, Salesforce.com had no such economic or conformity qualms in paying a premium that Susquehanna Research analyst J. Derrick Wood said was six times the startup's projected $50 million run-rate. "We believe value-add feeds from a platform such as Radian6 will give CRM the ability to up-sell new services on the Chatter platform that should help better monetize this Collaboration service," Wood wrote. Altimeter Group's Etlinger noted that as social engagement becomes more ubiquitous within the enterprise, multiple groups will demand the ability to collect social data, interpret it for their own needs and respond to their stakeholders. "Salesforce's considerable assets will accelerate this process and enable it to deliver social intelligence at scale-a clear advantage for its customers," Etlinger wrote in a blog post March 30.
But then, curiously, Jive turned around and acquired Filtrbox, a relative bit player in the social media monitoring space, in January 2010.