When Salesforce acquired quote-to-cash vendor Steelbrick last year, many in the technology community were a little aghast.

Salesforce was a big investor in Apttus, a company with a similar product focus to Steelbrick, albeit at an arguably broader and higher level. Before the deal, many suggested that Apttus was a Salesforce acquisition target and industry scuttlebutt suggests that there were, in fact, acquisition discussions but that Apttus was greedy in its demands.

Even after the deal was announced, Apttus was quick to suggest that it still had a role to play: Steelbrick was, Apttus suggested, a lightweight tool for mid-sized businesses and couldn’t compare to the depth or breadth of Apttus-owned offerings. Since then, Salesforce has been quick to extend Steelbrick’s functionality and it very much feels like the company is at the forefront of Salesforce’s strategy in the space.

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Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.