Salesforce to buy ClickSoftware to boost customer service operations

The company logo for is displayed on the Salesforce Tower in New York City, U.S., March 7, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – U.S. cloud-based service provider Salesforce agreed to buy U.S.-Israeli software developer ClickSoftware for $1.35 billion in cash and shares, in a bid to accelerate growth of its cloud-based products to manage customer service operations.

The deal comes a week after Salesforce completed its more than $15 billion purchase of data analytics firm Tableau.

The deal came about after the two companies worked together for three years, said Elad Donsky, vice president of engineering at Salesforce Israel.

ClickSoftware makes cloud-based field service management software – which tracks and manages technicians and employees who work outside office locations – for customers like Bosch, Deutsche Telekom and Ericsson.

“This is just the start of innovation on this,” Donsky told Reuters, referring to the field service management software sector.

This is the second major deal by Salesforce in Israel since July 2018 when it paid $850 million for Datorama, a cloud-based artificial intelligence marketing platform that makes up one of Salesforces’s two research and development facilities in Israel.

The ClickSoftware deal would bring the number of employees at Salesforce in Israel to above 600, Donsky said.

“Salesforce will continue to invest in Israel,” he said. “Israel is now a strategic R&D hub for the company so we are going to see more growth in the coming years.”

U.S. private equity firm Francisco Partners bought ClickSoftware in 2015 for $438 million.

Salesforce said its offer was net of the value of shares it already owns, after taking into consideration estimated purchase price adjustments.

The acquisition is expected to close during Salesforce’s fiscal quarter ending Oct. 31 pending various approvals.

(Reporting by Steven Scheer; Editing by Tova Cohen and Deepa Babington)

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