Salesforce has made another acquisition that underscores how the CRM and cloud software giant is looking to sell more services to its customers that complement the software they are already buying. It has acquired Sequence, a user experience design agency based out of San Francisco and New York that works with brands like Best Buy, Peets, Apple, Google and many more.
The news was announced by Sequence itself on its blog quietly about a week ago, but the acquisition actually closed only today. It was also confirmed to us directly by Salesforce, which pointed us to the blog post.
Sequence’s CEO Jojo Roy says in the blog post that his team — which also includes Seth Bain (who founded the company and is the lead on key accounts like Apple) as president — will work on experience design services for customers, “helping companies use the power of design to better connect with their customers in entirely new ways.”
The financial terms of the deal are not being disclosed, but in any case Sequence had raised less than $1 million in its 12 years as an independent company.
Sequence’s work focuses on building interactive experiences and consultancy for companies across both digital and physical environments, rethinking mobile apps and web sites, but also retail locations and bigger branding concepts.
UX services have become a cornerstone in the modern business world, which always wants to try out new things to connect with customers better, and looks to UX people to help implement that. Other prominent agencies that have been snapped up in this space include frog design (now part of Aricent) and Fjord (now part of Accenture).
(By the way, if you’re wondering what Sequence does for one of the biggest but also most tight-lipped companies in the world, you won’t get an answer: “We’re proud to work closely with one of the most successful companies of our generation,” Sequence notes. “And while we’d love to tell you all about the work we do for Apple, keeping quiet about the details is just part of the job. What we can tell you is that getting a glimpse behind that iconic glossy white and brushed aluminum curtain is as exciting as you’d think.”)
Salesforce already has an experience design practice that it sells as part of its “Add-Ons” consultancy services, alongside other things like marketing cloud services and its strategic advisory business. These are not the core of what Salesforce does as a business, but they position the company as a one-stop shop for businesses that may already be considering other Salesforce products.
That’s a strategy that other IT giants have followed to increase its touch points with customers. Last year, IBM, in fact, scooped up three design agencies in the space of a week.
Salesforce itself has also made other acquisitions recently to boost their design talent, but for different ends.
Earlier this month, Quip, a cloud-document collaboration startup Salesforce acquired last year, made an acquisition of its own, of Unity and Variety — a startup co-founded by two ex-Facebook designers who had overhauled its Messenger app, among other things. However, it looks like that acquisition is not to boost Salesforce’s design practice, but to bolster Quip itself, by developing more productivity apps.