Afternoon Coffee: Salesforce Buying Tableau Software; Target Working on Blockchain Solution

CRM giant Salesforce is buying Tableau Software, a provider of user-friendly data visualization tools, for $15.7 billion, according to the AP.

In the all-stock deal, Salesforce intends to shore up its data analytics capabilities and bolster its role as a business intelligence provider in order to compete with the likes of Microsoft, Amazon and Google.

“It’s become harder for independent business intelligence vendors such as Tableau to remain profitable on their own because the market has matured and bigger companies such as Microsoft can offer lower prices as part of a package,” according to a source quoted in the article.

Not too long ago, market analysts – including Spend Matters’ own procurement analysts — were wondering whether Microsoft or other large suitors would be willing to snap up Salesforce. For the moment, it’s looking as though Salesforce is doing its best to play with the bigger boys and girls.

Target working on blockchain solution for supply chain

Away from the spotlight, the eighth-largest retailer in the U.S., Target has been putting in place a blockchain-powered solution for supply chain management. Named "ConsenSource," it has been in the works since last year, but Target has now stepped on the gas, even advertising for a blockchain engineer and systems developer.

China will respond if U.S. escalates trade war

Reuters has reported that China was not averse to "fighting a trade war" if forced. The report quoted Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang as saying, “If the United States only wants to escalate trade frictions, we will resolutely respond and fight to the end.”

U.S. imports will increase because of trade war: NRF

The National Retail Federation (NRF) has forecast that there could be an increase in freight coming into the U.S. as the rate increase on the third tranche and the pending fourth tranche of tariffs approaches. NRF and Hackett Associates' Global Port Tracker said imports will continue to go north despite record imports in 2018 that beat 2017 figures by 6.2%.

DHL Express U.S. CEO looks back on company's journey

DHL Express recently celebrated its 50th birthday. On the occasion, in an interview to Supply Chain Management Review, DHL Express U.S. CEO Greg Hewitt discussed various topics, including DHL’s journey in the U.S. market. "It started with this idea of how do you get freight to pass through Customs faster on the spectrum of logistics and supply chain services across a number of business units,” he replied to a question on DHL’s growth in the U.S.

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