In a recent post, Forbes columnist Gene Marks predicted that Microsoft just put Freshdesk and a few other companies out of business by acquiring Parature and announcing that it will be integrated into the Dynamics CRM platform.
As a fellow entrepreneur, I’m happy for the founders of Parature and their team. I would like to congratulate them on the successful exit. I would also like to thank Gene for calling out Freshdesk as the company that Microsoft just put out of business. Come on, who doesn’t enjoy getting killed by Microsoft? The fact that we are on this list means that we have come a long way from being Bizspark winners in 2011, and have earned his respect (to be considered as competition to Microsoft). I am really proud of that. However, the world has changed a lot, and Gene’s prediction may not come true. Here are a few points to consider:
1. When was the last time Microsoft put anybody out of business? I think the days of Microsoft putting companies out of business ended when the Windows monopoly ended. People remember the Internet Explorer vs Netscape story but that was 15 years before Google, Facebook, Twitter or smartphones had entered the picture. More than half of our employees hadn’t completed 5th grade by then.
The Zune was supposed to be the iPod killer. The Windows Phone is supposed to be the iPhone and Android killer. The Surface is supposed to be an iPad killer. And Bing is supposed to be the Google killer. We understand that we’re not Apple or Google, but with all due respect to Microsoft, it’s a much different world now than it was in 1998.
2. Salesforce acquired Assistly in 2011 and people were predicting that it was supposed to be the end of Freshdesk. Too bad we grew to 15,000 customers and continue to win more and more customers away from Desk.com (formerly Assistly) even after Salesforce dropped product prices and abolished add-on pricing. Just how many times are we supposed to die?
3. Customers are not stupid – In today’s world, customers understand that they have options and they know how to find them. We are definitely not underestimating Microsoft’s financial muscle and global reach. But what Gene and others are missing is the fact that Dynamics CRM has had ticketing functionality for several years now (and they didn’t put any of us out of business.)
Initial reports seem to indicate that the acquisition was primarily for the Knowledge Base capability to be integrated into Dynamics CRM which already has ticket management features. So, it is fairly reasonable to expect that Microsoft will be asking Parature customers to switch to Dynamics CRM’s ticketing functionality once the KBase integration is over.
The Microsoft acquisition, if anything, gives Parature founders a safe landing. For Parature customers who feel abandoned while they wait another year or two for the completion of integration into Dynamics CRM – we have some good news. Freshdesk is pleased to extend a “Parachute to the Future” offer to enable them to land safely in the land of Happy Customers!
Please email us at email@example.com and we will help you import your data and move to Freshdesk!