Microsoft announces partnership with competitor Salesforce

Rebecca Gibson
Rebecca Gibson
By Rebecca Gibson on 30 May 2014
Microsoft announces partnership with competitor Salesforce

Microsoft has announced its intention to partner with Salesforce to develop new solutions that connect the company’s customer relationship management (CRM) apps and platform with Microsoft Office and Windows.

Salesforce, which is a competitor to Microsoft in the platform-as-a-service and CRM space, will collaborate with Microsoft to help integrate the companies’ platforms and offer a range of new productivity solutions to customers. 

“We are excited to partner with and help customers thrive in a mobile and cloud-first world,” said Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft. “Working together we’ll deliver new solutions that connect the customer insights of Salesforce to the cloud productivity of Office 365, the cloud platform of Azure and the mobility of Windows, so our customers can do more.”

Salesforce for Office 365 has been designed to enable customers to access, share, edit and collaborate on Office content from within Salesforce and on Salesforce1 using Office Mobile, Office for iPad and Office 365. Customers will also be able to use OneDrive for Business and SharePoint Online as integrated storage options for Salesforce, as well as a new Salesforce App for Outlook. They will be able to connect Salesforce data to Excel and Power BI for Office 365 to visualise information and generate business insights.

In addition, users will be able to access Salesforce via their Windows devices using the Salesforce1 for Windows and Windows Phone 8.1 solution. A preview of the solution is due to become available in autumn 2014 and is expected to be released in 2015.

In a conference call, Nadella and CEO Marc Benioff said that Office 365 would be the main point of integration and that Salesforce ExactTarget Marketing Cloud offering has been embedded in Office 365.

Benioff also confirmed that Salesforce will leverage Microsoft SQL server as a database for ExactTarget, while Microsoft Azure will be used for ‘target development and testing’. However, contrary to recent speculation, Salesforce will not deploy any of its current core CRM software or services on Azure.

“Today is about putting the customer first,” said Benioff. “Together with Microsoft, we are building bridges that allow customers to be more productive.” 

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