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News : Microsoft, Salesforce Ink Deal to Bring CRM to Windows, Office 365
May 30, 2014 -- Microsoft and Salesforce.com announced a partnership to bring greater integration between their core technologies.
In a press call with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff said the deal is "about extending the power of Salesforce, the world's No. 1 CRM platform, with Microsoft, the world's most widely used productivity solutions."
Nadella added, "This partnership is about helping customers extract more value from our technology. It gives them access to the services they need to be productive -- to collaborate, market and sell wherever they work."
Nadella described the collaboration as having three prongs. First, the deal will bring integration between Microsoft Office 365 and Salesforce.com's customer relationship management (CRM) offering. The deal will "empower people to use Office 365 and Salesforce seamlessly together, whether it's sharing Office documents in Salesforce1 or analyzing CRM data in Power BI for Office 365," Nadella said.
Second, the partnership will enable Salesforce.com's CRM platform to run on Windows Phone 8.1 and Windows devices via the Salesforce1 mobile app. A preview version of the app will be released this fall, with general availability expected sometime in 2015, according to Microsoft's announcement.
Third, Nadella said the deal signifies a "renewal" of Microsoft's commitment to use Salesforce.com's ExactTarget digital marketing platform. To that end, Benioff added that ExactTarget will continue to run on Microsoft' SQL Server database, and that Salesforce.com will use Microsoft Azure for ExactTarget development and testing.
Benioff emphasized that Thursday's deal does not involve certifying Salesforce.com apps on Microsoft's cloud, quelling rumors that surfaced earlier that day.
"This is not about making Salesforce apps available on Azure, though Salesforce is going to start using Azure as part of its development environment and how we build software," Benioff said. "This announcement is about taking Microsoft's core strategy, Office 365 and Windows, and integrating it with Salesforce's core strategy, our CRM apps, and making a combined offering that offers more value to our users."
In response to a question about what the partnership will mean for Microsoft's own Dynamics CRM offering, Nadella said only that "there will be some areas that we will compete in, but at the same time I think as anyone who's got a broad partnership and a platform approach, you will expect us to do exactly what our customers demand of us."
Kirill Tatarinov, executive vice president of Microsoft Business Solutions, reiterated in a blog post Thursday that Salesforce.com and Dynamics CRM will continue to be competitors despite the partnership.
"Does this mean we will stop competing? No. We will continue to partner and we will continue to compete in critical areas like CRM. Amazing things are happening in the CRM space and it is through competition that great innovation comes," Tatarinov wrote, adding, "Microsoft Dynamics CRM is one of the fastest growing products at Microsoft and shows no signs of slowing down as we continue to innovate and make progress."
Posted by Veronica Silva C/usi, news correspondent
Today's Tip of the Day - Where Is The Problem?
More Editorial From Microsoft
At Microsoft, we're motivated and inspired every day by how our customers use our software to find creative solutions to business problems, develop breakthrough ideas, and stay connected to what's most important to them. We are committed long term to the mission of helping our customers realize their full potential. Just as we constantly update and improve our products, we want to continually evolve our company to be in the best position to accelerate new technologies as they emerge and to better serve our customers.
Salesforce.com delivers software-as-service offering a family of on demand solutions for integrated sales force automation, campaign management, customer service and support, and document and file management to help companies meet the complex challenges of global customer communication. The company has introduced sforce, a new service that will change how applications are built as significantly as salesforce.com changed how applications are delivered.
Published: Monday, June 2, 2014