Microsoft-Salesforce Partnership Is Now Official, CEOs Satya Nadella & Mark Benioff Gush Over New Partnership

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It was as if two long lost brothers had been reunited. Audibly excited Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and Salforce.com CEO Mark Benioff celebrated their strategic partnership in a joint conference call earlier this afternoon. Historically Microsoft and Salesforce.com have been bitter rivals, and Benioff an outspoken critic of Microsoft. But with Salesforce stock down over 20% in the last year, the company decided it was best to put their past behind them.

“We are excited to partner with salesforce.com 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.”

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

The deal largely revolves around integration between Windows Microsoft Azure and Salesforce.com. Nadella was in charge of Azure previous to being promoted CEO of the Redmond software giant.

The two companies committed to the following:

  • Salesforce1 for Windows and Windows Phone 8.1. Will enable customers to access Salesforce and run their business from their Windows devices. A preview is planned to be available in fall 2014 with general availability in 2015.
  • Salesforce for Office 365. New interoperability between Salesforce and Office 365 will give customers access to the content they need to collaborate, sell, service and market from virtually anywhere. Plans include the ability to:

  • Access, share, edit and collaborate on Office content from within Salesforce and on Salesforce1 using Office Mobile, Office for iPad and Office 365.

  • Use OneDrive for Business and SharePoint Online as integrated storage options for Salesforce.

  • Use Salesforce and Outlook together with a new Salesforce App for Outlook.

  • Connect Salesforce data to Excel and Power BI for Office 365 to visualize information and find new insights.

Listen to the conference call here: Microsoft Investor

 



About Author

Suril is a scientist, journalist and obsessive Microsoft observer. He holds an advanced degree in Biotechnology with minors in Biochemistry, Microbiology, and Molecular Biology. Send him tips on twitter: http://www.twitter.com/surilamin

  • Di

    Finally!! This is ling overdue. I personally know people who have turned away from windows phone because of not having a sales force app

    • Rikkirik

      Salesforce app in the responsibility of Salesforce, not Microsoft. The rivalry against Microsoft always came from salesforce.

  • whatup12

    Well, shows the value of changed leadership even to just reset relationships with those around you.

    • LexicoRed

      Yes Ballmer always let his ego get in the way, it really good to have Nadella thoughtful and purposeful leadership now running the company.

      • Rikkirik

        Microsoft has no reason to team up with Salesforce. On the other hand it would benefit Microsoft for sure. But Salesforce is feeling threatend by Microsoft because Microsoft is growing tripple digits annually with it’s Cloud offerings, snooping away market share from Salesforce. Salesforce is beginning to realise that collaboration with Microsoft is needed for them to remain relevant. Under Ballmer Oracle, a certified rival of Microsoft, collaborated with Microsoft. This obligated SAP, a sworn rival of Oracle to do the same. It was to be expected that Salesforce would follow. All of these companies, sworn rivals of Microsoft, are not able to ignore Microsoft no more and have to collaborate with Microsoft to stay relevant. This thus has nothing to do with Satya, but is a proces which already started under Ballmer.

      • Rikkirik

        Salesforce teamed up with Google two years ago to compete with Microsoft, but has realised that Microsoft Cloud products (office 365, storage, windows Azure etc) are outpacing Salesforce by more than 100% annually. Salesforce hoped that Google Cloud offerings (Google docs etc) would take off and rival Microsoft’s Cloud products. But Google Cloud proved no match against Microsoft Cloud, so Salesforce is conceding it’s defeat to Microsoft, also because Salesforce rivals are all working with Microsoft.

  • LexicoRed

    While this news does not generate the same interest as a XBox post or some other unprofitable hardware story,

    It is much more important and relevant to the future of MS. Creating the backbone of the technology is not as interesting as trying to sale hardware but it is what MS is good at and will persue. MS is a software and service company and it’s time to drop the distraction of hardware.

    • whatup12

      we have been at this discussion before, but many of us on here believe that they can deliver at both of these two fronts. and that there is synergy between the two.

      • LexicoRed

        We all love synergies, in fact I enjoy sprinkling some on my breakfast cereal each morning to get the day going. After that I head to work in the real world and look at things from a discipline economic reality. One that shows MS is wasting resources trying to be something they are not; hardware company.

        I get it, you like the idea of vying toys from MS, it makes you feel connected to the company. I myself rather have the company be connected to things that makes it more profitable today and tomorrow. I guess I’m less selfish.

        • whatup12

          indeed, i wont lie. i like seeing people using tangible devices from MSFT. Then again, i similarly like seeing people using the services though clearly most of this happens at enterprise level. I was pleasantly surprised to see a new organization with which we are starting to collaborate ask us to use lync for collaborations. i guess you are implying that i am being selfish because i want to see these goods even though they come with an opportunity cost that is actually driving the company down writ large. is that right? ok, sure. whatever. I think that they see innovative hardware as being an approach to deliver their services–ie, people use bing because they are on windows products, apps made for their hardware tend to run on azure, etc. I have never owned an xbox, but this is also about connecting with a new generation and introducing them to the services. And I guess they also believe that they have analysts that predict that with the right products, they can make money on this front. but indeed, this is a company exploring a number of fronts to assess what will be the right path forward for them rather than focusing and becoming a one-trick pony that may obsolete itself in 5, 10, 15, or 40 years. ie, i get that diversifying appears to come at the cost of focused initiatives. but they have the money to experiment and explore similar to what google and amazon and pharma etc all do–and seems like there is starting to be traction there. time will tell. but sure, if calling me selfish makes it easier to discount my opinion, then so be it. i guess i’m selfish.

          • LexicoRed

            More people use Bing on iPhone & iPad then any MS made hardware. So again, creating cross platform services is generating much more success for the company then producing money losing hardware that sell poorly.

            As far as XBox introducing new generations to Microsoft, again the data does not support your wish by the fact average gamer is 37 years old.

            All of your arguments make great sense if we could ignore reality but good business does not work, nor last that way.

          • whatup12

            well, admit that i am surprised that the age of an average gamer is 37, but seems you are right from a quick search.
            MSFT has been serious about hardware (outside of mouses, webcams, etc) for about 1.5 years with the exception of the xbox. I don’t use an xbox, but clearly people (analysts, i am assuming) that there is strategic value in maintaining the xbox. admittedly, your insights into msft (and their long term strategy) are far deeper than their own analysts who have access to internal strategy documents, etc. or maybe not. maybe, just maybe, there are elements to their strategy that transcend the short term perspective that you are applying. Maybe, they see this as cohesive in the long term. Again, maybe. Similarly, there are others on here that are equally vigilant about them selling bing. And I would say the same to them. I see a company that is being perceived differently by the general public. a company that is more agile and more responsive than 10 years ago. And a company that can afford to keep experimenting in hard ware to advance their services until they get it right. maybe the surface pro 3 is the first time that they are really getting it right. and maybe, just maybe, they need to keep experimenting. But what i wouldn’t suggest for them is to retreat on all fronts except those that are making money right now. That is like RIM not exploring BBM on all platforms because they were making money on hardware at the time. I get it–you likely trade stocks and the stock may get a short term bounce from selling off xbox or bing or whatever is either breaking even or losing money right now…. but MSFT has the resources and the revenue streams to do some exploration….even if you don’t like it.

          • LexicoRed

            Are this internal analysis that maybe, just maybe transcends the same ones that suggested Kin would be a good idea, the excess number of original Surface RT build leading to a near billion $ write off, or knew people would be eager to pay extra for XBox One with Kinect. If so the data I review suggest less transcending and more downward trending.

            Furthermore, it is an intellectual inconsistency to say the company will advance their services through building hardware. If hardware at best sales minimally there do not advance services. They advance services by developing cross platforms everyone wants to use otherwise it stays in a self imposed Microsoft ghetto.

          • whatup12

            again–the question as to whether the surface writ large was a good idea or not (ie the strategy of getting firmly into hardware) is a question that will be answered in the long term. will there be bumps in the road? failed products? sure. do we come down on google the same way for their long list of failed hardware or services? you want all of the answers in a year or two, and i expect that this is not how these companies develop their strategies. ie, surface doesn’t launch so lets get out of hardware.
            and by the way, i agree about them developing services across platforms. but as apple is pushing their own services and google is pushing into enterprise solutions (an ad every 5 seconds on CNN these days) as well as hardware, they may find themselves in a place where it is their hardware pushing their services. surely chromebooks and laptops running android are not going to make MSFT money except for license fees.

          • LexicoRed

            Apple uses Bing for Siri, Azure for iTune backend so your statement is not accurate.

            So your talking long term, how long should they continue to fail until you call the experiment a failure; 6 months, 12 months, 6 years, 12 years? Moreover what will you define as success; making a getting good review despite low sales, possibility the next next generation product will sales, a .3% growth in market share or is it showing a profit?

          • whatup12

            indeed, apple uses bing but is pushing iwork and their use of bing is only to limit success of a collective competitor in google. btw, apple just started using bing in the last 18 months and that could change at any time.
            no margin, no mission. indeed, these programs have to succeed, but a fair question on your part is deciding how long to throw good money after bad. ie, when are these sunk costs. I do think that they need serious market penetration, but do hope that they would give this at least 5 years before giving up.

          • LexicoRed

            They have been making XBox 360 have lost a total of $3 Billion in 8 years while XB1 is continues to add to those loses, so I take it you agree it time to give it up?

            And before you talk about services and software, (which have not offset total loses) MS would still makes those $ if Dell or Lenovo made the box.

          • whatup12

            “MSFT has been serious about hardware (outside of mouses, webcams, etc) for about 1.5 years with the exception of the xbox”
            we have now officially gone in a circle. signing out of this one! :)

          • LexicoRed

            So your stating Zune, Kin, Surface Table, MS Broadband Network, and Kinect was meant to be jokes?

          • whatup12

            I am talking about hardware as a core strategy, however, to get into specifics. I do think that they believe that there is strategy in holding on to xbox as a content and service delivery device–ie, msft in “every living room”. we will see how that pans out. i have never owned one, but then again, the last system that i owned was the dreamcast (given to me) and the last system that i bought was the n64. I think the kin was a proverbial dipping a toe–not developed in house (right?) and served no real purpose. I do think that the Zune was a legitimate failure–though I think it was a good product released after its time and for too much money (ie people were already too busy using cell phones at that point for music to want more devices other than hardcore audiophiles). Ie, the zune had a potential denominator of hardcore audiophiles that were not apple hippsters that would never buy a msft product. I never bought one myself, but that is because i only like mp3 players for sport. Was the surface table released??
            but yes, the surface tablet was the first time that they formally developed a product that would deliver their core product–ie an operating system and increasingly services. they have since reworked the xbox to do more of the same.
            again, am i 100% sure that this will work? no, of course not. but i think the products are strong, the will is there, and they should be given some latitude to effectively explore the market.

          • LexicoRed

            Surface Table was started shipping in 2008.

            Kin was an in house development of a $1 Billion dollar investment.

            Zune was primarily an MP3 player, what no Audiophile who accept as a viable listening platform with single 16bit DAC

            These were all serious MS hardware initiatives, resulting in $10’s Billion in losses. It time to remember MS history to we don’t continue it.

          • whatup12

            actually half of that supposed billion for the kin was from 500 million acquisition. and must say that when one tries to get through to the origin of the “billion” number, it is just one tech blogger quoting another. ie, someone just did some very rudimentary math and came up with this number and the number got legs and people are running with it.
            I wonder if they will do anything with the pixelsense technology–definitely an interesting history and an interesting tech…but surprised that they wouldn’t upgrade it to win 8.
            10’s of billions? says who? These are tech companies–do people falter pharma when they have drugs that don’t sell or are pulled from the market? no, as long as there are blockbusters, people want pharma to keep pushing forward in every direction. this is tech–they need to push forward and advance the areas that do make them money and try and build out the areas where they have had less success but they see strategic value. I am not saying MSFT should start building airplanes or cars, but they should work to be future proof and stay on the forefront of tech. and that forefront implies some control over the delivery of the services. by the way, did you see that AAPL is now promoting duckduckgo over bing for some of its searches…ie, relying on other companies to advance services is a dangerous game.