Microsoft and Salesforce.com officially announce partnership

Microsoft has officially announced a strategic partnership with Salesforce.com, confirming an earlier rumor, as Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and Salesforce.com chairman and CEO Marc Benioff say the deal is aimed at making Microsoft Office and Windows customers “more productive.”

Although the terms of the deal were not disclosed, the two companies stated how pleased they were to be working together on creating new solutions for Office 365, Azure and Windows. The first fruits of the deal are expected to be seen later this year when a preview of the Salesforce app on Windows and Windows Phone. A more complete, final version is expected to be available early in 2015.

Salesforce will also become a major part of Office 365, Microsoft’s big cloud service, it will give customers the chance to collaborate, sell, service and market their products “from anywhere.” As part of the deal, Salesforce will also be working with the Outlook team to product a brand new Salesforce App for Outlook

The two companies said that they plan to deliver the following solutions to customers over the next year:

  • 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.

Despite today’s deal, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff has been openly critical of Microsoft and its products in the past. Back in 2012, he predicted that Windows 8 would be "the end" for Microsoft's series of PC operating systems, claiming that more companies will use cloud-based solutions. In January 2014, he said Microsoft as a whole needed "to push the reset button on vision."

Source: Microsoft Press | Image via Marc Benioff (Twitter)

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