There is good news this month for mobile sales people looking for an integrated cloud computing solution. Microsoft and long-term rival, Salesforce, have put their differences to one side, to form a strategic alliance.
While Microsoft has its own CRM suite, this new partnership will allow Salesforce apps to integrate seamlessly with Office 365. This goes against the grain of Microsoft’s strategy in years gone by and seems to be a reflection of CEO Satya Nadella’s more open vision for the future of the Redmond firm.
“We want to be a broad platform provider in this mobile-first, cloud-first world, so partnerships such as those with Salesforce today are very important, mutually beneficial for our customers, and that is the spirit you can expect from us,” Nadella said at a press conference.
Marc Benioff, CEO at Salesforce, has previously mocked Microsoft’s approach to cloud but the recent partnership combined with Nadella taking the reins of leadership, seems to have swayed his opinion.
“Salesforce is more committed to using SQL Server today than ever. I’ve always wanted to have a closer relationship with Microsoft and now we do,” Benioff said.
He added that Salesforce intended to increase investment and resources on SQL Server and will use Microsoft Azure for ExactTarget development and testing.
The relationship between the two companies is perhaps one of necessity, rather than the flowery picture that both CEOs are painting. When Salesforce acquired ExactTarget, which is powered by SQL, it also acquired a need to work more closely with Microsoft.
However, Benioff spoke eloquently about the future, saying: “I believe relationships are eternal and technologies are temporal.”