Microsoft and Salesforce.com today announced a strategic partnership that will bring the latter’s Customer Relationship Management (CRM) apps to Windows, Windows Phone, and Office 365. Neither disclosed terms of the deal, so it’s not clear if any money is changing hands.
The two companies are planning to deliver Salesforce1 for Windows and Windows Phone 8.1 so that customers can access Salesforce and run their business from their Windows devices. A preview is slated for fall 2014 with general availability expected sometime in 2015.
The duo also hopes to release Salesforce for Office 365, though a timeline was not provided. The goal is to let customers access their content as well as collaborate, sell, service, and market from wherever they need. 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.
“We are excited to partner with salesforce.com and help customers thrive in a mobile and cloud-first world,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said in a statement. “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.”
This is a big change for the duo, given that Microsoft and Salesforce.com have been CRM competitors for years. In fact, Microsoft sued Salesforce for patent infringement in 2010, which led to a countersuit and an eventual settlement between the two later that year.
Salesforce.com chairman and CEO Marc Benioff alluded to the formerly strained relationship in his own statement: “Today is about putting the customer first. Together with Microsoft, we are building bridges that allow customers to be more productive.”
Bloomberg first reported on the partnership earlier today before it was confirmed in an announcement by the two companies.
Top Image Credit: Ken Wolter/Shutterstock