MICROSOFT AND SALESFORCE have announced a strategic partnership agreement.
In a move that will leave industry veterans a bit shocked, the companies announced that they will be working together to integrate Salesforce customer management applications and Windows.
The pair had previously been involved in a number of lawsuits that made this alliance seem unfathomable just a few years ago. But Microsoft under new CEO Satya Nadella seems buried the hatchet, with Nadella saying of its former foe, "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."
In 2010, Microsoft sued Salesforce for patent infringement saying, "We have a responsibility to our customers, partners, and shareholders to safeguard [their] investment, and therefore cannot stand idly by when others infringe our IP rights." At one stage, the company was even offering incentives for companies to ditch Salesforce software products.
All that seems to be water under the bridge now, as Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff said, "Today is about putting the customer first. Together with Microsoft we are building bridges that allow customers to be more productive."
Salesforce for Microsoft Office 365 integrates the two systems across desktop PCs and iPads, including a new Salesforce app that integrates Microsoft's email product Outlook. The integrated software products will allow collaboration and sharing through Microsoft's cloud storage service Onedrive.
The Salesforce 1 suite for both Windows and Windows Phone 8.1 will be available in 2015 with a preview planned for later this year. µ