Salesforce Will Integrate With External File Storage Providers, With Microsoft Up First

Salesforce, a SaaS CRM provider, announced a new product this morning that will connect external file storage solutions to its cloud-based products.

In English, that means that if you store your digital goods on other services, but use them inside of Salesforce’s various tools, you’ll soon have a far simpler way to do so.

The product, called ‘Files Connect,’ is integrating with Microsoft’s SharePoint service first, OneDrive from the same company next, with a nod to Google’s Drive product as a coming third option. On a phone call, the company declined to indicate if and when services like Box or Dropbox would be linked up, but I would presume mid-to-late 2015 is a reasonable guess.

The service is free, so far, unless you are linking to an on-prem SharePoint 2010 or 2013 install, which will incur a monthly payment. Call it the non-cloud tax.

Microsoft and Salesforce announced a general partnership this May, which somewhat buried the hatchet between moderately antagonistic companies; Salesforce matured, and in my view wanted greater look into Microsoft’s enterprise sales channels, while Microsoft desired more cloud opportunities. Today’s announcement fulfills both wants. The firms wouldn’t use those words, but I don’t think I’m too far out in saying them.

Salesforce has a number of cloud based products, including its own way to store files on the Internet. Here, it is integrating with rival services. We’re seeing a number of storage products do the same, with Box integrating into Office 365, Dropbox continuing work on its Project Harmony effort, and, backwards, Microsoft baking Dropbox support into its mobile Office apps.

As competitive as the enterprise cloud space is at the moment, it has a surprising amount of newly announced collaboration.

Top Image Credit: Marc Benioff