Salesforce.com and Microsoft announced today that the companies would be building upon previous integrations and further strengthening their partnership. They made the announcement this afternoon in San Francisco at Dreamforce, Salesforce’s customer extravaganza.
The two companies introduced a broad new set of integrations to help Microsoft products work hand-in-glove with Salesforce Lightning Experience, the company’s recently renamed update to its core CRM product.
Today’s announcement includes building Skype for Business (the product that used to be called Lync) into the Lightning platform, enabling users to make video or voice calls or chat with colleagues via Skype inside Salesforce.
In addition, Salesforce will integrate with OneNote providing a way to view and edit notes directly from Lightning, as well as use Microsoft Delve to help sales people discover opportunities within Salesforce.
What’s particularly interesting about the latter capability is that it will be built into the upcoming release of Microsoft Dynamics, its own CRM product. This is more proof that Microsoft is trying to be more open, even allowing competing products to work with its tool set if it advances its overall agenda.
Finally, Salesforce plans to build a Salesforce 1 Mobile app for Windows 10, providing a leading mobile cloud tool for Windows 10, which could help give the platform a boost on the mobile side.
The companies clearly saw the mutual benefit here with Microsoft getting access to the massive Salesforce.com cloud customer base and Salesforce pleasing customers by working more closely with Microsoft tools, which many of its customers are using today. This cross-product integration is something that CIOs have been demanding.
Today’s announcement builds upon the partnership announced in May, 2014 when the companies began exploring ways to integrate across one another’s product lines. As TechCrunch’s Alex Wilhelm wrote at the time:
Salesforce will support Windows, Windows 8.1, build “interoperability [between] Salesforce and Office 365,” Microsoft’s subscription-based productivity suite, and integrate OneDrive for Business, SharePoint Online, and Outlook in various capacities.
Even now after a couple of years of making nice, it’s hard not to forget that the two organizations were once at each other’s throats. In fact in May of 2010, Microsoft sued Salesforce claiming copyright infringement, and Salesforce returned the favor and counter-sued that June. Obviously that’s all in the past now, as working together seems to suit the two organizations and their customers more than trying to fight one another.
It’s worth noting that there were rumors this past May that Salesforce turned down a $55 billion offer from Microsoft. Some reports suggested that CEO Marc Benioff was looking for $70 billion. In spite of not coming together through acquisition, the companies are forging ahead with a tighter intermingling of their product sets