Salesforce and Google are the latest pals in the cloud

Salesforce and Google inked a deal today that could provide easier integration between Salesforce tools and Google’s G Suite and Google Analytics. It also named Google as a preferred cloud provider for its core services as part of its international infrastructure expansion.

The preferred provider part might sound familiar because in May, 2016, Salesforce signed a similar deal with AWS with Salesforce naming AWS… wait for it… yes, a preferred cloud provider, one which also had an eye on international infrastructure expansion.

I suppose there’s nothing to prevent Salesforce from having two international preferred providers, and AWS remains a Salesforce partner,¬† but it could leave them feeling a bit on the outside looking in today. Microsoft might be feeling it, as well, because part of the deal with Google makes G Suite, Salesforce’s preferred email and productivity provider. Of course, Salesforce continues to have integrations with Outlook and Office 365, but the company could be sending Microsoft a message here.

You may recall that Microsoft and Salesforce made friends in 2014 when the two companies announced they were going to have similarly large integration plans. You can tell it was a big day because Satya Nadella and Marc Benioff were smiling and happy.

Photo: Marc Benioff

Nadella even came to Dreamforce, Salesforce’s customer extravaganza the following year, but things began to sour when Microsoft began to move in on Salesforce’s territory with the release of Dynamics 365 integrated cloud platform in July, 2016. Then the following September, it won the HP, Inc. CRM business from Salesforce¬†¬†(and bragged about it). Salesforce tried unsuccessfully to get regulators to block the $26 billion deal to buy LinkedIn. The two companies are still working together, but it seems the relationship might have cooled a bit.

And perhaps the end result of all that tit for tat was Salesforce bought Quip last year for $750 million to bring its own collaboration tools to the Salesforce platform — and decided to build a warmer relationship with AWS and Google.

Several tools are available today, including Salesforce Lightning connectors for GMail and Google Sheets along with Quip Live Apps for Google Drive and Google Calendar. Live Apps, which were announced just this morning, provide live connectors for two-way updating between the apps and Quip. The companies also announced Salesforce Hangout Meets, which integrates Salesforce CRM data inside Google Hangouts Meet spaces.

As for the analytics part, Constellation Research founder and principal analyst Ray Wang says this is about Salesforce battling Adobe for its analytics business. Adobe Analytics and the Adobe Experience Cloud are both rivals of Salesforce marketing and analytics tools, and by teaming up with Google, Salesforce hopes to boost the analytics part of the business.

Today, Google is looking to move into the enterprise benefits from all of the political wrangling by becoming a preferred partner, whatever that entails. It also gains some of the enterprise credibility it is craving by virtue of its relationship with Salesforce, a proven enterprise software vendor, as it tries to push Google Cloud Platform deeper inside large companies.

The deal is clearly a win for both sides, and while the other players involved aren’t exactly losers as they remain Salesforce partners, Google is the belle of the ball, at least for today.