I am sure I was not the only one to be surprised (or even shocked) by the recent partnership announcement between Microsoft and Salesforce. It might be strange at first as to why, when Microsoft has Dynamics CRM, a platform that has been gaining market traction since its latest release, they would signup for a partnership with Salesforce. But if you align the decision with some of the recent announcements from Microsoft after the change of guard, I believe it is a strategic move.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella’s goal to deliver cloud for everyone on every device resonates with all the company’s recent strategic moves. As Microsoft tries to transform itself to a cloud and mobile company, Salesforce can support Microsoft Azure, giving credibility to the platform among a large customer base. As SAP and Oracle have already done, Salesforce wants to ensure that it is positioned at the forefront of this cloud-first push from Microsoft.
I see this partnership also strengthening the “engagement workplace”. Enterprise social is no longer just about providing kudos to other employees, it is about engaging the employee/user throughout a business process using inline social conversations. Such employee/user engagement creates business value and boosts productivity. Microsoft with its O365/Yammer social platform and Salesforce with its Chatter platform can create a cohesive, engaged CRM workplace.
Nadella stated at the World Partner Conference 2014 that he focuses on the partners with development capabilities, particularly those that extend and customize cloud and mobile using Azure and Office 365. For SPR Consulting, we’re glad we already focus on these capabilities. To embrace the newest partnership with Salesforce, we’ll make a few slight modifications to our offerings to incorporate the platform into our practice to best serve our customers.