Microsoft and Salesforce Strengthen Strategic Partnership at Dreamforce 2015

Sometimes it does take a village. Yesterday’s product development would have been a bunch of developers, with lot’s of diet coke, cheese burgers and very late days and nights programming like crazy. But today, product development has changed. How? More and more companies are collaborating. Why? It does take a village to create internal collaboration employee experiences and external-facing customer experiences that even begin to meet what people want.

And that’s what is significant about today’s announcement about Microsoft Corp. and Salesforce’s plans to extend their strategic partnership to connect the Salesforce Customer Success Platform to Microsoft Office productivity apps and services. The two leaders plan to deliver new solutions that integrate Salesforce with Skype for Business, OneNote, Delve and Windows 10 to empower companies to connect with their customers and collaborate more effectively.

What possibilities does the collaboration bring to the table? Microsoft and Salesforce have committed to working together to bring the following solutions to life:

  • Skype for Business Integration with Salesforce Lightning Experience: Salesforce will integrate Skype for Business (formerly known as Lync) into its new Lightning Experience, a modern and re-imagined Salesforce that combines an intelligent new user experience with proven best practices that enable people to work faster and smarter. Office 365 customers will be able to use Skype for Business to create Web meetings, determine if colleagues are online or not, click to chat and make voice and video calls from the Salesforce Lightning Experience. A preview is anticipated in the second half of 2016.

  • OneNote Integration with Salesforce Lightning Experience: Users will be able to associate notes with Salesforce records, and view and edit notes directly in OneNote from the Salesforce Lightning Experience. A preview is anticipated in the second half of 2016.
  • Salesforce Integration with Office Graph and Office Delve: Enabled by the Office Graph, an open ecosystem for sharing, collaboration and discovery, Office 365 users will be able to view and discover Salesforce content in Office Delve, such as sales opportunities, customer accounts and service cases. Availability is anticipated in the second half of 2016.
  • Salesforce1 Mobile App for Windows 10: Salesforce will deliver a Windows 10 app to empower sales teams to move deals forward while on the go, using their favorite Windows device. Availability is anticipated in the second half of 2016.  

What are some of the comments on this collaboration? 

  • “Customer success is at the heart of everything we do at Salesforce, including our partnership with Microsoft,” said Marc Benioff, Chairman and CEO, Salesforce. “Our collaboration has been so successful, now we’re doubling down and delivering even more innovation that will help our mutual customers be more productive and connect with their customers in a whole new way.”

  • “Furthering our mission to empower every person and organization on the planet to achieve more, is the motivating force behind our partnership with Salesforce,” said Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft Corp. “As a platform and productivity company, we are focused on bringing together the best of Microsoft Azure, Office and Windows with partners like Salesforce to empower our mutual customers to network, collaborate, communicate and discover information in more effective ways.”
  • “As a global company with more than 400 brands, we are always looking for ways to strengthen collaboration across departments and take the complexity out of work,” said Paulo De Sa, VP Employee Services Technology, Unilever. “Together, Salesforce and Microsoft Office are helping us create an integrated digital workplace where our 170,000+ employees around the world can be more productive and connect with each other and with customers like never before.”

The Two Companies Are Building on a Foundation of Success
These new integrations will build on existing joint solutions that enable mutual customers to be more productive than ever before, including:

  • Salesforce Files Connect integration with SharePoint and OneDrive for Business

  • Salesforce Wave Connector for Excel

  • Salesforce integration with Power Query for Excel

  • Salesforce Mobile SDK for Windows

  • Salesforce1 for Windows 8.1 Phone Preview

  • Power BI for Office 365 integration with Salesforce.

My POV: I am very happy to see collaboration at this level. For two reasons. One is reducing attrition. Millennials have expectations of work that the Baby Boomers didn’t. At least up until now. Now even Baby Boomers want more from their workplace. And the second reason is because customers want an experience that is going to keep them from defecting. Instead of trying to dominate the marketplace, these two companies see the wisdom in the collaboration. Never before does 1 + 1 = 6. Did I add that wrong? Nope. What I mean by that is, in the name of collaboration, the value is exponential to all those involved.

To Learn more about the partnership visit: http://www.salesforce.com/microsoft

@DrNatalie, VP and Principal Analyst, Constellation Research

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