Three Reasons to Welcome the Microsoft Agreement with Salesforce.com
Late last month Microsoft surprised many who have followed their CRM battle with Salesforce by announcing a global partnership with their cloud-based business application rival. The arrangement includes Microsoft’s Office 365 compatibility with Salesforce.com, Salesforce.com access from Windows 8.1 devices (including Windows Phone), and Salesforce.com developing one of their add-on products on Microsoft’s Azure platform. Here are three reasons to welcome this strategy.
Compatibility – Microsoft has a lot to gain from making their products compatible with those of their so-called rivals. Microsoft applications should be available on multiple platforms and should interface with as many other products as possible. Microsoft’s Satya Nadella knows that the days of owning 90% market share in the Operating System and Office Productivity space are over and he has no plans to create a single platform provided by Microsoft.
Customer Value – Today’s world is about offering customers choices that bring the most value. Technology rivalries in the past have forced users to choose one platform over another. Now competitive, lower cost, higher value solutions can be created extremely rapidly, and the bigger companies are focused on keeping their customers comfortable using their existing apps. By cooperating with each other they are lowering productivity costs and maintaining their customer base.
Confidence – Previously an agreement like this would seem unthinkable because of Microsoft’s investment in making its CRM product a market leader while trailing well behind Salesforce.com. Microsoft’s CRM 2013 is now a world class product on par with Salesforce.com at a fraction of the price. I have heard from certain leaders within Microsoft that it is now just a matter of time before Microsoft CRM surpasses Salesforce.com as the predominant player in that market. The partnership with Salesforce.com speaks to Microsoft’s confidence in their ascendant CRM 2013 product.