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Just over a year ago, Salesforce actually labelled Microsoft Corp as the "evil empire".
Now, they are friends.
Why the sudden change? Most probably it's because of one man. The new CEO Satya Nadella.
New man in charge of Microsoft Corp
It's hard to imagine former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer sitting down with salesforce.com Head, Marc Benioff for any reason, let alone to announce a strategic partnership between the two once-bitter rivals. But in yet another win for Nadella, the two were weren't just in the same room, they were gushing about each other's services late last week as they announced the joining of forces.
The deal doesn't include Salesforce incorporating Microsoft's Azure Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) yet, but that shouldn't prevent both from recognizing gains from the alliance. For Salesforce, its leading CRM solutions will now be incorporated into Windows phone and desktop devices -- yes, there are still a few out there. And Azure isn't completely out of picture, Benioff said. Salesforce will use the IaaS internally at first, and look for ways to integrate the service into other areas of the company.
For Microsoft, gaining a commitment from the leading CRM provider to further incorporate SQL server solutions and, perhaps even more exciting for Microsoft, expand Salesforce's use of Office 365, are major wins. Microsoft's Office 365 Home already has 4.4 million subscribers -- adding almost a million in the last three months alone -- and the partnership with Salesforce should give it an even bigger boost.
Well, Nadella made it clear that his goal and focus for the company is this...
mobile and cloud-first focus and he made it shown.
As impressive as the new strategy taken is, what speaks more about Microsoft new approach is definitely Nadella. It hasn't taken long for Nadella to spark change at Microsoft, and if his new friends are any indication, we haven't seen anything yet.