Late on Wednesday, rumors started swirling that Microsoft and Salesforce.com might be entering into some sort of agreement. The rumors were met with mostly positive hope. Then finally, around mid-afternoon on Thursday, those hopes turned into full-on fact and frenzy as Microsoft and Salesforce.com announced the partnership was real.
The terms of the deal as still not disclosed, but the partnership will bring a huge amount of value to both Microsoft and Salesforce.com customers. Existing Microsoft Windows, Windows Phone 8.1, and Office 365 customers will benefit soon, with new capabilities and integrations rolling out in preview later this year and then finally provided publicly sometime in 2015.
Here's what you can expect:
- A preview of Salesforce1 will deliver in preview in the fall of 2014. Salesforce1 is an app that runs on Windows 8.1+ and Windows Phone 8.1 to connect computers and devices to Salesforce from computers and devices.
Office 365 will get special Salesforce integration features and be available for those Office products that exist at that time (hint: Touch-capable Office for Windows devices), but most assuredly Office Mobile, Office for iPad, and Office 365. Here's what you can expect for Office 365 capabilities:
- Office content can be utilized within Salesforce, including accessing, sharing, and collaboration.
- OneDrive for Business and SharePoint Online can be used for storage directly from within Salesforce.
- A new Salesforce app is coming that integrates with Outlook.
- Salesforce data will export directly to Excel for manipulation and reporting.
- Salesforce data can be connected to and consumed by Power BI for Office 365.