Microsoft Azure could become more attractive to businesses that rely on Salesforce’s cloud-based customer management programs. The two companies are discussing a deal that would make some of Salesforce’s tools available to users of Microsoft’s cloud platform, Bloomberg reported today. In addition, Microsoft wants to integrate Salesforce data into Office applications.
It would be an important move for Azure, which is currently lagging behind Amazon Web Services’ massive customer base. Putting some of Salesforce’s software on Azure would set Microsoft’s service apart from competitors like AWS and Google’s Cloud Platform, which don’t offer similar capabilities at the moment.
The rumored deal is also emblematic of Microsoft’s larger “mobile-first, cloud-first” strategy under new CEO Satya Nadella’s guidance. Nadella is known for brokering agreements with companies that have typically been Microsoft’s adversaries in the cloud world – he was a key player in the agreement that brought Oracle’s database software to Azure – and Salesforce could prove to be a similar challenge.
Microsoft launched a marketing campaign in 2010 entitled “Don’t get Forced,” which targeted Salesforce, alongside a patent infringement lawsuit filed in the same year. The companies have since settled the lawsuit, but some bad blood probably remains between the two corporations.
Representatives for Microsoft and Salesforce declined to comment on this report.