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hp-logoMicrosoft has entered a six-year agreement for hardware giant HP Inc. to use its Dynamics CRM online service, the companies said this morning in a release. HP will use the customer-relations management service for its direct sales and to track partnerships, said HP Chief Operating Office Jon Flaxman.

“This brings us a cloud-based solution that delivers a more effective and efficient collaboration engine across our business,” Flaxman said in a news release.

Microsoft’s deal with a large and influential company like HP shows Microsoft is continuing to build on its strength in software-as-a-service (SaaS), at the expense of competitors like Salesforce and Oracle, whose business with HP is now called into question. Microsoft recently eclipsed Salesforce to became the world’s largest enterprise SaaS vendor, according to one study. HP already uses Microsoft’s Azure cloud and Office 365 offerings.

HP, which split away from software company HPE last year, now sells printers and PCs, and today announced it is buying Samsung’s printer business for $1.05 billion, acquiring an additional 1,300 employees as well as 6,500 printing patents.

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