Last month at Dreamforce, a five year strategic partnership was announced between Salesforce and Microsoft. From the opening statements on day one by Mark Benioff and Tony Prophet, to the specific point-and-click reveals in the subsequent days, the message was consistent: this is an exciting time in the CRM space! This partnership constitutes a meeting of the #1 productivity suite and the #1 CRM!
Below is a countdown of the five reasons that this collaboration is worth the hype:
5. Outlook – To get you started, let’s go with something that’s available right around the corner. Salesforce is scheduled to release a much more advanced offering for the Outlook integration. As part of the Winter 2015 set, you will now be able to sync tasks and also manage attachments from within the Outlook plugin.
4. Exchange – Staying with the same theme, full server-side Exchange integration with Salesforce is being touted for next year. This includes the Outlook Web Application (OWA) also having a Salesforce plugin. This will make the management and tracking of threads and their according upload to Salesforce a breeze (in addition to bringing the Outlook offering closer to the industry leading Dynamics CRM client).
3. Mobility – SalesCloud1. Yes, an optimized app for Mobile Sales front end on the Salesforce1 platform will be available across Android, IOS and Windows phone platforms. This will be huge in the burgeoning space of tablet computing.
2. SharePoint – There will be new versions of the ‘Connect for Office’ add-on that allow you to be productive once more with Salesforce inside of your commonly used work applications (via integration with Office365). In early 2015, it’s also expected that the integration of Salesforce to SharePoint will be released – allowing users to create, edit and manage files in SharePoint via their Saleaforce.com UI. This will be a huge value-add for Salesforce in terms of group collaboration.
1. Excel – And finally, the big one! You have the prospect of a bi-directional data loading capacity with Excel. This is currently in preview now as Power Query, and it’s expected a second app will launch later in 2015. This app, geared for more extensive analytical use will be called, Power BI. The possibilities here are very exciting, and are a perfect play to support, and pave the way for the newly announced analytics platform for Salesforce: Wave.
If you have any questions, or would like to discuss in more detail, please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.