One thing is for sure about Satya Nadella, now that his CEO stewardship at Microsoft nears its sixth month: He is not afraid to act boldly. One of the most recent headline-grabbing moves made by the software giant is the announcement that it is partnering with long-time rival Salesforce.com.
This move is not at all a head-scratcher, as Microsoft knows that it butters its bread with Windows and Office, and losing scores of historical Office users to Google Apps is bad for business. This is not much of a deviation from past strategy, either, as Microsoft has also made deals with SAP, Oracle, and even Apple over the past few years. In other words, after so much time making its own rules, Microsoft has spent much of the last few years playing defense.
Some Microsoft Dynamics CRM partners do not like this style of defense, and Executive VP of the Dynamics division Kirill Tatarnov could not have been thrilled to write that Microsoft will help Salesforce “deliver amazing experiences to their customers.” Those leading the “Don’t Get Forced” charge must be smarting after Nadella conceded that Salesforce is the “leading CRM application” and dodged a question about the future of Dynamics CRM.
The prevalent attitude, however, is that Dynamics CRM still provides tangible benefits to businesses and remains a product that fits many (but not all) businesses’ needs better than Salesforce does. As a Dynamics CRM partner, we hope that this logical partnership does not derail their ongoing efforts to ensure that Dynamics CRM is truly a solution for its users.