This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

Why Marc Benioff Thinks Microsoft Is Making the Right Moves

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -'s (CRM - Get Report) Marc Benioff, once a vocal critic of Microsoft (MSFT - Get Report), is now becoming a partner of the software giant as it seeks to bolster it cloud and mobile capabilities under new CEO Satya Nadella.

On Thursday evening, and Microsoft unveiled a partnership to incorporate's applications and cloud platform with Microsoft's Office and Windows products, seamlessly integrating many of both companies' best products for their respective customers.

The deal will give Salesforce users access to Microsoft products such as Office Mobile, Office for the iPad, Office 365, SharePoint and Outlook. Salesforce is offering to connect its data to Excel and Power BI with Office 365.

While financial aspects of the partnership weren't disclosed, the move is yet another sign that Microsoft CEO Nadella is following through on what he calls a mobile and cloud first strategy for the software giant.

Partnerships such as the one signed with Salesforce and a deal with Apple (AAPL) to put Office 365 applications on the iPad are opening Microsoft's software to the various ways that customers now access it, whether it's through a mobile device or a set of CRM tools.

Salesforce apps will be more deeply integrated with Office and Windows in the partnership, which will also expand the use of SQL Server on Salesforce's platform and create an in-road for Microsoft's Azure cloud platform.

In reaching out to competitors in the tech sector to bolster Microsoft's services, Nadella appears willing to pull down the drawbridges to the company's empire so long as he believes it will allow new users will enter and will also keep existing customers from leaving. That appears to be playing a winning hand given that many investors believe Microsoft's Office 365 is under-appreciated and an industry-leading mobile offering.

"This announcement is about taking Microsoft's core strategy, Office 365 and Windows, and integrating it with salesforce's core strategy, our CRM apps, and making a combined offering that offers more value to our users," Nadella said on a conference call with analysts on Thursday evening.

Benioff, a visionary in the cloud computing world who has successfully taken on businesses as large as IBM (IBM), Oracle (ORCL), SAP (SAP) and Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), said on Thursday that Nadella and Microsoft are focusing on the right things.

"[W]e think that Microsoft is doing a lot of the right things to encourage its customers to move to the cloud, to move to the mobile world with some of the advancements in Windows 8, to move to new social computing and connect in a whole new way," Benioff said. "I couldn't be happier," he added

Part of the partnership was made inevitable by Salesforce's acquisition of ExactTarget, Benioff said on Thursday.

About his decision to partner with Microsoft, once considered a Goliath-type competitor to Salesforce, Benioff said: "[W]hen we acquired ExactTarget, we acquired a stronger relationship with Microsoft... and when Satya became the CEO of Microsoft, that gave us the opportunity to have an even stronger relationship with Microsoft, and that changed."

1 of 2

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
CRM $73.81 0.00%
MSFT $49.94 0.00%
AAPL $93.24 0.00%
FB $117.81 0.00%
GOOG $701.43 0.00%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,660.71 +9.45 0.05%
S&P 500 2,050.63 -0.49 -0.02%
NASDAQ 4,717.0940 -8.5450 -0.18%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs