The announcement had two main thrusts. First, Salesforce’s new platform, Salesforce1, will be available on Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone. The simplest way to explain Salesforce1 is to say that Salesforce is moving beyond its Web interface and towards Web based applications. This includes a greater role as a platform for applications. Thus, adding Windows apps to its availability on other devices was crucial.
Salesforce1 on Windows is the most concrete part of the deal, with preview versions of Salesforce1 apps on Windows previewing this fall, followed by general availability in 2015.
The integration of Office 365 and Salesforce may take a bit longer. So far, all the companies have said about timing is “we’ll have more to share about Salesforce for Office 365 in the coming months.”
What the companies have promised, however, is intriguing. The official press release listed the following:
• Access, share, edit and collaborate on Office content from within Salesforce and on Salesforce1 with Office Mobile, Office for iPad and Office 365.
• Use OneDrive for Business and SharePoint Online as integrated storage options for Salesforce.
• Use Salesforce and Outlook together with a new Salesforce App for Outlook.
• Connect Salesforce data to Excel and Power BI for Office 365 to visualize information and find new insights.
In a conference call after the release, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella added, “We will empower people to use Office 365 and Salesforce seamlessly together, whether it is sharing Office documents in Salesforce1 or analyzing CRM data in Power BI for Office 365.”
This is exciting stuff, as anybody who currently uses both Salesforce and Office 365 can easily imagine. Let’s hope they deliver soon!