Two years back, Salesforce and Microsoft announced a major partnership. Salesforce said that it will integrate its services with several Microsoft services focused towards businesses, such as Skype for Business, OneNote, Office Delve and others. Both the companies even published a video on vision of the future of mobile sales.
This partnership was going well until Microsoft announced its decision to acquire LinkedIn. Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff confirmed in couple of interviews that they were very much interested in acquiring LinkedIn, but Microsoft won the deal. He even tried to stop Microsoft’s LinkedIn acquisition by spreading rumours like Microsoft is planning to lock down LinkedIn data from its rivals.
“Given Microsoft’s history and existing monopolies, it will be necessary for antitrust enforcement agencies to be vigilant to ensure that Microsoft operates in a manner that promotes competition, rather than stifles it,” said Salesforce’ spokesperson during the LinkedIn acquisition period.
Eventually Microsoft got the approval from all regulatory bodies without any major condition and it is now in the process of integrating LinkedIn into several of its products and services.
At Salesforce’s investor day meet recently, an investor questioned Marc whether Microsoft and Salesforce will “come back together on behalf of customers. Instead of answering it with a simple yes or no, Marc went on to make fun of Microsoft Surface family’s market share, Microsoft Dynamics CRM and other stuff. Read the full transcript below.
No, there’s always one person in the room who’s using a Surface laptop, so I get that. And it’s you. Who else is using a Surface laptop? Raise your hand. OK, we have three people. And how many are using Macs? Raise your hand. How many iPads? OK. How many PCs? And then we’ve got the three Surface.
You know, look. They’re 1 percent of the CRM market. You know the numbers. I like having competitors. But what I just get blown away with is how they just can’t keep, you know, that management team in place. They just keep leaving Microsoft. You know that. And I think they don’t have confidence in that ability to execute in that business. So that has weighed to our favor, and customers feel that.
You know because you go to these conferences just like I do. There is no conference like this that they do and that’s the — in my opinion, the mark. That is — why is it that they don’t have anything like this? That when they put on a conference like something — it’s always the resellers who come together, and then — where are these people? Now, that isn’t to say they don’t have, like, Build, where they get these really high-end developers using the IDE. You know what I mean? Is that the conference I’ve been to where I’m like, Oh, yeah, these are all the — and they’re all Windows — they have a Windows fever. And they have Windows API fever at the conference. But I haven’t seen that in any other part of their business, other than the Windows API. Maybe they’ll get it in Azure — I don’t know. But I haven’t seen that yet. Because the last time that I went to the conference, I didn’t see that. I only see that fever around the Windows API. And the Surface laptop.
I’ve never seen a top tech executive trash-talking the competition like this. I understand he lost the game for LinkedIn to Microsoft, but his comments on Microsoft like the above are unnecessary and totally avoidable. Salesforce just has about 28% market share in the CRM market and I think that’s where Marc should spend most of his energy.