Microsoft’s approach to customer data could help the company make major headway against Salesforce.
Salesforce is one of the leading customer relationship management (CRM) and enterprise application software companies in the US. According to Business Insider, Futurum Research analyst Dan Newman believes it could be at a big disadvantage versus Microsoft because of its focus on collecting data primarily from its own tools.
In contrast, Microsoft has moved towards openness in recent years, under the leadership of CEO Satya Nadella. In the past, Microsoft was fiercely territorial about its own products and services. Windows and Office were Microsoft’s two cash cows, and the company was focused on keeping customers locked into that ecosystem.
Under Nadella, however, Microsoft has embraced other platforms and operating systems. Their focus has shifted to providing the best products, apps and services on any platform, rather than fiercely protecting their own.
This approach is serving it well in the CRM market, where Microsoft Dynamics 365 competes with Salesforce. Unlike Salesforce, Microsoft’s products integrate with a wide range of tools and services, including those from competitors. Microsoft seems to be taking the approach of being the central hub where that data comes together.
“We have hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of out-of-the-box connectors that allow our customers to connect to the data they already have, wherever it is: Whether it’s sitting in a system 360 mainframe from the 1970s or it’s sitting in the latest-and-greatest SaaS business application,” said James Phillips, President of Microsoft’s Business Applications Group.
Microsoft’s efforts may force Salesforce to adapt in order to stay competitive.