HP Inc has dumped Salesforce and chosen Microsoft Dynamics to run its sales processes in the cloud in a new six-year deal with Redmond.
HP chief operating officer Jon Flaxman said: “We have chosen Microsoft Dynamics as our CRM solution for our direct selling, partners and services. This brings us a cloud-based solution that delivers a more effective and efficient collaboration engine across our business.”
Before spitting into two last year, Hewlett-Packard was a major Salesforce customer, one of the largest announced at the time (2012). The two formed a strategic hardware/software partnership, and HP's Unison portal, rolled out to all its Platinum, Gold, and Silver partners, was deeply integrated with the Salesforce platform.
Unison was popular with those partners, so HP Inc may face some relationship challenges in the months ahead. One of the reasons for Salesforce’s popularity is the familiarity of its interface for many in the marketing and CRM world.
Meanwhile, the 'frenemy' status of another relationship – the Microsoft/Salesforce one – remains intact. It is too easy to see the HP deal as an example of Microsoft beating Salesforce at its own game, given Microsoft's core focus on across-the-board business collaboration (rather than CRM) in the cloud.
However, the deal is also a blow for another Redmond competitor (and arch Salesforce rival), Oracle, which HP was using to run post-sales processes.
So what's going on? It is likely that HP Inc, the hardware company formed last autumn from the split, has chosen one technology partner over the others for pragmatic reasons. Microsoft’s new Dynamics 365 deployment promises tight integration with Office 365 and its other business tools, including business intelligence, analytics and more.
This, plus the collaborative focus of Windows 10, shows that forming the glue to piece together enterprises in the cloud is Microsoft’s key area of focus under chief executive Satya Nadella, since the Ballmer years saw Redmond hand leadership of the mobile space to Google and Apple.
HP announced yesterday that it has acquired Samsung’s printer business in a $1bn deal.
AlphaBay users had flocked to Hansa after it was closed down - not realising it had already been taken over by Dutch police
Microsoft closes in on $100bn annual revenues with sales weighing-in at $23.3bn
Moves to take down cyber-squatted domains reveals Fancy Bear hacking network, claims Microsoft
Intel claims 'world first' in artificial intelligence that can be plugged-in almost anywhere