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September 17, 2015

Microsoft, Salesforce Kick Off Skype for Business, Lightning Integrations

By Tara Seals - TMCnet Contributor

Microsoft (News - Alert) and Salesforce are getting cozy: The two have decided to extend their strategic partnership to connect their productivity apps and services, with the end goal of more personalized, customer-driven sales activities, achieved through streamlined collaboration.

The two leaders plan to mash up Salesforce with Skype (News - Alert) for Business—which will be hosting a conference at this year's upcoming ITEXPO in Anaheim—OneNote, Delve and Windows 10, starting with the Salesforce App for Outlook, which works with Outlook 2013 and Office 365, and Salesforce1 Mobile App for Microsoft Office.

After that, critically, Salesforce will next integrate Microsoft’s unified communications (UC) suite, Skype for Business (formerly known as Microsoft Lync) into its new Lightning Experience. Lightning is the renamed core customer relationship management (CRM) product for Salesforce.

As a result, Office 365 customers will be able to use Skype for Business to create Web meetings, determine if colleagues are online or not, click to chat and make voice and video calls from Lightning. Also, users will be able to associate notes with Salesforce records, and view and edit notes directly in OneNote from Lightning. A preview for both of these is anticipated in the second half of 2016.

Meanwhile, enabled by the Office Graph, an open ecosystem for sharing, collaboration and discovery, Office 365 users will be able to view and discover Salesforce content in Office Delve, such as sales opportunities, customer accounts and service cases. Availability for that is anticipated in the second half of 2016.

Also in the second half of next year the two will launch the Salesforce1 Mobile App for Windows 10.

Image via Shutterstock

“Furthering our mission to empower every person and organization on the planet to achieve more, is the motivating force behind our partnership with Salesforce,” said Satya Nadella (News - Alert), CEO at Microsoft. “As a platform and productivity company, we are focused on bringing together the best of Microsoft Azure, Office and Windows with partners like Salesforce to empower our mutual customers to network, collaborate, communicate and discover information in more effective ways.”

These new integrations will build on existing joint solutions, including: Salesforce Files Connect integration with SharePoint and OneDrive for Business, Salesforce Wave Connector for Excel, Salesforce integration with Power Query for Excel, the Salesforce Mobile SDK for Windows, Salesforce1 for Windows 8.1 Phone (News - Alert) Preview, and the Power BI for Office 365 integration with Salesforce.

“As a global company with more than 400 brands, we are always looking for ways to strengthen collaboration across departments and take the complexity out of work,” said Paulo De Sa, VP of employee services technology at Unilever. “Together, Salesforce and Microsoft Office are helping us create an integrated digital workplace where our 170,000+ employees around the world can be more productive and connect with each other and with customers like never before.”




Edited by Dominick Sorrentino

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