Attention big software incumbents: Your newfangled competitors just became more of a threat. Salesforce.com and Workday, two of the largest cloud-based enterprise software companies, have announced a strategic alliance.
In a brief announcement, the companies said Salesforce capabilities, which are generally associated with managing a company’s sales and marketing, will be integrated into Workday’s human capital management, or H.C.M., software. Workday focuses on both human resources and financial software.
A conference call is planned for 4 p.m.
Workday will build ways for data inside Salesforce systems to be used on Workday’s recently announced Big Data applications. Workday will also bring Salesforce Chatter, a workplace collaboration product, to its applications.
Steve Jennings/Getty Images for TechcrunchMarc Benioff, the founder and chief executive of Salesforce.
“Aneel and I both agree that Salesforce.com and Workday need to unite our clouds,” Marc Benioff, the founder and chief executive of Salesforce, said in a release. The combination of the two offerings, he added, is “the best of both worlds: the customer applications from salesforce.com combined with HR and Financials from Workday.”
Aneel Bhusri, the co-founder and co-chief executive of Workday, said the alliance would enable businesses “to manage every critical business function in the cloud, empowering them to achieve new levels of speed, efficiency and growth.”
The announcement lacks many details. In particular, it isn’t clear how the two companies plan to offer the new features to customers, whether salespeople will be trained in products from both companies, or whether there will be specially priced packages intended to encourage customers to take both products. It will also be interesting to know whether the companies, formally or informally, steer away from some direct competition.
Even without those details, however, the alliance is intriguing. Mr. Bushri and Mr. Benioff are close friends. Each has a long and contentious historywith Oracle, still the leading enterprise-software company.
Oracle got big in the era of so-called client-server style of computing, a standard of business computing that is now giving way to cloud computing. Oracle has been scrambling to catch up, offering its own versions of cloud and analytics software, though at generally higher prices than the newcomers. Oracle contends it offers superior quality of software and servicing for the money.
New announcements about Oracle’s capabilities are expected next week at Oracle’s user conference in San Francisco. For now, however, that conference has been upstaged by the Salesforce-Workday announcement.
The Workday-Salesforce release did not indicate whether that was a coincidence.
Joseph Osborne & Bill Schoenleber – Founders corePLATINUM
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