Today Microsoft and Adobe announced a deep strategic partnership.
Adobe will make Microsoft Azure its preferred cloud platform for their Marketing, Creative, and Document Clouds; Microsoft in turn will make Adobe Marketing Cloud its preferred marketing service for the Dynamics 365 Enterprise Edition.
That is a game changer in the CRM world.
It takes the other tier one players, especially Salesforce, and Oracle, following their AI announcements, plus SugarCRM, head on. While I expect some AI driven marketing functionality being announced near term the initial benefit is a leading marketing tool being accessible for Microsoft. This partnership is also a blow to Oracles IaaS story as it drives load to Azure where Oracle seems to focus on their existing customer base. Well, and then there is AWS, too …
And it should be highly beneficial for both companies.
Not talking about the benefits of running on a powerful cloud platform Adobe with Cortana gets access to and likely will be integrated into a leading AI and machine learning platform.
Conversely, the so far not too strong marketing functionality in Dynamics CRM gets a significant boost by getting integrated with one of the hottest marketing clouds that are around at the moment.
The synergies that can be generated by tightly integrating a powerful real time analytics and AI platform, powerful productivity applications, and a strong marketing platform can hardly be overestimated. This is very good news for Microsoft Dynamics customers once the systems actually are running on a harmonized data model. Till then the prospects are highly exciting.
As a result, as per the announcement, customers will be able to “harness their data for critical insights and predictions, connect customer touchpoints across their business, bolster relationships, and drive brand loyalty and growth”.
There is only one major piece of the puzzle missing for Microsoft now: They still do not have access to a leading e-commerce platform. After all, the consistent experience that customers will want to deliver using these integrated toolsets shall lead to a sale, which nowadays more and more means e-commerce. Marketing is not a standalone functionality.
SAP has Hybris, Salesforce has Demandware, Oracle has ATG and IBM has Websphere. My earlier question Quo Vadis Microsoft? remains unanswered.