Microsoft Eyes A Salesforce Bid, They Say – Forbes

Salesforce, or rather Bloomberg, has done it again: it sent the CRM industry into a tizzy with more news about a possible acquisition of Salesforce. This time the suitor is Microsoft, a company that has its own rival product called Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

To recap, last week Bloomberg reported that Salesforce had received an acquisition offer prompting the San Francisco-based CRM giant to retain investment advisers to weigh the options.

The likely candidate, it was widely agreed, was Oracle. It made sense: CEO Marc Benioff came from the enterprise vendor and has retained ties — albeit reportedly occasionally strained ones — with founder Larry Ellison.

Now comes a twist, per Bloomberg. On learning of the first bidder, Microsoft apparently decided to launch its own acquisition bid for Salesforce, a company whose valuation is $49 billion, give or take.

A deal is not imminent, Bloomberg says, but Microsoft has been prepping for this day for some time. One of its sources told the publication that Microsoft has long expected it might compete for Salesforce if it was for sale.

A Working Relationship

Last year Microsoft and Salesforce announced with much fanfare they were putting their mutual animosity behind them to make their respective offerings easier to integrate.

Largely viewed as a puff announcement at the time, the market has since concluded otherwise. To give just one example, at the recent Microsoft Build, the company previewed a new integration that enables Office Delve users to view and discover data from Salesforce. Clearly Microsoft was serious about a partnership, Denis Pombriant, principal of Beagle Research, tells me. “Satya Nadella has been working assiduously to develop relationships with a wide array of vendors.” Indeed, this morning Microsoft and NetSuite announced a strategic partnership to help users more easily integrate with Office 365 and Azure.

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