Microsoft and Adobe are teaming up against Salesforce

Microsoft and $53 billion software company Adobe have announced a partnership that will see the two companies team up to sell each others’ cloud computing products to their mutual customers, of whom there are many.

Under the terms of this partnership, Adobe will be bringing business software tools like Adobe Marketing Cloud, Adobe Creative Cloud, and Adobe Document Cloud to Microsoft Azure — Microsoft’s cloud computing service, where customers can punch in a credit card and get access to functionally unlimited supercomputing power. Now, Azure is the “preferred cloud platform” for Adobe’s products.

In turn, Microsoft will make Adobe Marketing Cloud the “preferred marketing service” for its Dynamics 365 product, which is widely used by companies to help track sales leads and relationships with their customers. Now, Microsoft will officially recommend that those companies use Adobe Marketing Cloud if they want to use that data to run a marketing campaign, alongside forthcoming new data integrations.

On all counts, it’s a huge shot across the bow at $45 billion Salesforce, which competes with Microsoft Dynamics 365 with its flagship Salesforce Sales Cloud product, and with Adobe with the Salesforce Marketing Cloud. Microsoft doesn’t have a marketing software competitor, and Adobe doesn’t have a sales software play.

By combining their efforts and making it easier to integrate their products, Microsoft and Adobe are clearly hoping to present a unified front in the battle against the rise of Salesforce. Microsoft and Salesforce, especially, are old frenemies, and compete often on customer deals.

As a big added bonus, with the Microsoft Azure partnership, it makes it easier for Adobe’s customers to use Microsoft’s considerable investments in artificial intelligence around their Marketing Cloud data — which gives Adobe a way to compete with Salesforce Einstein, the just-announced artificial intelligence platform for Salesforce.

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