- Getty Images/Mat Hayward
Microsoft has signed a six-year agreement with HP for its Salesforce-killer cloud software, Microsoft Dynamics.
Dynamics is Microsoft’s “customer relationship management” tool, which helps salespeople track interactions with customers and prospects.
It’s not surprising that HP would cozy up to Microsoft in this way. HP, the PC/printer company that was created after HP split itself into two companies, is very dependent on Microsoft and on Windows for its PC business. The two have always been close partners in all sorts of ways.
But there’s a catch. Before the split, HP was a prominent customer of Salesforce. In 2012, HP not only signed on to use Salesforce’s CRM tool, Sales Cloud, but also a bunch of other related stuff from Salesforce. HP was one of Salesforce’s largest deals that year.
HP was such a huge customer at the time that it was using Salesforce software on its own computer servers and hardware in Salesforce’s data center – a partnership named “the Superpod.” The two also turned the Superpod into a product available for sale for other enterprises.
The Superpod should have become the domain of the other company created in the split, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, leaving HP Inc. free to hire its own CRM from somewhere else.
And Microsoft won. Ever since Microsoft failed to buy Salesforce, Microsoft has doubled down on competing with Salesforce.
Microsoft bought LinkedIn for $26 billion, famously snatching it out of Salesforce’s hands, to help beef up its Dynamics software and challenge Salesforce even more. Meanwhile, Salesforce bought a Microsoft Office competitor, Quip, and indicated that it’s game on with Microsoft.
Salesforce could not be immediately reached for comment.