There is lots of talk on Techmeme about a possible Salesforce – Google alliance against Microsoft. First of all, let me say that I have no idea whether Google will buy Salesforce or not — I would guess a big part of that would be whether salesforce CEO Marc Benioff would sell the company. However, an alliance between the two companies would be extremely damaging to Microsoft’s position as the leader in business software.

I’m certainly a huge fan of Salesforce and their future growth possibilities. I think every company can benefit from a CRM application to efficiently track their relationships with advertisers, partners, press contacts, and customers. I’ve gotten my hands dirty with Salesforce by serving as Zillow’s “salesforce admin” and I love the capabilities that it has. Additionally, they have thousands of developers building applications on top of salesforce using their robust API. My only real gripe is that it isnt’ a complete e-mail client — I can send e-mails out of salesforce, but it doesn’t accept incoming e-mail messages (at least easily – they do have a e-mail client add-on, but I have’t tried it out yet because it needs to be installed on a server rather than being web-based).

Google would provide just about everything salesforce is missing — IM integration (GoogleTalk),  e-mail (Gmail), wordprocessor and spreadsheets (Docs&Spreadsheets), web analytics (Google Analytics), a power point clone. We all know Google has virtually no limit to the dollars and man power they can throw at any problem they want to tackle.

I can certainly see a day when small businesses can run their entire company using a combination of salesforce and google applications. If I was starting a small business, I would strongly consider not using Microsoft software due to the cost, even without integration of google and salesforce applications.

I’ll definitely be following this rumor to see if it has real legs. Microsoft better hope it fizzles.

  • I agree it would amazing if Salesforce and Google partnered up to create a product like the one you describe above.

    But the great thing about a company like Microsoft is that it adapts to the external environment and that is why it is successful. Take Xbox for example. People counted them out from day one. But they took advantage of a few Sony missteps and that led to success.

    Some things they don’t do well (search)…but when it comes to software, they have the intellect(and cash) to do whatever it takes to stay on top.

  • FYI: I am biased as I worked with Microsoft for three years.

  • I guess the only problem is how much of your business are you willing to move online. I know that there are certain docs that I might be willing to collaborate on, but there are certain documents that just should not be shared unless you know the environment is completely secure.

    A combination of Salesforce and Google might be interesting though.