Salesforce, Workday Strengthen Integration For Cloud Collaboration


Salesforce.com and Workday announced Wednesday plans to deepen the integration the two product lines in a move executives said reflects a growing trend of vendor cooperation in a competitive cloud marketplace.

Salesforce brings to the table a well-established CRM platform, which will be combined with Workday's enterprise cloud applications for human resources and finance. The move will allow customers to receive better software integration, minimize deployment times and lower cost, executives said in a conference call with media and analysts.

"This integration will enable our customers to buy a complete enterprise cloud solution end-to-end from both Workday and Salesforce. And together, we will deliver the world's first comprehensive solution for running the world's largest enterprises completely in the cloud," said Aneel Bhusri, co-CEO of Workday, in the call.

[Related: New Salesforce Service Plays Nice With Third-Party Cloud Storage]

The move will standardize Salesforce on Workday's applications and visa-versa. Workday will build connections between its Workday Financial Management and Workday Big Data Analytics and Salesforce.com applications. The marketing of the companies will remain mostly separate for the time being, but Bhusri said that integrating Workday onto the Salesforce marketing cloud eventually "just makes sense."

The move comes just a few months after Salesforce's June announcement that it would standardize its operations on Oracle software and the two would integrate the Salesforce cloud operations with Oracle HR and finance software. Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff said that while the company still uses some Oracle software, overall it has made the decision to choose collaboration with Workday. Oracle declined to comment on the news.

Benioff said that as technology continues to evolve, it becomes clearer that cloud computing is the future of the tech industry, and this partnership will allow the two companies and their customers to achieve more success through the cloud.

"The fastest way to success in enterprise software is through cloud computing. We also know it is the highest rate of success, and we also know it is the lowest cost. We know one other thing is that as technology has moved forward in the industry, such as the rapid adoption of mobile technology and social technology over the last few years, it is the cloud computing vendors that have been able to move the fastest to it because of the nature of the cloud computing model," Benioff said. "As the future unfolds and as new technologies evolve, these solutions are going to help those customers get to the future faster."

Benioff said that the cloud pointed to an important need for vendors, like Salesforce and Workday, to collaborate to offer customers the best solutions possible.

"We offer phenomenal solutions, but those phenomenal solutions are better when they work together," Benioff said. "That's what customers want. They want that integration. They want partnership. They want vendors to have working relationships with each together. They want them to take ... responsibility for implementations and service-level agreements jointly. And, that's the kind of relationship that we want."

Benioff said that some vendors, which he did not name, have chosen to remain isolated as the market has changed and have stood alone with a black box mentality. He said that he sees an increasing amount of customers having an aversion to companies that don't integrate well with the rest of the market.

"We live in an open world, and customers expect their vendors to collaborate to provide a better solution for them," Bhusri said.

PUBLISHED SEPT. 18, 2013