Microsoft and Adobe announced today a new partnership that will see the two companies use and promote each other’s cloud services.


Under the new partnership, Adobe will be using Azure for its Marketing Cloud, Document Cloud, and Creative Cloud services. Microsoft in turn will make Adobe Marketing Cloud its preferred marketing service for customers of its new Dynamics 365 Enterprise edition.

Dynamics 365 combines Dynamics CRM and Dynamics ERP into a single cloud service. Microsoft is also integrating its Power BI and Cortana Intelligence Suite capabilities to give Dynamics users greater data analysis capabilities. With the Adobe partnership, that analytic power will be able to reach into Adobe’s Marketing Cloud to allow marketers to better understand the reach and effectiveness of their campaigns.

The data models used by Dynamics 365 and Marketing Cloud will also be integrated to combine Dynamics 365’s sales features with Adobe’s marketing ones.

Microsoft is investing in its Dynamics suite in a way not seen before. The $26 billion LinkedIn purchase still feels like a strange move for the software company, but the closest points of synergy are with Dynamics, using LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator to extend and enhance Dynamics’ CRM capabilities. This new Adobe deal further extends the reach and capabilities of Dynamics, this time for marketing.

The company is beefing up Dynamics just as one of its major competitors—Salesforce—is being friendlier toward Redmond. Since 2014, the previously antagonistic companies have partnered to integrate Office 365 and Power BI into Salesforce’s products, with the pure software-as-a-service company even being a “Diamond”-level sponsor of the Ignite conference. That this thawing of relations comes at a time when Microsoft is more aggressively than ever trying to improve its own products seems faintly ironic.

Author: Peter Bright