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Google and Salesforce Just Signed a Big Cloud Partnership

Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff Photograph by Getty Images

Google and Salesforce just become better friends.

The two tech giants said Monday that they had signed a deal in which the two companies would make their respective services work better with each other.

Customers of Google’s G Suite-branded business software will be able to more easily use Salesforce’s crm various sales-related tools with Google’s business services like its online word processing software and spreadsheets.

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Although businesses could previously use the two companies’ products with each other, Salesforce executive vice president of business partnerships Ryan Aytay pitched the partnership as providing a deeper level of integration. One such feature will let companies move customer data stored in Salesforce into Google’s data crunching service for marketers, Google Analytics, Aytay said during a press conference.

Salesforce customers will also get a free year of Google’s goog G Suite service, Aytay added.

He also said that Google is now a Salesforce “preferred cloud partner,” a title that the search giant also shares with Amazon Web Services. Salesforce’s preferred cloud partners sell Salesforce access to computing resources and infrastructure that Salesforce can use to build and improve its own software services.

As part of the deal, Salesforce will now use Google’s overseas data centers when it wants to expand in other countries. Aytay said the deal with Google would not affect its deal with Amazon, and that Salesforce has a “great relationship with Amazon.”

Under the deal, Google will pitch Salesforce’s software services to its own business customers. Likewise, Salesforce employees will use Google’s G Suite software.

Technology analyst Rebecca Wettemann, of Nucleus Research, noted that the new deal seems similar to a Google-Salesforce partnership in 2008, when Google was pitching its older Google Apps business software. Google’s head of partnerships for its cloud business unit said the new deal is different, however, because of the amount of investment Google is now making in its burgeoning enterprise unit, which wasn’t the case nearly a decade ago.

Wettemann remains skeptical of the partnership saying that in the business of cloud computing, people frequently “hear these ‘I love you announcements.’”

“There’s a lot of speed dating in the cloud world,” Wettemann said about the frequency of partnership deals between big companies. For example, Salesforce partnered with IBM in March, and then last year, it also partnered with Amazon’s cloud computing unit.

Still, the fact that Google seems more focused on attracting business clients than in the past is worth noting, Wettemann explained. This wasn’t the case in the past, she said, and often Google would suddenly make changes to its workplace software. Although the sudden software changes may not bother consumers, they do upset businesses. With Google more focused on landing business clients, she expects the company to be more responsive to business’ needs.

“Google clearly wasn’t ready for business then,” Wettemann said.

Update: Nov. 7 12:35 PM – Story clarified to emphasize that the deal affects Salesforce’s various sales tools, not its analytics services.

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