Microsoft and Adobe Team Up on Marketing Software Data Sharing

Adobe Systems Inc. and Microsoft Corp. are making it easier for their customers to share data, as they and other software makers expand their product offerings to include marketing tools and technologies.

Competition is gaining steam in the industry. Salesforce.com Inc. is moving beyond its main business of customer relationship management software into marketing and analytics, and bought ExactTarget in July 2013 for $2.4 billion to add e-mail and social-media marketing tools.

The alliance between Adobe and Microsoft is aimed at helping corporate clients and potential customers use Microsoft’s customer relationship tools together with Adobe’s marketing software. Both want to sell more software and services outside of their main businesses as they seek to fuel future growth. The Adobe-Microsoft tools will be free and are available as early beta releases starting Wednesday.

“I would say this is an enormous opportunity, which is going to attract the Salesforces and many other enterprise companies trying to expand the markets they’re going after,” John Mellor, vice president of Adobe’s marketing cloud, said in an interview.

The companies will make it so people can share data from one system and the other “pretty much out of the box,” Wayne Morris, corporate vice president of marketing for Microsoft’s Dynamics business, said in an interview.

“It’s about wanting the brands that we interact with to know us,” Mellor said.

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