In a couple of hours the leaders of two of the most important technology companies in the world, Microsoft and Salesforce, will get up on stage together and share a metaphorical (and, perhaps, a literal) man-hug. Anyone who has been watching the space for a while will know that the very thought of these two coming together would have been pure fiction only a few short years ago — the companies were fierce rivals.
But time, and leadership changes, have moved things on. Microsoft’s current CEO, Satya Nadella, is roundly seen as a far more pragmatic and realistic leader, more ready to embrace the complexity of Microsoft’s future than its previous leader, Steve Ballmer. And Salesforce’s Marc Benioff has himself got a large dose of pragmatism as the old ways (which pretty much said that any legacy vendor was a dinosaur or had little relevance) are replaced by an acceptance of the heterogeneity of modern enterprise IT.