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How Workday and Microsoft Are Working Closer Together on Apps

September 27, 2016, 2:20 PM UTC

Satya Nadella’s quest to build credibility for Microsoft’s fast-growing cloud business is inspiring far closer partnerships with software companies dedicated to that model—even ones you could technically call frenemies like Salesforce (CRM) and Box (BOX).

As of Tuesday morning, you can add another company to that list of “strategic” cloud partners with human resources and financial management software purveyor Workday (WDAY).

The two have worked together in tangential ways in the past, but their new relationship will create even closer ties between their software, said Dan Beck, senior vice president of product marketing and technical strategy for Workday.

“The technical possibilities are there, and the mindset is there,” Beck tells Fortune.

First up is a technology integration due in the second quarter of 2017 that will connect Office 365’s “Groups” services with Workday’s HR management software. The connection should make it far simpler for companies to get new employees up and running on Microsoft software applications. When someone is added to a team using Workday’s HR software, accounts will be created for various Office 365 applications. If the person’s role changes, the updates made in Workday’s software will be reflected in Microsoft’s software.

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Other workflows will also be made possible through the Workday-Microsoft integration over time.

“We’ve been working on these for some time,” Beck says.

For example, in the future, an employee might be able to evaluate how much of his or her time is spend in meetings, assess how many emails he or she shares with managers or other colleagues, and identify his or her most frequent collaborators.

The new relationship will involve joint “go-to-market” activities with existing and prospective customers, Beck promises.