On June 13, Microsoft made headlines by announcing its plan to acquire LinkedIn in an all-cash transaction, valued at $26.2 billion. Combining the world’s leading professional cloud with the world’s leading professional network will have a powerful impact on business. The addition of LinkedIn to Microsoft’s cloud portfolio will further cement their position as a leader in this space.
According to an email written by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announcing the deal, “How people find jobs, build skills, sell, market and get work done and ultimately find success requires a connected professional world. It requires a vibrant network that brings together a professional’s information in LinkedIn’s public network with the information in Office 365 and Dynamics.”
He goes on to say in the press release, “Together we can accelerate the growth of LinkedIn, as well as Microsoft Office 365 and Dynamics as we seek to empower every person and organization on the planet.”
Further, his vision includes connecting LinkedIn profiles with Microsoft products such as Office, Outlook and Skype, making it a seamless interface. “Today there is no one source of truth for an individual profile — the data is scattered across many endpoints often with outdated or incomplete information,” according to the company-issued release. “In the future, a professional’s profile will be unified and the right data at the right time will surface in an app, whether Outlook, Office, Skype, or elsewhere.”
Microsoft Office 365 and LinkedIn
Building direct links to business end users through the integration of these two powerful tools has the ability to reinvent ways to make professionals more productive. People can now stay connected with the happenings in their network, industry and profession. Here is an example of a connected professional experience from Microsoft, using digital assistant Cortana, that I think gives one example of how Office 365 and LinkedIn can be used to increase productivity.
Cortana: Hi Jen, you are meeting with Sam next. You and Sam both went to University of Washington and you both know Cindy Smith. Good news, the Huskies won last night’s game. Do you want to look at Sam’s profile? Do you want to see your meeting history with Cindy and Sam? Also, OK if I share the presentation for today with Sam?
This is a simple illustration of how this connected integrated information can keep you one step ahead.
In the future, LinkedIn Learning will also tightly integrate into Office, enabling users to have a more seamless experience and access to online courses. Microsoft calls this “Social Learning”. With LinkedIn’s 2015 purchase of Lynda.com, an online training resource, LinkedIn firmly established itself in the training space. Being able to integrate this resource with Excel for example, users can get immediate help. This could be transformative to company success and employee engagement.
Another feature will be LinkedIn’s newsfeed that according to Nadella “serves up articles based on the project you are working on and Office suggesting an expert to connect with via LinkedIn to help with a task you’re trying to complete.” Nadella sees a future where LinkedIn can be more intelligent and feed into Office 365.
Microsoft made a large investment when it purchased Skype in 2011. Skype is now a mainstream capability in Office 365. Combining Skype with LinkedIn’s expansive Professional Network creates a very compelling value proposition for Office 365 users to stay connected and communicate that much easier with their professional network.
Microsoft Dynamics CRM and LinkedIn
A CRM system is the lifeblood of a successful sales organization. This integration between LinkedIn and Microsoft Dynamics CRM will facilitate the move from selling to social selling. By directly connecting to LinkedIn Sales Navigator, the sales cycle can be transformed by providing actionable insights and the ability for each seller to build deeper relationships with prospects and customers with the end result of accelerated results.
The growth of Office 365 and the Dynamics businesses fuel Nadella’s ambition to reinvent productivity and business processes. Bringing together a professional’s LinkedIn information with the information in Office 365 and Dynamics has the potential to reinvent ways to make professionals more productive while reinventing selling, marketing and talent management.
Today, LinkedIn is a standard tool in every successful salespersons tool belt. By combining LinkedIn with Microsoft’s world-class CRM solution salespeople will become even more productive. There is a tremendous amount of value that a Microsoft CRM user will gain through this powerful combination.
Microsoft Dynamics ERP and LinkedIn
The strengths of LinkedIn for recruiting purposes has been widely acknowledged. But with this acquisition, LinkedIn is poised to become a massive force in the world of HR as well. People entering the workforce demand connectivity, it’s what they have grown up with. With the integration between Microsoft Dynamics and LinkedIn, employers are now able to provide next generation workers with the tools to do their job, maintain their personal info and manage their careers. By having one, unified HR system, employees can move beyond the daily details of HR administration and use the resources of their people to make a greater impact on the organization. This pairing of Microsoft Dynamics and LinkedIn will inspire better manage talent, drive HR impact and inspire collaboration.
Microsoft Azure and LinkedIn
LinkedIn is one of the leading cloud solutions that business people use today. As Microsoft continues to invest in its Azure Cloud; one can only suspect that Microsoft will leverage Azure to power LinkedIn. This would make Azure an even more formidable solution when comparing it to other providers.
Sikich has a deep expertise in Microsoft Dynamics, Office 365 and cloud solutions. We are looking forward to bringing Microsoft’s game changing business productivity solutions and the world’s leading professional network to our customers. If you have been thinking of transitioning to the cloud with Microsoft solutions, this would be a great time to make the move. Things have never looked brighter! Contact us, we can help get you there!
Satya Nadella’s letter to Microsoft employees – http://www.theverge.com/2016/6/13/11920306/microsoft-ceo-satya-nadella-linkedin-memo