A quick Google search on the phrase, “Why did Microsoft buy LinkedIn?” brought in an imaginably large number of articles on the recent acquisition. I’ve excerpted a few comments from those articles for you to get a better understanding of what the companies have planned.
First, at $26.2 Billion, this is Microsoft’s biggest acquisition, and they are anxious to get their hands on the 400+ Million users in LinkedIn and all of their data. LinkedIn users are Microsoft’s core demographic and LinkedIn knows more about our professional lives than Facebook or anyone.
Why would LinkedIn seek this?
- LinkedIn’s stock was down more than 43% since last year
- LinkedIn’s ad business was declining
- LinkedIn didn’t grow as much last year
What about Microsoft?
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella’s internal memo points out that LinkedIn is “how people find jobs, build skills, sell, market and get work done.” Microsoft has no social graph, so LinkedIn provides that immediately, plus its professional nature is matched closely with Microsoft’s. Microsoft is hoping that LinkedIn profiles will become the central identity in the workplace. Of course, by doing so, they hope to keep rivals Facebook and Google out of the workplace!
Nadella cited the potential of walking into a meeting and, through LinkedIn’s integration with a calendar and database, know all the salient details about the attendees.
“This combination will make it possible for new experiences such as a LinkedIn newsfeed that 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,” says Nadella. As these experiences get more intelligent and delightful, the LinkedIn and Office 365 engagement will grow. And in turn, new opportunities will be created for monetization through individual and organization subscriptions and targeted advertising.”
LinkedIn now will have access to Microsoft Office and Microsoft Dynamics CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software, and will then have an edge over CRM competitor Salesforce.com.
Microsoft Office suite is now delivered primarily online, so this would provide an easy connectivity to LinkedIn users and their profiles. [Professional cloud meets Professional network.] Imagine a CRM boosted by LinkedIn’s built in insight about who is connected to whom!
Another future benefit for all concerned:
To quote R. Chandrashekhar, President of industry body Nasscom, “It’s easy to see the kind of new services that this joint platform can provide. You can rope in thousands of developers who will build different kinds of apps that will add value to the services you provide.”
Well, there you have it. Don’t look for the changes immediately. It may take a while for anything to start showing up as these two giants wait for the deal to finalize before making serious changes.