LInkedin acquisition by microsoft

Source: “Microsoft to acquire Linkedin”, Microsoft News Center

Microsoft’s recent announcement on acquisition of LinkedIn for an all-cash transaction of $26.2 billion remains a very interesting declaration from the Redmond based Tech Giant. It definitely created a tremendous amount of interest in the technology market. Some people are curious, while some are confused. And a few others sceptical of the impact of this deal.

Microsoft’s last few large acquisitions have not been very successful commercially. Take Nokia (2013), Yammer (2012), Skype (2011). However, I believe LinkedIn acquisition will help two segments of Microsoft’s product line:

  1. Customer Relationship Management (Dynamics CRM)
  2. Productivity (Office 365)

In this post, I’ll try to assess some benefits that Dynamics CRM product can get from this acquisition.

Sales Intelligence

Sales reps highly value any professional information they can get regarding a lead they are chasing. Remember InsightView, which sales reps greatly value every time I get to show the tool. Many sales reps today depend more on real-time insights and breaking news they can get from social media than their own CRM systems. This information is more valuable in closing a deal.

Now, LinkedIn integration with Dynamics CRM can bring a contact’s professional profile and previous job roles within the Dynamics CRM platform. It can also show how another colleague is possibly professionally connected to a prospect. This information could be very useful. Some ISV solutions have tried to tap in this data within their tools like ClickDimensions. Social Discovery from ClickDimensions brings data from social channels like LinkedIn straight into a contact or lead record in Dynamics CRM.

linkedin dynamics crm integration

Sales Productivity

AIIM, the Association for Information and Image Management, which conducts research on improving organisational performance by conducting information-driven innovation, published a white paper discussing how redundant, obsolete and trivial content (ROT) is clogging up enterprise storage systems up to 75%. On average, only 42% of electronically stored information is useful to the business. 58% is therefore ROT.

valuable content or ROT

Source: “Valuable Content or ROT: Who Decides?”, AIIM Whitepaper

 

CRM systems are certainly overloaded with ROT data, and the situation is worse than average. An effective way to keep the data clean is to connect to a self-maintained data source of customers and prospects. LinkedIn contains some very deep and up-to-date information, which if fed back, can benefit the data quality of Dynamics CRM. Hence, increase sales productivity.

HR Management System

After Field Services and Project Services, an HR Management module may be on card from Microsoft. Employee Relationship Management system and Recruitment system are some key workloads built on top of Dynamics CRM.

There are ISV solutions targeting recruitment like Dynamics ATS which has a deep integration with LinkedIn. HR management solutions are also built on top Dynamics CRM, like the one from xRM1.

As LinkedIn has about 433 million professional users on its platform, it is a right data source for any recruitment solution.

Now if a company’s HR can manage employees from a CRM system integrated deeply with LinkedIn, they can get insightful information about an employee’s interests, strengths and engagement levels. More importantly, they can predict the possibility of departure, as most employees become active in LinkedIn generally when they are unsatisfied with their current company or role.

Lynda, which LinkedIn owns, could also provide the digital online training platform to employees.

Should Salesforce care?

Of course they should! Salesforce is slowing down in innovation and greatly needs a big booster. It certainly would have been benefited from 433 million users, mostly Mobile device consumers. At the end of the day, it’s a game of data ownership. LinkedIn is the world’s number 1 data source of professionals, and this data will prove very valuable in a long term strategy, and Salesforce lost at this moment.