As the industry gradually got to grips with Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of LinkedIn, the tech giant raced ahead and closed the deal.
Since first announcing its intention to take control of the social media network in June, the cloud vendor completed its $US26.2 billion just over six months later, capitalising on a widening opportunity for Redmond.
The acquisition is seen by many as one of “professional convenience”, as Microsoft sees untapped potential in driving increased engagement across LinkedIn, Office 365 and Dynamics.
At the heart of the deal is data, exposing Microsoft to more than 433 members worldwide.
To maximise such potential the tech giant plans to utilise the expanding capabilities of the professional network, which includes the integration of LinkedIn identity and network in Microsoft Outlook and the Office suite, as well as the addition of LinkedIn notifications within the Windows action centre.
In addition, the vendor will also extend the reach of sponsored content across Microsoft properties, integrate Enterprise LinkedIn Lookup powered by Active Directory and Office 365 while making LinkedIn Learning available across the Office 365 and Windows ecosystem.
“As we articulated six months ago, our top priority is to accelerate LinkedIn’s growth, by adding value for every LinkedIn member,” Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella, said.
“The future path of applications is starting to emerge as product categories begin to collapse into user-centric front ends that enable collaboration, communication and functional tasks such as sales, marketing or manufacturing,” Technology Business Research, vice president, Stuart Williams, said.
For Williams, Microsoft took a “big step down that path” by integrating its Dynamics CRM and ERP packages, with its business applications of the future now including LinkedIn data and people-based data to facilitate interaction and commerce.
“Merging Dynamics CRM with Dynamics ERP plus PowerBI and Cortana creates a cloud-delivered Dynamics 365 that connects the front- and back-office functions. Connecting Office 365 enables collaboration and communication,” Williams explained.
“We believe Microsoft is just getting started in enabling enterprise business instead of just selling more software. Business solutions are the key to the future.”
With the the LinkedIn acquisition now closed, Williams believes Microsoft is now on the clock to monetise the $US26.2 billion cost.
“Key to the value is linking the two graphs of enterprise workflow information and professional relationships by connecting LinkedIn data and content with Dynamics, Office 365, Cortana and Bing,” Williams said.
“The keys to growth are the new paths for selling data, services, advertising and insights at the intersection of function and data.”
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