Whether you’ve been working in Dynamics CRM or ERP for 6 months or 6 years, you’ll know that Microsoft is an organisation obsessed with productivity. Could their recent acquisition of LinkedIn be their next big step on the road to their productive utopia?
Their objective is clear: “Empower every person and every organisation on the planet to achieve more.” And they’ve spent the last few years transforming their own business to meet these aims.
They recognise the importance of SAAS, mobile-first computing and machine learning to the future of businesses across the world. So why are we surprised that Microsoft should find their next big purchase in LinkedIn?
A shock purchase?
Microsoft shocked the world last week with its acquisition of LinkedIn, valued at $26.2 billion. Many people asked why the technology giant would spend such a large amount for a social network that, quite frankly, some saw as being irrelevant to Microsoft’s business model.
It’s hard to disagree with the fact that LinkedIn is a key tool in the professional workplace, with 433 million members and more than 2 million paid subscribers across its social graph. Microsoft’s own productivity graph does not intersect with this, and therefore the new acquisition bridges a hole in its audience’s professional lives.
Putting people first
By joining social and productivity, Microsoft will put people at the centre of everything they do. Just think of the new functionality they could achieve now they control this medium.
Imagine if the articles you saw in your newsfeed weren’t simply the collective output of your LinkedIn connections’ shares and status updates, but were a more tailored experience delivered to you based on the project you are working on. This would be unrivalled personalisation.
Another good example could be if, while working in an Excel sheet on a particular project, potential new LinkedIn connections could be surfaced based on your work, and what help you may like to receive if you’re stuck.
Imagine working as a sales person in a large organisation and building a professional relationship with a potential new customer. Now, your Dynamics CRM-powered application could find the individual on LinkedIn and surface a connect notification to you.
The bottom line is that Microsoft’s central objective is putting people at the centre of the experience. This – they believe – will improve productivity, not just for them, but for the organisations they work for, too, and acquiring LinkedIn seems like a logical step in doing just that.
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