If you lived on a remote island with no internet connection, you might have missed the news regarding the acquisition of LinkedIn by Microsoft. The business deal itself has been highly discussed among economist due to the huge sum of 26.2 billion $ (!), but Satya Nadella and Jeff Weiner have been giving more information on the reasons why this deal benefits a lot of parties, especially you as a user. My goal is not to repeat earlier news or delve deeper in to the financial numbers, but offer more insight on the consequences of this business deal for Microsoft Dynamics CRM and why I think a Dynamics CRM 2.0 is in the making.
Too long; didn’t read
If your not in a reading mood today, I suggest you check out some videos on YouTube concerning the take over, followed by some funny cat videos and then return to read this post.
Now that you are in a better mood, we can start to built at the idea of a new, improved Dynamics CRM 2.0 with enhanced capabilities, such as a good integration with LinkedIn and some other great features. But first, lets dig deeper into some other ideas as to built ours upon it.
How do CRM minds think of the acquisition and its consequences on CRM?
In his post “THE REAL REASON MICROSOFT IS BUYING LINKEDIN (AND IT IS NOT FOR THEIR PROFITABILITY)” Leon Tribe thinks;
For existing ERP/CRM systems, LinkedIn becomes an indispensable reference system to ensure my Account and Contact information is accurate and up to date. In linking LinkedIn and CRM, for example, we no longer have to manually shift Contacts from one Account to another when they move; the Contact will self-update their information and this will flow into CRM.
It could be argued that Microsoft could reap a lot of these benefits by striking a collaborative deal with LinkedIn, in much the same way as they have done with Twitter and Facebook for Microsoft Social Engagement. My assumption is the reason they have decided to buy the company, rather than just work with them, is to cut off those benefits to its rivals. In acquiring LinkedIn, they cripple a range of competitors in common markets such as Google, Salesforce and Oracle.
On the other hand, The Hosk offers following insight through his blogpost “Microsoft buys LinkedIn – What you need to know“:
It seems LinkedIn is selective about what companies can integrate with LinkedIn, the value of LinkedIn is the people it has in it’s database who are using it’s website. The lack of companies which integrate with LinkedIn shows a sense of direction and aclear strategy. Satya has played nicely with Salesforce last year creating a partnership,which is discussed below. Will Satya share LinkedIn with Salesforce or will he turn the screw and allow Microsoft Dynamics to create a competitive advantage by only integrating with Microsoft.
Most professionals use LinkedIn and Microsoft Office products, integrating them will save time and add value to those people who use them. LinkedIn integration to the Microsoft Dynamics products will give Microsoft a competitiveadvantage Salesforce and other CRM products won’t be able to match.
Now I could go on and quote some more CRM minds, but they all offer the two same insights:
- Enriching Dynamics CRM with LinkedIn data. But we do have to highight the fact that LinkedIn profiles only offer a select amout of information, which could be in turn enriched with data from other sources.
- Hightening the competitive advantage with other CRM systems such as Salesforce and Oracle
Lets put Cortana in the mix
None of the CRM minds have offered the insight concerning a possible integration between Cortana – LinkedIn – Dynamics CRM, as Cortana already works with Dynamics CRM. But PC world has alluded to it in it’s post: “Why Microsoft bought LinkedIn for $26 billion, in one word: Cortana“.
If you’re bothered by the thought of Microsoft’s owning more data about you—well, you probably should go delete your LinkedIn profile, now. Microsoft already knows your calendar (Outlook), your meetings (Outlook), your coworkers (Delve), your accounts (Microsoft Dynamics CRM), and some of your expertise (Delve). Microsoft calls this the Office Graph.
What with Lynda?
Lynda.com, the online learning platform which was acquired by LinkedIn earlier, isn’t mentioned in any of the press releases. But this might be a handy tool to help Microsoft educate its users concerning its programs.
But lets not forget Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella himself
From the post “Microsoft’s LinkedIn Deal is “Next Step Forward” for Office 365, Dynamics, Says Nadella” on MSDynamicsWorld.com concerning the acquisition and offering more thoughts on possible integrations, a letter to Microsoft employees is quoted:
This deal is the next step forward for Office 365 and Dynamics as they connect to the world’s largest and most valuable professional network. In essence, we can reinvent ways to make professionals more productive while at the same time reinventing selling, marketing and talent management business processes. I can’t wait to see what our teams dream up when we can begin working together once the deal closes, which we expect will happen this calendar year. – Satya Nadella
And finally lets add some ‘illustrations’ of Nadella and Weiner
A lot of information can be gained by reading the “Microsoft, LinkedIn CEOs Share Early Plans for Growth, Integration” post on MSDynamicsWorld.com concerning possible projects following the acquisition. In general these are the 3:
- Building a better LinkedIn Sales Navigator integration
- Building a HR management solution
- Enhancing social integration
Now what do we get when we put it all together?
If we put all previous ideas, insights and possibilities together, we can manage to offer following summary:
Microsoft will highten the competitive advantage of Dynamics CRM with other CRM systems such as Salesforce and Oracle through a better integration with LinkedIn. This will be possibly, but not necessarily through the current LinkedIn Sales Navigator intgeration. Furthermore, Dynamics CRM will be enriched with LinkedIn data and possibly an extra solution will be created to allow Dynamics CRM to evolve into a HR management solution. Last, the power of Office 365 and the current integrations with Dynamics CRM will be expanded with LinkedIn and used as a new productivity tool.