News broke this morning outlining Microsoft’s intention to purchase Linkedin for $26.2 billion dollars. Many outlets are reporting the purchase, but not many are discussing the advantages and benefits that Microsoft may gain by the acquisition.
Here are 6 territories that may be bolstered by Microsoft’s acquisition:
Professional Data – The acquisition of Linkedin offers almost immediate access to professional profile data that Microsoft could leverage and integrate into Microsoft Office products, specifically Office 365.
By merging the 433 million members with 1.2 billion office users, Microsoft can quickly build integrations between professional profile data and their product set.
B2B Marketing Reach – With 433 million members (128 million in the US) Microsoft just picked up one of the premier B2B advertising players that instantly gives them global reach to further extend advertising solutions as well as Microsoft products and services.
Search – Microsoft has dabbled with social search with social integrations into Bing over the past few years. Also their failed launch of So.cl in 2012 was designed to research the potential integration of social and search. By picking up Linkedin they also gain the growing content engine that is highly optimized for organic discovery within traditional search channels.
Here is an example of my latest Linkedin Post that is also the #1 result for Data fueling Creative.
Extending Social Capabilities – Microsoft has also been a minority player previously investing $256 million dollars in Facebook. They recently launched a joint underwater cable initiative to further boost cloud service capabilities for both organizations.
With a strategic partnership with one of the largest B2C marketing entities and now picking up the premier B2B platform, Microsoft is positioning itself to remain relevant through diversifying their assets, strategic partnerships and leveraging the content created from Linkedin as well as it’s global reach and subscription based member model to further deliver products, services and create new streams of revenue.
Extending Productivity Solutions – Microsoft has been laser focused on building subscription based productivity solutions over the past 5 years. This includes unified communications solutions yammer and lync as well as products like Office 365, OneDrive and OneNote.
By acquiring Linkedin they will have direct access to various users across company type and could potentially box out competitive products and solutions and focus on exclusively positioning their products and services to the 433 million global users.
Cortana – There is speculation that Cortana is being positioned as one of the first virtual assistant/artificial intelligence systems being built specifically for the enterprise. The acquisition of Linkedin could be a viable platform to educate, identify and sell through the service in addition to leveraging professional profile data, content and conversations happening within Linkedin Groups to further refine offerings.
Follow Tom Edwards @Blackfin360