On Monday 6/13/2016, Microsoft announced its acquisition of LinkedIn. This is a major game changer in the world of IT. But before we get to some of the advantages of this acquisition, Microsoft actually was working on a LinkedIn killer on its CRM dynamics platform. The idea was to generate more footprint for its CRM solution as well as create something unique with it. This was started in early 2012 and was way before its actual acquisition of LinkedIn. Here are my thoughts into where this acquisition will lead Microsoft & LinkedIn to:
- Microsoft gains a huge database of professionals and organizations in various streams: This alone is the most massive gain by Microsoft. It could start targeting professionals/organizations to either move onto the Microsoft platform or join the Microsoft platform which can bolster its sales by a huge margin/
- Microsoft integration of LinkedIn ads with Bing: Just imagine an organization trying to establish a marketing campaign. Now with LinkedIn ads and Bing ads integrated, an organization will have more opportunities to get page views or clicks and the potential to accelerate CTR's to conversions. This could come with a potential increase in cost of a campaign but it might make a really profitable decision.
- Changes in technology trends at Microsoft will accelerate: Now since the foundation of LinkedIn is based on Cloud computing and Big Data, LinkedIn would have significantly made a lot of strides in terms of architectural and open source technology aspects. Now if these can be converted to products on the Azure suite, Microsoft might make a sizable profit on it. Also this will increase the trend of embracing open source vs closed technology stacks. (Azkaban, Voldemort, Increased usage of Kafka and Rabbit MQ etc...)
- Added stream of Revenue: During an interview with Satya and Jeff, Satya did mention the integration with O365 and Azure as the major driver and Jeff mentioned that it made sense for LinkedIn to sell at this point. But I think the potential driver for this deal was the significant monetary gain that Microsoft will have in terms of Ads and revenue generated from LinkedIn subscribers. LinkedIn had major competition coming its way in the form of more local or regional based corporate social websites, but with this it actually gives it a major edge over its competitors due to Microsoft's global reach. Azure and O365 could potentially outlets for Microsoft to create LinkedIn based apps similar to Yammer
- Allow organizations to create internal social platforms using the technology gained by LinkedIn: Microsoft could potentially make a configurable LinkedIn app for all its devices inclusive of the XBOX that organizations can tap into and create internal social networking platforms.
It would be fun to just do a prediction as to where this acquisition would lead Microsoft. probably a story to tell another day.