Microsoft recently acquired LinkedIn in a deal that was valued at $26.2 billion. Despite the high ticket price, the LinkedIn acquisition is likely to yield some fantastic returns for Microsoft, which has been aggressively developing its productivity and office suites over the past few years. The LinkedIn acquisition is going to give Microsoft invaluable amounts of big data, which can then be ported over to their customer relationship management, enterprise resource planning, and productivity and collaboration suites.
Microsoft is Moving Into an App-Centric World
The “operating system” of a device no longer matters as much as it once did. More and more, consumers and professionals alike are using tablets, smartphones, and chromebooks; they are becoming less attached to an operating system and more attached to the applications that operating system can provide. In order to adapt, Microsoft has been pushing more towards an app-centric model, creating cloud-based apps such as Office 365 which can be utilized on any device and are almost entirely OS independent. By creating a better app ecosystem, Microsoft is able to be more agile and is able to adapt easier to the pressures on its market. LinkedIn is another application that is incredibly popular and that can further improve upon Microsoft’s own existing product line.
Powering Microsoft’s Enterprise Suites
Integration is one of the chief areas in which the LinkedIn acquisition is going to benefit Microsoft. From porting professional information into Skype to utilizing it in Microsoft’s ERP and CRM suites, LinkedIn’s data is going to be incredibly valuable. Microsoft can now bring in detailed information about professionals from the world’s largest professional database, thereby improving upon the analytics and services of their own software suite. LinkedIn will add value by creating an integrated social network layered upon Microsoft’s current offerings, which (until now) was the one thing that the suite was missing.
Microsoft has been steadily attempting to create an all-in-one business infrastructure through its combined and integrated software systems. This cloud-based system fits in nicely with a social media platform, which can additionally be accessed anywhere and used through a mobile app. Businesses that frequently use LinkedIn will see this value added to Microsoft’s own suites and be more likely to invest in solutions such as Microsoft Dynamics CRP or Microsoft Office 365.
Microsoft Moving Forward
Integration into Microsoft’s existing suites isn’t the only way that LinkedIn’s acquisition can benefit. Microsoft may also be developing its own integrated talent management platform, or may seek to expand LinkedIn into an even larger social network for businesses and professionals. LinkedIn may also be pushed more firmly towards Microsoft’s mobile initiatives, in an effort to further connect and communicate with the business professionals who are most likely to use Microsoft’s products. Microsoft may additionally move LinkedIn towards the e-learning market, which has been steadily growing.
This acquisition by Microsoft only underscores a general shift that is occurring in the IT market, which is pushing all companies towards an app-centric, mobile infrastructure. Organizations that want to get on board with these new technologies will need to invest in the right software and the right talent. Software Specialists can help. Check out the job listings at Software Specialists today to start looking for new employees.