05 Aug

Microsoft Buying LinkedIn Will Benefit Both Companies

Microsoft’s recent decision to buy LinkedIn, many are speculating about what the long-term plan might be. Big software companies are strategic in their buying decisions, and Microsoft wouldn’t have shelled out $26.1 billion without a good reason. As experts scoured announcements for signs of what the big plan might be, one specific quote took center focus:

“Together we can accelerate the growth of LinkedIn, as well as Microsoft Office 365 and Dynamics as we seek to empower every person and organization on the planet,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said.

The purchase stands to permanently change the way professionals use Microsoft’s tools, primarily through the valuable data contained within LinkedIn. Here are a few ways LinkedIn will boost Office 365’s capabilities to help businesses do more.


More Data

The current business landscape relies on data to power everything professionals do. LinkedIn is a treasure trove of information, seeing as members willingly upload information on their current and past positions. LinkedIn’s goal is to attract more social media followers, but Microsoft’s goal is to give consumers the information they need to more effectively use its products.

With a connection to LinkedIn, Microsoft has access to reams of contact information that can help professionals who are sending emails through Outlook or preparing a mailing campaign through Word or Excel. Eventually, Microsoft’s app could note out-of-date contact information and make a suggestion from LinkedIn that will prevent undeliverable letters.


Better Insights

LinkedIn is already aware of the power of the data within its massive platform. In 2012, LinkedIn bought Rapportive, an app that creates a sidebar within Gmail to show social media information. That partnership now allows Gmail users to see LinkedIn information on the contact name listed in the email being read or composed.

TechCrunch explains that the LinkedIn purchase could bring a similar functionality to Outlook, with contact data fixed natively into the app. This means that professionals could soon see a connection between LinkedIn and Office 365, with information funneling back and forth between the two. For example, a worker checking profiles on LinkedIn could see a past contact history within the profiles on the site.


Intelligent News Feeds

The partnership also can help inform LinkedIn’s news feed, which can be a driving force to bring professionals back to the site every day. Instead of delivering random news based on a few preferences stated at signup, LinkedIn can gather data on the projects a professional is currently involved in and use that to inform the news it delivers.

Outlook also can provide data to LinkedIn. A professional may have an upcoming meeting or conference and the news feed could be tweaked to reflect that. LinkedIn’s news feed also could reflect the newsletters and curated information that a user receives through email.

Microsoft’s purchase of LinkedIn stands to benefit both companies as they make their apps more useful. However, consumers stand to gain the most from LinkedIn integrating into Office 365 because it will inevitably improve the user experience on both platforms.

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