Microsoft has acquired LinkedIn for $26.2 billion. And it  is vowing to maintain LinkedIn’s overall independence, including the role of CEO Jeff Weiner.  The deal is expected to close sometime in 2016.  How could Microsoft Leverage LinkedIn in numerous areas including in the paradigm of SOCIAL SELLING.

  • NETWORKING TOOLS TO USERS: Microsoft could integrate  LinkedIn social network into many of its apps and services, including Office, Skype and Cortana providing more professional networking tools to users..
  • INTEGRATION: Now with LinkedIn you could get the details of the person you’re meeting for a business deal, for example, or get help from an expert when you’re working on an Office 365 project.
  • PROFESSIONAL NETWORK: You need a “connected professional world” to get things done, whether it’s getting help with a spreadsheet or fleshing out details in a customer relations tool like Microsoft’s Dynamics.
  • SOCIAL NETWORKING: It is a massive move for Microsoft to enter the social networking world with a bang.
  • SHIFT FROM WINDOWS DEPENDENCE TO CLOUD: The acquisition is a proof positive that Microsoft is reducing its dependence on Windows and putting more of an emphasis on cloud services.
  • GREATER REACH IN PROFESSIONAL NETWORK: LinkedIn will give Microsoft a far bigger reach in terms of social networking services and professional content — developing the early signs of enterprise social networking that it kicked off with its acquisition of Yammer for $1.2 billion in 2012.
  • A PROFESSIONAL SALES CHANNEL (Social Selling) : LinkedIn’s wider social network, pegged as it is to groups of employees and employers, will give Microsoft a sales channel to sell more of its products, and will serve as a complement to those that it already offers for collaboration and communication.
  • LinkedIn ECONOMIC SOCIAL GRAPH: Microsoft plans to use LinkedIn’s social graph as an integrated selling tool alongside its existing CRM products (which are second to Salesforce in the market currently).
  • INTEGRATION WITH DYNAMICS AND SALES NAVIGATOR: Users of Microsoft’s Dynamics CRM and other systems, it notes, will want to use LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator “to transform the sales cycle with actionable insights” — essentially lots of background information about users that can help find leads, open conversations and close deals.
  • LEARNING PLATFORM: LinkedIn’s that are interesting to consider in light of this acquisition are com, for example, to spearhead a move into offering online learning tools to users — expanding on their bigger hope of being the go-to place for overall professional development.
  • LYNDA TO EDUCATE MORE AND SELL MORE: Now, with Microsoft, you can see how Lynda might be employed to help sell Microsoft software products, and provide assistance in learning to use them. This is also an area that Microsoft is already highlighting as a positive in the deal.
  • MICROSOFT A BIG BROTHER FOR LINKEDIN: For LinkedIn, it puts to rest questions of how the company would ever compete with companies that are building more software on top of their social graphs that would put it into closer competition against LinkedIn. For a while, it looked like this was the direction that LinkedIn hoped to develop, but more recent problems with user and revenue growth, and a subsequent dropping share price, has put the company on the defensive.
  • SOCIAL NETWORKING FOOT HOLD: Microsoft has never been a massively successful company when it comes to social networking — although it smartly invested in Facebook before it went public, and as we have reported before it was apparently interested at one point in trying to make a bid to buy Slack for $8 billion. LinkedIn’s social network will give it a significant foothold in this area.
  • ACCESS TO JOB POSTINGS: LinkedIn provides Microsoft access to one of the biggest repositories of job listings, with some 7 million active listings currently providing a window to future of Jobs.