LinkedIn and Office 365: It's About Productivity
Today’s surprise announcement that Microsoft would buy LinkedIn for $26.5 billion came off as a shock but it shouldn’t. It’s clear, based on the official announcement, that Microsoft’s intention to buy LinkedIn wasn’t just a significant advance in acquiring the world’s biggest business social networking site. It’s an investment in global, cloud-based professional productivity. And given that Microsoft’s engine for user productivity is centered on Office 365, you don’t have to dig deep to understand the reasons for the acquisition.
You have to understand that LinkedIn isn’t just a social site but really a site that pulls in the best social productivity in the world with parts that resemble CRM tools and parts of a collaboration platform. Where else can you post business updates, join business groups, post (or search for) jobs, hunt down former employees and post official company updates within an interface that nearly every business professional knows well. Here are a few key areas where LinkedIn and Office 365 might soon fit together.
With a long list of social media patents, LinkedIn offers a great deal of intellectual insight into the behaviors of business professionals. What’s better than one cloud ‘Graph’ product? Two ‘Graph’ Products. Microsoft’s Office Graph powers activity feeds throughout Office 365, Office Products and the Delve app.
Now imagine that the LinkedIn Graph offers more information that can be used to increase productivity. In addition, LinkedIn’s Pulse gives professionals a way to find business-centric discovery around the things they care the most about. In addition, LinkedIn could enhance the description of an individual within Office 365, providing a universal identifier as an individual moves from one organization to another.
Additive Productivity Tools
If you haven’t been following LinkedIn’s own investments both Lynda.com and Slideshare.net are owned by LinkedIn. Slideshare.net is a platform for thought leaders to submit their presentations, and again has a wide variety of opportunities to demonstrate Microsoft’s own presentation tools, not only PowerPoint but Sway too. Imagine having an option in PowerPoint to share your deck publicly on Slideshare.net and watching, within Delve, your productivity gains as people review, comment and share it.
Educating business workers is always the key to any technology adoption and Lynda.com is a training platform that may be able to assist Microsoft in the focus they can put around creating end-user training for Office 365.
Beyond possibly being moved to Azure hosting, reducing overall costs, there are tools that could be integrated into the LinkedIn experience. Imagine that you could have a LinkedIn Group – that is like an Office 365 group (email, files and calendar) without having to have an Office 365 tenant… crazy right? Imagine being able to have documents, posts and comments show up inside your OneDrive for Business.
We’re really excited to see what happens in the days ahead as the Microsoft and LinkedIn teams start working together. For now, it’s all about productivity.
Adam is a Director of Product Management at Metalogix and a Microsoft MVP advocating for collaboration by connecting business needs with the right technology. Prior to Metalogix, Adam was a Practice Lead for Office 365 in a cutting edge Microsoft Consulting firm where he was responsible for moving customers to the cloud, designing and implementing information architecture (SharePoint Farm and content) and increasing user adoption. Adam is an ongoing member of the SharePoint Saturday DC coordinating committee and active speaker at various events.