Microsoft’s $26.2 billion acquisition of LinkedIn, which was announced back in June, finally closed on Thursday — and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella outlined where the two companies are going to integrate their products next.
As expected, the companies will integrate LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator tool for salespeople into Microsoft’s CRM tool, Dynamics, which was the main reason for the buy.
This integration is the main concern of CRM leader Salesforce, which is now trying to persuade European regulators to block or impose certain conditions on the Microsoft-LinkedIn deal, claiming it would shutter access to LinkedIn’s data.
Some of the other integration points are predictable, like integrating LinkedIn notifications into Windows, and integrating LinkedIn’s identity system into the Office 365 suite so people will be able to see and use LinkedIn information in their workflows.
But there are also a couple of surprises that relate to Microsoft’s online business.
For instance, Nadella said the companies would develop a “business news desk” across MSN and other properties, and would extend the reach of sponsored content — presumably allowing MSN advertisers to buy space on LinkedIn, which boasts more than 100 million visitors a month.
Here’s Nadella’s full note:
“Today is an exciting day, one I’ve been looking forward to since June. It marks the close of the agreement for Microsoft to acquire LinkedIn and the beginning of our journey to bring together the world’s leading professional cloud and the world’s leading professional network.
As our two companies’ leadership teams have spent time together these last few months, I’ve gained a deeper understanding of and appreciation for LinkedIn’s relentless focus on its members.
Today I am even more enthusiastic about the common mission and sense of purpose we share, the similarities in our cultures, and the added value we can create for LinkedIn members, to help professionals transform how they work, realise new career opportunities and connect in new ways.
In June we outlined our shared vision for the opportunity ahead and since then, our teams have worked hard to build an integration plan.
In the immediate term we will pursue a specific set of integration scenarios, for example:
- LinkedIn identity and network in Microsoft Outlook and the Office suite
- LinkedIn notifications within the Windows action center
- Enabling members drafting résumés in Word to update their profiles, and discover and apply to jobs on LinkedIn
- Extending the reach of Sponsored Content across Microsoft properties
- Enterprise LinkedIn Lookup powered by Active Directory and Office 365
- LinkedIn Learning available across the Office 365 and Windows ecosystem
- Developing a business news desk across our content ecosystem and MSN.com
- Redefining social selling through the combination of Sales Navigator and Dynamics 365
As we articulated six months ago, our top priority is to accelerate LinkedIn’s growth, by adding value for every LinkedIn member.
However, we also see a greater opportunity to help ensure that everyone can benefit from digital technology and the new opportunities created by the digital economy. As Brad Smith recently shared, Microsoft — inclusive of LinkedIn — can take steps to help people develop new skills online, find new jobs and easily connect and collaborate with colleagues. Technology alone will not solve these challenges, but together, working across private and public sectors, we can create more opportunity for everyone to participate and share in economic growth.
On behalf of the entire Microsoft team, I want to extend a warm welcome to every LinkedIn employee to Microsoft.
I am energised and optimistic for what we can achieve together and the journey ahead.”
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