The acquisition of LinkedIn by Microsoft will help the duo assist client companies, and even individuals in the personal lives, to organise information and orchestrate their functions better, according to Frank E. Gillett, Vice-President, Forrester, a global research firm. However, he said, “The question is how successful Microsoft would be in executing its vision.” Asked what he thought would be the possibilities with this combination, he said that artificial intelligence, virtual assistance and the like throw up immense possibilities for Microsoft, “Imagine, if you are working on a document about manufacturing, an automated search brings up a list of your colleagues around the world that are experts in the field.” Existing tools, he said, allow for such fact points to made available as a user types out a document – across LinkedIn profiles, links on the Web that are related to the subject matter, previous documents that the same user has put out on the subject and news on the topic, among others. “Now, Microsoft can make these all more sophisticated in its offerings,” he said.
Hemant Joshi, Partner, Deloitte Haskins and Sells, saw it as a part of the overall convergence happening in the Information technology space. “Consolidation is the way forward.”Over-priced?
Some analysts said that Microsoft had ‘overvalued’ LinkedIn at $ 26.2 billion, while the latter’s annual revenue for 2015 was about $ 2.9 billion. An analyst, not willing to be named, said, “Perhaps, Microsoft finds the ‘social graph’ of LinkedIn attractive. Much of LinkedIn’s revenue comes from corporate recruiters.”
Since Microsoft is moving towards enterprise solutions (as distinguished from satiating the retail consumer needs), analysts said that it could use LinkedIn to offer an integrated and a far better solution to its enterprise customers. One view is that Microsoft may have to take a complete re-look at LinkedIn as it operates today and perhaps re-configure to fit its overall new requirement.
The deal is expected to give an impetus to Microsoft’s Customer Relationship Management (CRM) offering. “It will help Microsoft extend its CRM suite leveraging LinkedIn’s rich data,” Sanchit Vir Gogia, CEO at Greyhound Research. LinkedIn would gain as currently its muscle to sell was limited, he said.Social media entry
The deal also allows Microsoft an entry into the social media game, against Facebook and Google. Vishal Tripathi, Research director at Gartner told The Hindu , “The deal makes sense for both parties to the deal. It will get Microsoft into social media – with the ability to compete with likes of Facebook and Google. This also gets Microsoft into content, LinkedIn being the biggest business publisher.” “Combining the most powerful B2B network with Skype, Microsoft’s widely adopted collaboration tool, is huge. I also see this as refocusing the value of Office 365 from office products-led to being more collaborative solution-led,” Phil Fersht, ýFounder, CEO, US-based Analyst firm HfS Research said in an email response. “I expect Microsoft to bring its brand and offerings closer to professionals connected via LinkedIn; this is bound add to future sales revenue,”said Sanjoy Sen, Doctoral Research Scholar, Aston Business School, U.K.
With K. Bharat Kumar, K.T. Jagannathan, Sanjay Vijayakumar and Pradeesh Chandran