$26 billion is certainly a lot of money; especially when it’s paid in cash to acquire a professional social network, which reported an increase in loss during the first quarter of 2016.
The industry wasn’t expecting any marriage between a tech behemoth like Microsoft and a social network like Linkedin, whose focus was more into recruitment related services (out of $3 billion revenues in 2015, $2 billion was earned via their ‘Talent Solutions’ services).
What can be the possibilities of this alliance? What Linkedin can do for Microsoft which Yammer couldn’t do? We explore three possibilities, post Microsoft-Linkedin acquisition:
The Big Alliance: Linkedin + Skype?
Imagine you are chatting with your business partner on Skype, where you have expressed your desire to hire a new marketing manager. Suddenly, a new chat pops up from no-where wherein a hot shot Marketer offers himself to you. He will later inform you that he received a notification from Linkedin, regarding this offer.
Skype was acquired by Microsoft for $8.5 billion, and it is still considered as one of the most important acquisitions by Microsoft. Around 1 billion users have downloaded Skype till date, and approximately 300 million use that to connect with their friends, relatives, employees and partners.
If Linkedin is merged with Skype, then it can be a blockbuster.
The Sales Push: Linkedin + Office Apps?
As of March 2016, Linkedin had 433 million+ users, out of which 100 million+ are super active. And considering that Linkedin is a professional social network, we can safely assume that 100% of them are part of the corporate structure, one way or the other.
As per analysts reports, Microsoft’s primary intention of acquiring Linkedin is massive database of information which they possess, and software products like Microsoft Office suite is one of the fundamental base of Microsoft.
Considering the fact that Office apps are mainly sold to enterprise and corporate entities, it makes perfect sense for Microsoft to buyout Linkedin, which can be described as the biggest database of B2B customers.
After acquiring Linkedin, Satya Nadella has made his plans clear, as he shared a possibility: “Office suggesting an expert to connect with via LinkedIn to help with a task you’re trying to complete..”
This is just one of the enormous possibilities which this acquisition has opened up.
The Social Media Push 2.0: Yammer Is History; LinkedIn Is the Future
In 2008, Yammer was born which was described as the hottest intra-communication tool for businesses, besides being a social network for employees, something similar which Linkedin today is.
In 2012, Microsoft acquired Yammer for $1.2 billion, making it one of the most watched deals of that time.
However, in 2014, after Microsoft integrated Yammer’s core development team with their Office 365 suite development team, and when Yammer’s CEO Sacks left the company, the ‘Facebook for the Enterprise’ has been pronounced dead by several entrepreneurs and tech observers.
In one story titled: “The Problem With Yammer? People Don’t Use It”, it was reported that due to integration of Yammer with Office 365 suite, users are not able to optimally utilize either, and its causing downfall for the enterprise networking portal.
Maybe Microsoft has some robust plans with Linkedin, or the second option would be downfall of Linkedin, just like Yammer.
Microsoft’s past acquisitions such as Nokia have been studied as case studies on ‘What not to do with after acquiring a company’.
However, these three possibilities do open up potential of growth and newer services for both Microsoft and Linkedin.
Only time will tell how much effective they are.
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"3 Possible Outcomes of Microsoft’s $26B Linkedin Acquisition",