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LinkedIn+Microsoft: What it means to HR

Source | LinkedIn : By Ester Martinez

The acquisition will mean data-enhanced services for enterprise customers, and HR has a lot to benefit from it

When Satya Nadella visited India to earmark the 25 years of operations in the country last November, his keynote provided a deep dive on Microsoft’s new mission “Empowering every person and organization on the planet to achieve more,” and what will it mean mainly for the enterprise customers.

And this is the first of what Nadella’s ambitious plans are. Microsoft’s acquisition of LinkedIn Corp. for $26.2 billion not only reflects new horizons for both the companies, but also reflects Microsoft’s commitment to bet on how a layer of data from professional social network can transform current enterprise services. Nadella, through this acquisition, has aspired to lead workplace transformation for the future and offer tools, apps, technologies that employees and leaders would want to use at the workplace. Not only is this move seen to strengthen Microsoft’s bottom-line but it also aims to cushion its position in the market. “It’s really the coming together of the professional cloud and the professional network,” Mr. Nadella stated in an interview.

At People Matters, we keep following the industry trends and its impact on people excellence and HR. I am excited about how this deal is going to provide further value to business and HR leaders to enhance workplace productivity and engagement. This deal could bring more opportunities for companies to increase empowerment, productivity of individuals and teams, enabling collaboration in the workplace. Here is how:

  • It is a data game, after all: As controversial as it can be, all LinkedIn data on companies and employees can be turned into a knowledge base for all enterprise tools, including HR. Where Facebook was 2 years ago when it acquired WhatsApp for $18.4bn for its data, Microsoft is at the same helm today. With Nadella offering to give its Cortana digital assistant access to data from LinkedIn, HR can tomorrow, potentially, use Cortana to prep for interviews, get support from data in terms of references, and skills about a candidate. Cortana, a Siri-like assistant, will be able to provide information on candidates or even employees and their networks that can be very useful for HR fraternity to enhance the “humanness” of relations and the “emotional connect.
  • Richer usage of Microsoft services: Microsoft will be able to integrate data with tools and app to provide superior services. Integrating LinkedIn with tools like Skype, Office, CRM, HRMS and other services run on, Microsoft’s Azure platform is Nadella’s overarching vision of providing unparalleled software offerings.
  • Counter-attack at Facebook at Work and other collaboration tools: The more competition, the better for the buyer. Facebook has been investing heavily in building a corporate-like network for employers. In India, many organizations, like Godrej, Piramal, are already using Facebook at Work. Microsoft plans to integrate LinkedIn newsfeed into the Office 365, that will mean users can keep track of what’s happening in their professional network while they are working. That will mean great value for their enterprise customers as companies already use MSOffice, which dilutes the need to move to Facebook at work when Office would provide a “Facebook-like” built in?

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