By Shirley Siluk / Mobile Tech Today. Updated April 25, 2017.
Four months after completing its $26.2 billion acquisition of LinkedIn, Microsoft is integrating data from the professional networking site into its Dynamics 365 cloud-based software for customer relationship management (CRM) and enterprise resource planning (ERP).
By incorporating new information from LinkedIn's Sales Navigator, sales professionals using Dynamics 365 will be able to get more contextual recommendations for actions and provide more tailored content to buyers throughout the sales cycle, Scott Guthrie, Microsoft's executive vice president for the cloud and enterprise group, said yesterday in a blog post.
Data from LinkedIn will also help power Dynamics 365 for Talent, a new application Microsoft is introducing for human resources organizations. Another new cloud service, Dynamics 365 for Retail, is aimed at retailers looking for an end-to-end view of people, customers, inventory, and more across all their stores.
New Offerings in July
Businesses need an across-the-board, integrated and intelligent view of operations to remain competitive as "the rate of disruption increases," Guthrie said in his blog post. Those capabilities are especially important in CRM and ERP systems, which enable companies to better connect with employees and customers, he added.
With the addition of data from LinkedIn's Sales Navigator, the latest version of Dynamics 365 will help sales professionals with introductions, messages and customized connection requests, and will also keep them updated about news mentions and job changes, Guthrie said.
The newly combined LinkedIn Sales Navigator and Dynamics 365 for Sales will be available beginning in July, with pricing starting at $135 per user per month.
Microsoft's new Dynamics 365 for Talent offering is also launching in July. Guthrie said it will provide HR users with "dynamic candidate profiles" and the ability to deliver personalized onboarding experiences, while also offering an up-to-date view of employees that spans Office 365, Dynamics 365 and LinkedIn data.
More details about the new Dynamics 365 offerings are expected to come out during the Microsoft Business Forward online event on May 3. Among those set to talk during the event are CEO Satya Nadella, corporate vice president James Phillips and executive vice president Judson Althoff.
'An Important Milestone'
Yesterday, LinkedIn announced it had "crossed an important and exciting milestone" by reaching a half billion users across 200 different countries, compared to the 467 million the company reported in October. "A professional community of this size has never existed until now," noted Aatif Awan, vice president for growth and international products, in a LinkedIn blog post yesterday.
LinkedIn also provided other details about usership in different regions. The United Arab Emirates, for example, is the country with the most connected users, with an average of 211 connections each, while London is the most connected major city, with an average of 307 connections per user.
The staffing and recruiting industry comes out on top in terms of connections, with an average of 702, followed by venture capital/private equity, with an average of 423 connections. And the top five most-connected job functions are human resources, product management, business development, marketing, and consulting. Awan noted that LinkedIn plans to add more personalized insights to users' "My Network" tab sometime in the near future.