Following today’s surprising but exciting announcement that Microsoft is planning to buy Linkedin for $26bn here’s a list of things they could do integrate the service with their own tools. However, before getting into the list it’s worth looking at the bigger picture. This acquisition puts Microsoft in a unique position as a supplier of digital workplace tools. Artificial Intelligence (AI) will undoubtedly become more prevalent in the workplace in the coming years. With its access to the Linkedin database of people profiles Microsoft will be able to leverage data from both outside and inside the organisation in order to power its AI algorithms that drive tools like Delve and Office Graph. Owning this broader set of data versus its digital workplace competitors will allow Microsoft to make ever more relevant suggestions when it comes to content discovery, contact discovery and company discovery. Many of the items on our list below focus on the AI capabilities enabled by this acquisition.
1) Merge your Office 365 profile with your Linkedin profile. One less place to maintain a profile.
2) Suggest external Yammer groups that your Linkedin connections belong to.
3) You’re working on a project and Delve picks up on this due to the documents you are working on in SharePoint and suggests that you might want to talk to one of your Linkedin connections. Perhaps they’ve got some valuable experience you could learn from or perhaps you could even hire them to work with you?
4) On a similar tip, Delve might suggest a supplier to help you with you project based on the reputations of its employees and the connections you have who are connected to some of those employees.
5) Again on a project tip, Delve might point you towards some news on Linkedin or content on Slideshare (part of Linkedin) that is related to your project.
6) Delve knows which of your external connections you have most contact with. When Delve notices a change in their profile on Linkedin it could alert you so you can congratulate them.
7) If you are losing touch with one of your Linkedin connections Delve notices this and prompts you to do something about it.
8) Compare your calendar appointments with the events and places that your connections are talking about on Linkedin. If there’s a match you get alerted. Always useful to know someone you know is going to the same city as you.
9) Merge your contacts with your connections data found on Linkedin ensuring it is kept up to date.
10) Merge your company news feed on SharePoint with top items from your Linkedin newsfeed making it more personal
11) Bring Skype for Business presence into Linkedin with ability to call or chat to people right off the Linkedin page. You’d probably need to ask users permission to share their presence outside their own organisations.
12) Based on positive internal interactions suggest colleagues you should connect to on Linkedin
13) By identifying positive sentiment in your interactions with internal contacts who are also connections, suggest to them that they might want to give you a recommendation on Linkedin, and vice versa of course.
14) Allow you to put a block on calls and emails from certain categories of people (e.g. recruitment agencies).