Microsoft’s announcement last Monday of their deal to acquire LinkedIn will mark their largest acquisition to date, and has many people asking if the arrangement was a good strategic choice for the company. Here are a few points that highlight some of the reasons the deal has the potential for success.
- LinkedIn’s international presence
LinkedIn still has room for growth and is finding much of it overseas. It has expanded into 200+ countries so far and is continuing to make international expansion a priority. In particular, LinkedIn’s expansion in Brazil has been rewarding, where it has seen the most user growth (428% over the past year), and in India, which has the most users of the service (over 30 million). LinkedIn’s presence in China is also growing, which is a huge market and a great opportunity for growth to tap into. While Microsoft has already broken into most international markets, this will aid LinkedIn’s continued expansion, and the loyal user base that LinkedIn has already begun growing in these foreign markets will be beneficial to the partnership as well.
- The two companies have a lot in common
The two companies have a complementary mission. Nadella’s mission for Microsoft since he took the CEO position 2 years ago is "To empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more." Similarly, LinkedIn’s mission is “To connect the world's professionals to make them more productive and successful." Both companies aim to aid their users in achieving as much as they possibly can with the help of their services. By teaming up and bringing both the professional network and the professional tools into a shared space the two companies have a lot of potential to make their user base even more successful than they could separately.
- The potential for growth and integration into Microsoft products
Microsoft has many products such as Office, Azure, Outlook, and Cortana that could see benefit from the integration of LinkedIn services. LinkedIn’s users are Microsoft’s key demographic and the information that LinkedIn can provide to Microsoft’s products will benefit Microsoft and its users. Nadella explained this potential as the possibility “for new experiences such as a LinkedIn newsfeed that serves up articles based on the project you are working on and Office suggesting an expert to connect with via LinkedIn to help with a task you're trying to complete.” A powerful partnership between the two is possible and could change how we use LinkedIn and Microsoft products in our everyday professional lives.
LinkedIn is a unique platform that has features that can benefit Microsoft’s products and user base as well as aiding Microsoft’s strategic vision. Nadella identified the worth of LinkedIn in that the internet is now where people are networking and finding jobs, as well as the power of the international workforce on one platform, especially to a company that caters its products to those same people.