We all know Microsoft as the software giant that recently transformed its Lync enterprise communications application into Skype for Business when it acquired Skype. We also know LinkedIn as the world’s leading database network for working professionals. What does it mean for Microsoft, Unified Communications (UC), and LinkedIn now that the software giant is set to assume ownership of the LinkedIn brand for a $26.2 billion cash offer?
STRONGER REAL-TIME UC
LinkedIn gives up to the minute news through its feed which compares well to Facebook’s. Topping over 433 million users, LinkedIn has one of the most dynamic networks around. Many professionals utilize the social channel to share news, accomplishments, ideas, and find employment through the LinkedIn network. With 45 billion page views in the first quarter of 2016 and two new LinkedIn members per second*, the staggering usage presents a spectacular opportunity to advance the Microsoft brand should they acquire the networking site. In short, acquisition here offers the possibility of a real-time cloud-based UC suite for enterprises mainly because this gives Microsoft the chance to integrate this real-time capability into its existing cloud-based UC suite for the enterprise.
The UC tools that Microsoft already has combined into their communications suite lets users access many collaborative tools like email, group chat, voice, and text under one umbrella/address. The integration of voice, data, and video is attractive to small and large businesses alike. One platform for all workflow (IM, scheduling, file sharing) on multiple devices from the wearable to the desktop is the caveat. If the acquisition takes place, Microsoft will have a captive audience since many LinkedIn users are business owners. The software giant could begin to offer Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) among other opportunistic services. Many LinkedIn professionals are already avid users of Microsoft’s UC products like Sharepoint, Skype for Business, and Office 365.
The move is a smart one and does play into Microsoft’s overall market strength as a recognized Gartner Magic Quadrant visionary, leader, challenger and niche player. However, there are concerns that Microsoft needs to consider for it to be able to compete in the UC and UCaaS market. These initiatives include the ability to analyze, measure, optimize, and bill for Unified Communications Interactions to achieve desired business outcomes. Through a series of blogs, we will address these topics individually as follows:
- Modality Usage by User
- Productivity Metrics
- Voice, Video, IM
- Network Capacity Planning & Trunk Utilization
- Billing Mediation - Bill back for UCaaS calls