Microsoft buys LinkedIn to compete with Salesforce?

By now pretty much everyone on the planet knows that Microsoft have spent $26.2 billion to acquire LinkedIn, which seems like an awful lot of money. While it’s an orders of magnitude higher than Salesforce’s acquisition of Demandware, the premium percentages are similar, with Salesforce paying a 56% over the share price and Microsoft paying around 50% over. Reaction to this has been across the spectrum from waste of money to perfectly executed play for world domination, with quite a lot of bemusement in the middle.

One type of reaction that did surprise me was that the deal was done to compete with Salesforce, and that Salesforce should be worried. Is it really the case that the only thing stopping customers from choosing Microsoft’s cloud offering over Salesforce was the fact that Microsoft didn’t own the LinkedIn data that both systems could access on demand?

Its not just CRM

Looking at Microsoft’s presentation, one item that I’m surprised they aren’t making more of is recruitment, an area which LinkedIn have monetised well. Many companies use a premium account to be able to identify and reach out to candidates, and I can easily imagine a killer app that ties together vacancies and candidates based on the kind of insights that could be found in this data.

Platform FTW

Now What?

What is clear is that we are very much in a buying cycle — the major cloud players are all buying as well as building to increase their market and a deal of this magnitude will spark some further activity I’d imagine.

What the World is Saying

I’m better known in the Salesforce community as Bob Buzzard — 10 x Certified, including Technical Architect, 5 x MVP and CTO of BrightGen, a Platinum Cloud Alliance Partner in the United Kingdom.

You can find my (usually) more technical thoughts at the Bob Buzzard Blog

CTO at BrightGen, author Visualforce Development Cookbook, multi Salesforce Developer MVP. Salesforce Certified Technical Architect. I am the one who codes.

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