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We knew that Microsoft’s takeover of LinkedIn meant that they had big plans for collaboratively moving forward digital transformation in the business world, but even so, it’s exciting to see what the joining of forces is producing.
During Microsoft’s recent Business Forward conference, the company announced new features to begin the integration of the cloud-based Dynamics 365 platform with LinkedIn, the world’s biggest online professional network.
The sales benefits of Dynamics 365 – which have included the ability to create quotes from customer insights and inventory data and send to customers, all within Outlook – have now been multiplied with the confirmation that LinkedIn Sales Navigator will give users access to insights from its 500 million-strong network. It’s anticipated that the new feature will allow sales people to dip into their LinkedIn network and use data from it more effectively.
Users will be able to leverage their email, CRM and LinkedIn platforms “to get contextual recommendations for the next best action within Dynamics 365 for Sales,” according to Microsoft. Introductions to new contacts can be made through a company network, and lead and account updates, including job changes, will also be channelled from LinkedIn. Photos, work history and current job roles from LinkedIn will give Dynamics users opportunities to build stronger relationships.
Microsoft say the solution will be available in July, and they are confident it represents great value: “We’re making it easier for customers to take advantage of this solution by introducing a single offer that brings together LinkedIn Sales Navigator and Dynamics 365 for Sales at about half the cost of competitive solutions in the market.”
Another feature fashioned from LinkedIn will be Dynamics 365 for Talent, which will combine with LinkedIn Recruiter to allow recruiters to access the best candidates. Microsoft promises prospective customers that it will offer a “360-degree view of your workforce”, encompassing sourcing, recruiting and retention. Dynamic candidate profiles made possible by LinkedIn are expected to benefit both recruiters and HR managers, while employee experiences within an organisation can now utilise information from Office 365, Dynamics 365 and LinkedIn.
According to Microsoft, the Dynamics 365 for Talent update will “drive operational excellence, measure business impact and improve program effectiveness with integrated intelligence that lets you maximize your human resources.”
Also newly confirmed as being in the pipeline is Dynamics 365 for Retail, a cloud-based service which will give retailers centralised management and a complete view of their operations. It is designed to improve the visibility of operational elements such as multiple stores, customers, employees, as well as financials and inventory.
With the LinkedIn features on the way, along with a new retail solution, it looks as though Dynamics will continue to go from strength to strength as the appetite for cloud computing and more integrated software grows and grows.
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