Last year, Microsoft bought LinkedIn for $26.2 billion, but even though the acquisition has long closed, Microsoft hasn't yet done much with all of the data it gets from the social network. At its Ignite conference in Orlando, Florida, the company announced some first steps in integrating LinkedIn's social graph with its Office products.
Now don't get too excited yet. What we're talking about here is the integration of LinkedIn data with Office 365 profile cards. So assuming you don't know much about your professional contacts and colleagues yet, you can now see more information about them right in Office 365 without having to go to their LinkedIn profiles (and potentially showing up as that one person who looked at their LinkedIn profile that week, which will surely trigger yet another LinkedIn email for them).
As Microsoft spokesperson Frank X. Shaw noted during a press briefing ahead of the event, the idea behind integrating the Microsoft Graph and the LinkedIn Graph is about creating a more modern workplace. "This will result in experiences like having LinkedIn content integrated with the Office 365 profile card," he said. "So for example, before you go into an interview, information about that person from LinkedIn will show up in their contact card inside your Outlook Calendar in Office 365."
All of this sounds a bit like Microsoft spent $26.2 million to save you a click. But there is more. Soon, Dynamics 365 for Sales, Microsoft's CRM solution, will get the same profile integration and its users will be able to send LinkedIn InMails and messages directly from within Dynamics. Do I hear you saying that this is evidence that sometimes dreams really do come true? Well, yes, indeed. They do.