I first wrote about Microsoft’s move to integrate LinkedIn with Microsoft Dynamics 365 back in December of 2016 when Microsoft finalized their $26 billion purchase of the company. Our CEO Jim Bowman also wrote about the initial acquisition of LinkedIn on the 13th of that month and some of the key advantages that Dynamics 365 customers might see.
In my last post, I promised to help our customers and partners stay up to date on the maturation of Dynamics 365. So, today I’m writing a follow-up to these articles to clarify new announcements made this week by Scott Guthrie, Executive Vice President of Cloud and Enterprise Group at Microsoft. In a blog post on April 24th, he wrote:
Today we’re announcing with LinkedIn new integration that will help salespeople deliver better outcomes using insights from LinkedIn Sales Navigator and LinkedIn’s 500 million professionals. Sales Navigator with Dynamics 365 will dramatically increase the effectiveness of salespeople by tapping into their professional networks and relationships, giving them the ability to improve their pipeline by:
- Leveraging signals across email, CRM and LinkedIn to get contextual recommendations for the next best action within Dynamics 365 for Sales, facilitating introductions directly through the company’s network, and sending InMail, messages and customized connection requests
- Engaging buyers with tailored content throughout the account lifecycle, and getting account and lead updates including news mentions and job changes
- Building strong relationships with existing contacts through access to LinkedIn profile details including photos, current roles and work history.
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, available in July.
These new integrations between Sales Navigator and Dynamics 365 for Sales will allow Sales Navigator to display the person and company information on every Dynamics lead, contact, account and opportunity page. There are a number of solutions that allow 3rd party information to be shown on records in Dynamics 365 for Sales, but the nature of LinkedIn data makes it particularly useful because people tend to take a personal interest in keeping their own information up to date.
Daily updates between the systems allow information to be automatically saved to Sales Navigator. Sales Navigator activities like InMails, messages, notes and call logs will also be automatically saved to Dynamics 365 as activities. That’s the stuff relationship management is made of (IMO).
Dynamics 365 for Talent
In addition to improving the experience and effectiveness of salespeople, the move is helping to improve a variety of business processes across the company. Dynamics 365 for Talent, integrated with LinkedIn Recruiter, will provide a 360-degree view of a company workforce through modules that empower them to:
- Access the best talent, more quickly, with LinkedIn Recruiter integrations that enable dynamic candidate profiles to give managers and interviewers the most up-to-date information
- Deliver personalized onboarding experiences that accelerate employee’s ability to deliver impact with targeted activities and learning resources, along with access to relevant contacts
- Maintain an up-to-date view of employee experiences through a consolidated HR profile spanning Office 365, Dynamics 365 and LinkedIn profile information
- Drive operational excellence, measure business impact and improve program effectiveness with integrated intelligence that lets you maximize your human resources.
Available starting in July 2017, Dynamics 365 with LinkedIn integration will deliver a new, modern HR experience intended to make companies and employees more successful.
Dynamics 365 for Retail
In the same post, Guthrie also gave a shout-out to another new offering Microsoft is announcing. Dynamics 365 for Retail is an intelligent cloud service that provides retailers with an integrated end-to-end view of operations. It provides centralized management across stores and visibility of employees, customers, inventory, and financials. Modern, mobile-optimized point of sale and omnichannel capabilities that allow shoppers to engage with retailers on their terms are just of few of the benefits included in the announcement.
What does this mean for Dynamics 365 customers and partners?
These announcements make it clear that Microsoft is bent on making good on their promise of re-inventing business solutions for both small and larger enterprise organizations. Dynamics 365 entered the market with a bang because it was built on the cloud and Office 365 and expected to usher in an era of improved customer experience, efficiency, and scalability. Although Dynamics 365 is already one of the fastest-growing solutions for business, not all of the pieces are in place just yet.
Fortunately, missing pieces of the puzzle are being filled and new use cases are coming out weekly. In fact, the long-awaited Dynamics 365 apps for sales and marketing are expected to preview in July this year. Microsoft officials have yet to share specifics as to the exact features (other than pricing), but knowing these products will soon be released will reignite excitement around the Dynamics 365 Business Edition designed for SMB.
Chief Solution Strategist, SBS Group
Robbie Morrison has spent over 20 years helping customers build and deploy elegant technology and business solutions. From start-ups to enterprise-class organizations worldwide, his knowledge of the Microsoft Dynamics ecosystem and products helps SBS Group customers maximize ROI on technology investments.
Today, Robbie serves SBS Group customers in his role as Chief Solution Strategist where he provides thought leadership and manages the development of B2B solutions. Robbie received his MBA from the University of Georgia, Terry College of Business.