The tech giant Microsoft Corp soon will be rolling out upgrades to its sales software that put together data from LinkedIn, a plan that Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella told Reuters was central to the company's long-term plan for structuring dedicated business software.
The developments to Dynamics 365, as Microsoft’s sales software is called, are a challenge to market leader Salesforce.com and stand for the first chief product scheme to spring from Microsoft's $26 billion acquisition of LinkedIn, the business-focused social network.
The all new features will search through a salesperson's email, calendar and LinkedIn relationships to aid measure how temperate their relationship is with a latent the customer. The system will suggest ways to put aside an at-risk deal, like calling in a co-worker who is connected to the potential customer on LinkedIn.
The artificial intelligence, or AI, capabilities of the software would be middle, Nadella said. "I want to be able to democratize AI so that any customer using these products is able to, in fact, take their own data and load it into AI for themselves," he said.
While as we are quite aware that Microsoft is a huge player in the market for operating systems and productivity software like Office, it is a small player in sales software. The company ranks fourth - far behind Salesforce.com and other competitors Oracle Corp and SAP - with just 4.3% of the market in 2015, the most recent year for which figures are available, according to research firm Gartner. Salesforce refuse to comment on Microsoft's competing software.
But according to Nadella focused applications in fields like sales and finance are dangerous to the company's future. He statements them as Microsoft's "third cloud," the first two being Office 365 for wide-ranging productivity like email and Azure for computing and databases.
"I think that's the only way to long-term change this game, because if all we did was replace somebody else's (sales), or (finance) application, that's of no value, quite frankly," he said.
Microsoft pointed to Visa as an achievement story. Earlier this year Visa was in the procedure of selecting a cloud-based sales software system and picked Microsoft's over Salesforce. Rajat Taneja, executive vice president of technology at Visa, said Nadella's three-cloud policy was the deciding factor.
But the giant has a long way to go, as they have never ever released a revenue figure for Dynamics, though the former head of Dynamics said publicly in 2015 that it was a $2 billion business unit.
It is ascertained that Nadella is below force to show that the pricey LinkedIn acquisition in mid-2016 was valuable. R "Ray" Wang, founder of analyst firm Constellation Research, said LinkedIn-powered features, combined with popular programs like Office and Skype, could help.
"Microsoft is putting together the contextual business data people need to be more efficient and build better relationships," Wang said.
As per Nadella, Microsoft will continue contributing definite LinkedIn data to other companies, counting Salesforce, as LinkedIn did before its attainment. Salesforce had advised European controllers to search the Microsft-LinkedIn deal, which they eventually refused to do.
"That ecosystem approach is something that we will absolutely maintain and, in fact, if anything keep continuing to evangelize," Nadella said.