If data is the new oil, then Microsoft has just bought a big data enterprise rig in LinkedIn. Analysis: Microsoft needs to get integration right in order to unlock the potential of LinkedIn's big B2B data.
No-one has surely escaped the huge news that Microsoft is set to buy social networking site LinkedIn for a staggering $26.2bn. Technology and business commentators have been quick to highlight that the buyout is a strategic move by Microsoft to push further into the enterprise - and it's a smart move to make.
While Microsoft is a household name among consumers, its value is driven by B2B customers, as Ewan Parry, Partner at OC Strategy Consultants, explains: "In many markets, software distribution is now shifting from these reseller networks towards cloud solutions bought directly by end business users, a challenge Microsoft has been grappling with for some time. "This deal is yet another step on Microsoft's journey to bypass traditional resellers and build direct links to business end-users.".
The thinking behind the huge billion-dollar buyout is clear to see - but what is Microsoft actually buying for $26.2bn? They have bought the one thing that every business today is fervently chasing - data.
More precisely, the data of 433m users, of which 105m are active every month.