New Microsoft Dynamics updates include LinkedIn integration, retail enhancements

LinkedIn membership reaches half a billion

Microsoft today announced that they are integrating Dynamics 365 for Sales with LinkedIn Sales Navigator.

LinkedIn has revealed it now has more than half a billion users, having added 33 million new members in the last six months.

In a blog post published Monday, ‎Aatif Awan, Vice President, Growth & International Products at LinkedIn pointed recounted a series of successes, anecdotes and next steps for the social network.

Microsoft's $26-billion acquisition of LinkedIn which was completed in December ranked as the biggest-ever deal for a social media company (See: Microsoft to acquire LinkedIn for $26.2 bn in cash).

Microsoft has also announced more features for Dynamics 365.

At the updates' heart, much like Dynamics 365 itself, is Microsoft's commitment to giving customers an easily understood big-picture view of their business, in contrast to the outdated, complicated, and siloed CRM and ERP systems the platform is created to replace, Scott Guthrie, executive vice president with Microsoft's cloud and enterprise group, wrote in an April 24 blog post.

CEO Satya Nadella explained that the information in LinkedIn would be used to redefine social selling through the combination of Sales Navigator and Dynamics 365. The company ranks fourth - far behind Salesforce.com and other rivals Oracle Corp (ORCL.N) and SAP (SAPG.DE) - with just 4.3 percent of the market in 2015, the most recent year for which figures are available, according to research firm Gartner.

Last October, LinkedIn said it had 106 million monthly users, while Facebook attracted more than 1.8 billion monthly users and Twitter had 319 million.

Giving sales professionals the ability to write select Sales Navigator activities in emails, messages, notes and call logs to Dynamics 365 in a single click. The LinkedIn community continues to grow each year and the fact that it has achieved such a major milestone goes to show that LinkedIn has cemented its position in the online market.

Data from LinkedIn will also help power Dynamics 365 for Talent, a new application Microsoft is introducing for human resources organizations. For instance, the United Arab Emirates is the most connected country on average, while London, on average, is the most connected place overall.

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