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Microsoft AI Businesses Social Networks

Microsoft's Nadella Banks On LinkedIn Data To Challenge Salesforce ( 34

Microsoft is rolling out upgrades to its sales software that integrates data from LinkedIn, an initiative that Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella told Reuters was central to the company's long-term strategy for building specialized business software. From the report: The improvements to Dynamics 365, as Microsoft's sales software is called, are a challenge to market leader and represent the first major product initiative to spring from Microsoft's $26 billion acquisition of LinkedIn, the business-focused social network. The new features will comb through a salesperson's email, calendar and LinkedIn relationships to help gauge how warm their relationship is with a potential customer. The system will recommend ways to save 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 central, 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. On Monday, LinkedIn said it has surpassed 500 million members globally, one of the first big milestones for the business social network since its acquisition.
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Microsoft's Nadella Banks On LinkedIn Data To Challenge Salesforce

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    I'm somewhat doubtful as to who this is ultimately designed to help, you or Microsoft?
    Also, are people's networks really that reliable? I get requests to connect all the time from people I don't know...I refuse but plenty of people don't and just "contact farm" like on FB

  • by Thud457 ( 234763 ) on Monday April 24, 2017 @05:30PM (#54294469) Homepage Journal
    I'm sure some infinitesimal fraction of LinkedIn's data is accurate and not just puffery. Didn't we have people complaining here on slashdot that linkedin or other users were certifying them as experts at skills they themselves did not claim to have?
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Certifying? Are you some kind of nut? There's nothing of the sort... Oh, you "endorsing". you moron.

  • by gtall ( 79522 ) on Monday April 24, 2017 @05:57PM (#54294633)

    LkdIn: Hi there Big Guy, I see your customer A says he hates your guts, would you like me to contact him for you and explain you are a nice guy?
    Big Guy: No, I can handle this.
    LkdIn: about if I send him some flowers?
    Big Guy: I'll take care of it.
    LkdIn: Flowers are very nice gesture, might I suggest a nice floral arrangement?
    Big Guy: He's my customer, I can deal with him.
    LkdIn: Have you considered candy?
    Big Guy: Will you leave me the fuck alone, I'll handle it.
    LkdIn: Not worry, I sent him a sympathy card over his death.
    Big Guy: What? He's not dead!!
    LkdIn: ...well, he will be some day, my AI programming was very firm on this.
    Big Guy: (pulls out gun, shoots self in head)
    LkdIn: Look bucko, I'm not sending you a sympathy card after that gratuitous gesture.

  • by albeit unknown ( 136964 ) on Monday April 24, 2017 @06:03PM (#54294657)
    Now I get to look forward to co-workers being further tricked into influencing me. As an engineer, I've come to realize that the only mission of a salesman is to manipulate your otherwise objective decision making in their favor. ("Objective" to the extent possible for a human). Where possible, I no longer accept sales calls or meetings with sales. Sometimes, it's hard to let go of the feeling I'm being rude. Companies who don't have a hard-boiled, experienced purchasing person doing most of the talking during major buying efforts are fools. Unfortunately, this is the exception rather than the rule.
    • by Baron_Yam ( 643147 ) on Monday April 24, 2017 @06:12PM (#54294729)

      > I've come to realize that the only mission of a salesman is to manipulate your otherwise objective decision making in their favor.... Sometimes, it's hard to let go of the feeling I'm being rude.

      Just remember that part of being an effective sales person is to deliberately use the potential customer's social conditioning against them. They are unrepentant manipulative bastards who have few scruples... and consider that they are intruding into your time, for their own purposes at your cost. Shutting them down ASAP is not rude, it's returning them the same (if not better) level of consideration they're showing you.

      Now, I've had some great relationships with *technical* sales. People who simply know their products exceptionally well and have some social skills. But regular sales? Like people in advertising, they can rot in Hell.

  • by Bender Unit 22 ( 216955 ) on Monday April 24, 2017 @06:33PM (#54294881) Journal

    9 ouf out of ten "notifications" from their iPhone app, the little number in red, are paid(I suppose) notifications. So I ended up uninstalling it some time ago.
    Sort of like before I deleted my Twitter and Facebook accounts, they liked to "ping" me if I hadn't used their app in a day or two. "Someone posted something" or "someone tweeted something". Was it a message directed at me, or did it "tag"/include me? Had I participated in the discussion? Nope, they just wanted to make sure that I used their app and got trained properly so that I would end up checking the damn thing every minute.

  • .. and we are still trying to justify our $26 Billion check.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I'd be more rosy about Microsoft's ambitions if Salesforce wasn't doing such a good job making their customers so happy.

    And I mean really happy at all levels. Not golf-and-vacations-and-hookers-for-the-CxO's-sign-the-contract happy.

    The rank-and-file salescritters love it. It's a good tool that lets them do their job and works on everything.

    The managers love it. It gives them good data and there are a lot of products to fit their needs.

    The IT staff love it (Which is the real shocker) Well documented APIs. Go

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Have you met Keith Block and his mandatory annual increase strategy at Salesforce. For the privilege of remaining a customer you will pay more next year.

      "then someone new in charge will tighten the nipple clamps and start squeezing money out of the customers while providing less value for the dollar."

      It has happened.

  • Reason being is Salesforce is kind of scaring me as too powerful and a threat to I.T. jobs.

    If it is cross platform which MS is heading too we can put down the hate on MS like its 1999 still. From what I gather is it is not ads, but rather MS won the desktop wars by integrating and doing proprietary tricks to link stuff together ALA Visual Basic COM objects. You had everything tie together.

    Today in 2017 Windows is not longer the guerala. But MS is hardly dead in the workplace. So instead of integrating comp

    • If MS is successful, at what point will the AI that makes "suggestions" to the sales rep, replace the sales rep?
  • by Chas ( 5144 ) on Monday April 24, 2017 @11:09PM (#54296031) Homepage Journal


    My company deals with CRM platforms. And just about anybody who's ever had experience with Dynamics has pretty much run away from the platform, screaming.

    And I can understand why.

    When even MICROSOFT cannot recover a proper SQL backup out of their own data with regards to MULTIPLE versions of Dyanmics and SQL Server. you KNOW something's wrong. Hell, even a simple contact export seems beyond them.

    And let's not even get into (lack of) usability or (dearth of) performance...

    • by bazorg ( 911295 )

      Don't know what axe you have to grind with MS and Dynamics, but the online version has its backups accessible from the Admin Center. If you want to grab ALL your stuff from CRM Online and put it in a SQL server in your basement, there's instructions here: []
      If you're using on-premises version of Dynamics and SQL, you'll have specific instructions to follow. Finding them in MSDN or Technet is not really difficult.

      I'm under the impression you're too keen to bash Dynamics to actu

      • by Chas ( 5144 )

        *I* don't have an axe to grind.

        I merely have a significant portion of my customer base that's tried Dynamics and would rather go back to punch cards than use it.

        I've also been tasked with migrating some of these people off Dynamics and trying to actually get the data out has been about as pleasant as taking a belt sander to my dangly bits.
        Both for on-premises and Hosted Dynamics.

        I've had at least three where Microsoft themselves were completely unable to recover data from a hosted setup and the client fina

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