Microsoft

Microsoft folds LinkedIn contact info into Outlook to boost business communications

As teased earlier this year, Outlook users can now see a contact's LinkedIn profile information and connect with them within the email service.

Commercial Office 365 users can now see the LinkedIn profiles of their contacts within the email provider, according to a Microsoft blog post published on Tuesday.

Initially previewed at Microsoft Ignite in September, the feature lets business users see LinkedIn profile information, including connections and work history, within Outlook.com, SharePoint, and OneDrive for Business. The feature has today rolled out to Outlook.com, and will come to Outlook for Windows and iOS in the coming months, according to TechCrunch.

To find a contact's profile, you can click on their name at the top of an email. A panel with various information will pop up, including a spot that says LinkedIn profile with an arrow. Click on that to show a mobile-sized version of the person's LinkedIn profile, including mutual connections and work experience. Much like a profile accessed through LinkedIn's website or mobile app, users will have the option to connect with the contact.

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Through this integration, connecting with business contacts is easier, as users don't have to go to a separate site to learn more about someone. It will also be easier to see who you contact frequently but haven't connected with on LinkedIn, allowing users to bolster preexisting relationships.

Pre-meeting research also becomes simpler, reducing the time it takes to find and access someone's profile. Mutual experiences and connections are quickly and easily available, making for easier background research.

Microsoft's $26.2 billion acquisition of LinkedIn is beginning to pay off for business users. After the deal's December 2016 close, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella outlined plans to integrate the business networking site in a blog post. Past the Outlook integration, Nadella mentioned plans to allow users who draft a resume in Word to directly update their LinkedIn with it, and expanding LinkedIn Learning to Office 365 and Windows.

The acquisition, the largest in Microsoft's history, helps combine business users' data to make business analytics easier. One example of this is July's integration of Dynamics 365 for Sales and LinkedIn's Sales Navigator, giving users contextualized information allowing for tailored content and smarter decisions.

The 3 big takeaways for TechRepublic readers

  1. Commercial Outlook users can now see contact's LinkedIn profiles, including mutual experience and the option to connect, within the email service.
  2. Available in Outlook.com, users can click a contact's name to access a pop-up card with an arrow guiding them to the mini version of a LinkedIn profile.
  3. This is one of the first integrations outlined by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella after the company bought LinkedIn in December 2016.

Also see

Image: Microsoft

About Olivia Krauth

Olivia Krauth is a Multiplatform Reporter at TechRepublic.

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