Microsoft has named Kevin Scott, LinkedIn’s Senior VP of Infrastructure, as CTO for the tech giant reporting directly into CEO Satya Nadella.
For the moment, Scott will continue his role on the executive board of LinkedIn, but will initially be responsible for the integration of the two companies cloud services. While the move does demonstrate Microsoft has been learning from the mistakes of others following major acquisitions, it does possibly indicate CRM and social media will play a more significant role in the future fortunes of the organization.
In purchasing LinkedIn, Microsoft has bought itself the largest professional social media network in the world. During the course of 2016, Salesforce decided to have a moan about the transaction, seemingly on the grounds it fears the power Microsoft now has. Its own CRM tool, Dynamics already controls a fair share of the market, though once integrated with LinkedIn, it creates a whole new beast. Companies like Salesforce do have a reason to be worried.
Alongside the CRM side of things, Microsoft is also making a play for the collaborative workspace market after launching Microsoft Teams back in November. The new collaboration tool seems to be Microsoft’s effort to create a digital office allowing teams to continually communicate irrelevant of where they are in the world. Integrating the social media capabilities of LinkedIn here would provide an adequate boost for the team.
Although there are usually several CTO’s in the Microsoft organization at any one point, the appointment is none-the-less significant. Microsoft as a business was monumental in the 90s, though it dependence on PCs lead to a tough time adapting to the cloud era. Nadella’s approach is expensive, but he is moving the Microsoft brand into as many different markets as possible to best avoid another power erosion. With the LinkedIn acquisition, the team can now add social media, collaboration and CRM to the growing list of enterprise services Microsoft offers.
Elsewhere, Microsoft has chalked up a victory in its ongoing battle with the US Department of Justice. Aside from taking the DoJ to court over alleged violations of constitutional rights of US citizens by intelligence agencies, Microsoft has also challenged the US government agencies on how far it can reach beyond domestic borders.
Last year, Microsoft took the Department of Justice to court defending its right to refuse access to data which was stored on servers outside of US borders. The case could be seen as somewhat of a landmark due to the repercussions and reach of the US intelligence agencies. The DoJ believes that as Microsoft is a US company, information stored on its servers falls into the jurisdiction of US agencies, irrelevant of where the data is physically.
Considering the four biggest cloud players, AWS, Google Cloud, Microsoft and IBM, are all US companies, the amount of information which US agencies could potentially access would be monumental. Fortunately, Microsoft has stood its ground, and the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan rejected an appeal from the DoJ, keeping sticky US fingers in their own borders.