Microsoft and Adobe team up to take on Salesforce, leveraging LinkedIn for marketing and sales tools – GeekWire

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen announce a partnership at Microsoft Ignite 2016 in Atlanta. (GeekWire Photo / Kevin Lisota)

Microsoft and Adobe are teaming up again, announcing new tools today to give marketers and salespeople new insights into purchasing teams inside big companies.

The expanded partnership is notable as a new challenge to Salesforce, and for the way it leverages LinkedIn, which Microsoft acquired in 2016 for more than $26 billion. Steve Lucas, Adobe’s senior vice president of digital experience, called LinkedIn “one of those clear holy grails” for business marketers in an interview with Reuters.

The new features bring together several data sources to give users better insights about the teams and individuals that make buying decisions. The companies say the goal is to create a more personalized and targeted experience for sales teams. The LinkedIn integration seeks to build richer profiles in programs like Adobe’s Marketo Engage and Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales.

“The ability to leverage the power of data to find the right opportunities and use insights helps marketing and sales to plan their next move with a member of the buying committee,” said Alysa Taylor, corporate vice president of business applications and global industry at Microsoft, in a statement. “Together with Adobe and LinkedIn, Microsoft can help to deliver an end-to-end solution that ultimately accelerates lead conversion and can create opportunities for improved servicing and better cross sell, resulting in higher lifetime value of the account.”

Today’s announcement is the latest move in a tightening alliance between Microsoft and Adobe. Last year, they teamed up to announce several new features, including deeper integration of Adobe PDF capabilities into Office 365 apps. That followed a partnership on e-signatures announced in 2017.

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