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CEO Jeff Weiner wants his company to play a role in “professional identity.” That has implications for Microsoft and Salesforce.

At a tech conference in San Francisco Monday, LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner dropped tantalizing hints about the future direction of his company.

He dismissed the notion that the professional network, once known primarily as a site for recruiters and jobseekers, would challenge Microsoft and Salesforce head-on in the market for collaboration tools.

Weiner did say, though, that LinkedIn would show “a greater emphasis on professional identity” and noted that his company is “building tools that let us”—LinkedIn’s own employees—”get more value from our own platform.”

A Détente With Microsoft And Salesforce

Today, LinkedIn is designed for public sharing, and the network has grown enormously by emphasizing the sharing of work-related content.

But Weiner has been talking about the potential for LinkedIn to build tools for internal collaboration since at least 2011. Last year, he revealed that LinkedIn had built such tools—broadly similar to Microsoft’s Yammer or Salesforce’s Chatter, from the way he described them—for its own employees’ use.

So let’s assume those tools will be slow to come—or may simply be armaments held in reserve, to keep Microsoft and Salesforce from trying to venture onto LinkedIn’s turf of public professional identity. (It’s easy to imagine parts of a workforce’s Yammer or Chatter activity getting intentionally published to users outside a company, and thus becoming public representations of an employee’s work persona, in competition with LinkedIn’s profiles.)

A Security Badge For The Web

Barring that, what could LinkedIn do?

As Weiner said at Disrupt, LinkedIn already has the pieces he’s describing. The technological piece that carries LinkedIn’s professional identities across the Internet is a product called Sign In With LinkedIn. Not unlike Facebook Login, this piece of software lets users sign in with a LinkedIn account, rather than create a new account for every website that comes along.

While far less visible than Facebook or Google’s identity efforts, Sign In With LinkedIn has been gaining traction, particularly with recruiting sites, where it’s a natural fit, and business-to-business sites. More mainstream media sites like Business Insider have also included it in their login options.

But it would be far more interesting if LinkedIn started courting the burgeoning sector of Web-based productivity tools.

One big flaw of Yammer and Chatter is that they are designed around company domain names. Inviting anyone who doesn’t have an email that looks like @yourcompany.com is awkward at best in Yammer and impossible in Chatter.

That doesn’t match the new world of work. As Weiner noted, “Jobs are increasingly fragmented.” Some are full-time, some are part-time, some are contract or freelance work. LinkedIn, which maps professional connections inside and outside the walls of a company, could be particularly well suited for authenticating workers in this post-Coase-ian world.

A Host Of Apps For A New World Of Work

It’s not even necessary for LinkedIn to build these apps itself. It could simply be the identity layer that undergirds them. For private sharing, it could identify users—badge them in, as it were, to the virtual buildings where most work happens these days. For public sharing, it could pipe relevant updates to LinkedIn users’ feeds, as apps do on Facebook and Twitter.

To be clear, these are the merest hints we’ve gleaned from Weiner’s comments at Disrupt and over the years. But it’s clear that he’s thinking about what to do with the enormous asset of some 250 million members’ professional identities. The biggest opportunity isn’t in LinkedIn’s app. It’s in an army of LinkedIn apps.

Source : http://readwrite.com/2013/09/10/linkedin-ceo-jeff-weiner-techcrunch-disrupt#awesm=~oh6zTgBUcO7fBx


WSO2 Sri Lanka recently held a CxO Forum to showcase its latest solutions for a connected business. The forum also highlighted WSO2’s existing product offerings and provided insight into its pipeline of enterprise solutions.
Operations and information heads representing a cross-section of industries such as apparel, telecommunications, IT services, finance and the Government sector were among the invitees that attended the session which was held at Cinnamon Grand on 10 July 2013.
WSO2 Founder, Chairman and CEO Sanjiva Weerawarana inaugurated the session by providing an introduction to the company and some snippets on the history of WSO2. Other senior personnel of WSO2 touched on different areas, explaining how WSO2 has re-aligned enterprise application development by providing comprehensive, data to screen open source products that span the entire breadth of service-oriented architecture (SOA), yet remain lean, inexpensive, and easy to use. The key highlight of the session was the introduction of WSO2’s recently formed mobile subsidiary, WSO2 Mobile, and its solutions in the enterprise mobile space.
Chris Haddad, WSO2 Vice President of Technology Evangelism, spoke about new IT in terms of how re-thinking, re-inventing, and re-organizing a company’s processes and middleware platform will help an organisation to deliver significant business value.
“Organisations are not single, vertical silos anymore… they outsource a lot of their different business activities to partners and we see that this is becoming increasingly possible as the connectivity cost decreases,” said Haddad. He said that WSO2 can support this “because we’ve integrated many aspects and we’ve taken a holistic approach towards how we can re-energise a company’s IT operations.”
He also noted that there is the opportunity now with increasing capability and sophistication of WSO2’s middleware platform and the concept of DevOps to satisfy an organisation’s broader business requirements.
“Today, there’s greater focus on enterprise IT because this facilitates change and aids the adaption to change,” commented John Mathon, WSO2 Vice President of Product Marketing.
He said that a key challenge faced by most companies today is the lack of resources to keep pace with the required changes in enterprise development and open source middleware has been able to meet some of these challenges.
“It’s been a great growth phase for open source; we’ve seen tremendous adoptions in recent years and many companies today are using open source middleware in their operations because it enables them to lower their risks, reduce costs, and adapt to new technology faster,” said Mathon, who was also a co-founder of Tibco Software.
Harsha Purasinghe, Founder and CEO of WSO2 Mobile, spoke about how mobile has become a crucial element in today’s enterprise where enterprises need to shift towards a mobile first strategy. He also elaborated on the potential challenges faced by enterprises due to proliferation of smart mobile devices, distribution of mobile apps, and challenges faced with building mobile applications for enterprise use. “Some of the key challenges of an enterprise today include the proliferation of devices, apps distribution and building apps, and WSO2’s enterprise mobile platform will help companies to overcome these challenges,” added Purasinghe.
The WSO2 Mobile team also provided a preview of its planned enterprise mobile solutions through a live demonstration of its enterprise mobile device management and enterprise mobile application management offerings. These products are due to be released at the WSO2Con event, scheduled to be held in San Francisco later this year.
The speakers also highlighted that WSO2’s key advantage is that all of its products are built on a common foundation – WSO2 Carbon, a modular, reconfigurable, elastic, OSGi-based architecture, which in turn ensures a solid base for building large-scale enterprise applications, as well as seamlessly integrating with legacy and existing applications.
WSO2 also hosts a variety of events such as webinars, workshops, conferences, and meet-ups for knowledge sharing and networking around the various open-source SOA and other business communities.

Source: DailyFT