Microsoft's Core Services Engineering and Operations (CSEO) unit officials acknowledge the company "needed to rethink some of our previous integration approaches," when it came to LinkedIn, which Microsoft bought in 2016 for $26.2 billion. The goal was to "balance the autonomy of LinkedIn employees" with moving them off Google services and onto Office 365.
It wasn't a simple case of Microsoft's way or the highway, in spite of the imperative to go Office 365, as the case study makes clear. Delicacy was required.
From the case study:
"To elicit a positive response, we needed to gain a deep understanding of differences in our organizational cultures and develop an approach that complemented the strengths of both organizations. We decided that was the logical starting point for helping LinkedIn employees access and use Microsoft assets in a way that best supported -- or even improved -- LinkedIn's business."
Microsoft's ultimate goals were to migrate all LinkedIn employees to Microsoft Outlook, Outlook Calendar and Teams and off Gmail, Google Calendar and Google Hangouts. Stage one started with all emails exchanged before December 2016. The next stage was to migrate all email, contacts, tasks and calendar appointments. Next up was moving LinkedIn off Hangouts and to Teams, which the case study characterizes as "a success, with a high rate of LinkedIn employee adoption."
(A bit of a related anecdote: I recently did a press call with LinkedIn which required me to use BlueJeans video conferencing, not Skype. So I'm assuming the move to Teams is still incomplete.)
"LinkedIn employees were accustomed to performing certain tasks in Google Calendar that weren't easily achieved in Outlook," CSEO officials acknowledged. "For example, with Google Calendar, LinkedIn users could easily book multiple rooms in multiple buildings at the same time. That task wasn't as simple to do in our implementation of Outlook. To ensure a consistent user experience, the LinkedIn migration team used the available APIs to create a new Outlook tool that employees can use to book multiple conference rooms."
The next challenge the CSEO integration team tackled was provisioning Office 365 apps to all LinkedIn employees, who they characterized as "passionate users of Google Docs." They wanted the simple online collaboration to which they were accustomed. Microsoft implemented a training and migration plan that included tracking user adoption and utilization to see where any potential pain points were.