4 DECEMBER 2015 Consulting®
ShortTakes Trends, Views and Analysis
The Missing Link?
EY’s Woody Driggs discusses the firm’s strategic alliance with LinkedIn
EY and LinkedIn have forged a first-of-its-kind strategic alliance with the
aim of building new products and
services for the enterprise market to help
companies around the globe transform
their sales capabilities using cutting-edge
technologies including social media and
data analytics. The alliance will leverage
EY’s business transformation knowledge
combined with LinkedIn’s massive network
of more than 400 million professionals.
Woody Driggs, EY’s America’s Digital
Lead, also helms the alliance. Consulting
sat down with him to talk about the
partnership and what it means for the
B2B world going forward.
Consulting: How did this alliance happen?
Driggs: We have 170,000 people on LinkedIn out of our 212,000 employees. That puts
us in the top 10 of companies on the platform. So we have a lot of people who participate and we are also a customer of their
HR services and have been for a while—
with 212,000 employees, obviously we do a
lot of recruiting. So it was a natural fit when
they came out with the Sales Navigator and
started looking at enterprises that might be
interested. As we introduced our new CEO
Mark Weinberger two years ago, he created
a new vision for EY that was about building
a better working world. Interestingly, when
you look at LinkedIn’s purpose, it’s to connect the world’s professionals and make
them more productive and successful. So
there was a real synergy there, our purposes are very much aligned. As you become a
more purpose-oriented business you start to
look at everything through that lens.
Consulting: What will this enable that was
not previously possible?
Driggs: This is LinkedIn’s first real alliance with a large advisory services partner. They started more as a B2C company
but the solutions they’re now creating for
business are more and more complex, introducing more and more change into organizations, so more and more professional services will be required to implement
them. All CRM type tools require some
level of adoption capability, getting people
to understand and use it, etc. In the case
of sales navigator and the LinkedIn tools,
you want your sales people to be out there
building relationships through social media, leveraging their contacts to reach out
instead of cold calling, reach out to relationships they know exist already.
Consulting: What trajectory do you see the
Driggs: We both hope this strategic alliance will be a long term innovative partnership around helping to build products
and services for the enterprise market.
LinkedIn’s entry into the enterprise market in a much more significant way combined with our global footprint, advisory
services in addition to other services provides a nice partnership to enable us to
take new and innovative solutions to market. It starts with Sales Navigator, but we
hope that will continue to build as LinkedIn looks at new products and services
and we work with some of our insights
into what our enterprise customers are
looking for to help them think about what
those buffers might look like.