Microsoft and Yammer, is that good? For Whom? Microsoft acquired Yammer, a social media company, on June 25. So what does that mean for Microsoft and for the five million Yammer customers?
Another question is why? After all, Microsoft already has partnership deals in place with Yammer. Moreover, it has its own enterprise social-networking technology built into SharePoint. Well Microsoft wants to add another program to its complement in the Cloud portfolio. But at the same time, Microsoft is working on OfficeTalk, that is its own social media program. (I guess if I worked on the OfficeTalk team, I’d start to revise my resume now … remember Kin?).
What is Yammer?
It is a provider of enterprise social networks with over 5 million corporate users. These include employees of more than 85 percent of the Fortune 500 business base. There are two versions. The basic version of Yammer is free, and the upgrade version is available to customers who pay and modify their network to receive advanced administrative features. These include security controls, integrations with enterprise applications, enhanced customer service, and a designated customer success manager.
So what will Microsoft Do with Yammer?
Microsoft plans to integrate Yammer’s technology with Office, Office 365, Dynamics (CRM), and Skype. Microsoft will leave Yammer as a standalone cloud service; that will not change. And the idea is to use the Skype model with Yammer, in terms of leaving the company in its present locale (San Francisco) and with the current operations intact.
So with that, what will this mean to the Yammer customers? Right now, not much. For them, that can be a good sign that Microsoft likes the product well enough to leave it alone. For now, Yammer will continue to develop its standalone service and maintain its commitment to simplicity and cross-platform experiences. What Microsoft plans for the future, we will know in the future.