Microsoft to buy Yammer for $1.2bn.
The deal has not been confirmed by either
party at present, and further details are not available.
US-based Yammer offers private social
networks that allow company staff to
collaborate internally across
multiple platform. Yammer also has file sharing and other software tools. More
than 80 percent of the Fortune 500 are using Yammer, the company claims.
The deal is seen as a good fit with
Microsoft's Office and SharePoint solutions, to offer a more social network
style of collaboration.
Richard Edwards, principal analyst at Ovum
commented: "In stark contrast to collaboration activities that are conducted
via corporate email systems and instant messaging tools, platforms such as
Yammer make business conversations and activities highly visible (everyone with access to the system can see
them), searchable, and discoverable. As one would expect from a business tool,
access to information held within the network can be restricted and controlled
so that proprietary or commercially
sensitive information is not compromised, but the general goal of products like
Yammer is to share insights, opinions, and updates among co-workers and network
"Many employees at the junior (and now
senior) end of the workforce live aspects of their personal lives through
Facebook and Twitter, so the idea of introducing similar kinds of tools into
the workplace seems to make sense from a communication and collaboration point
of view. It's not just Microsoft eyeing-up the opportunities afforded by the
Facebook-led social paradigm shift. Established
enterprise IT vendors, such as IBM, Oracle, Salesforce.com, and SAP, are all busy adding social capabilities to their
business software solutions.
"Microsoft already has a product that touts
social capabilities - SharePoint Server, but this was designed and built in the
pre-Facebook, pre-cloud era. Launched in 2008, Yammer is a new breed of
enterprise collaboration solution, designed from the ground-up to exploit
social, mobile, and cloud technologies, and would sit neatly alongside Skype,
the communication product that Microsoft acquired this time last year for
$8.5billion.Organizations investing strategically
in ESN software are likely to have products from Jive Software and Telligent on
their shortlists, but Microsoft's acquisition of Yammer will undoubtedly mean
that this offering gets added to that list too."
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