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Microsoft to buy Yammer for $1.2bn.

Microsoft is reported to have bought business social network provider Yammer, for $1.2 billion.

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,, 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."

2012 ITP Business Publishing Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

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Date:Jun 17, 2012
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