Why is Microsoft spending 1.2 billion dollars on Yammer to ramp up its social media capabilities?
The answer: So businesses can collaborate securely across “departments, geographies, content & business applications.”
What does this mean? The thing that caught our eye is that it would virtually eliminate intra-office email and would keep our small team up-to-speed on active projects without having to utilize a third stand-alone platform.
Yammer claims it works equally well whether a business “spans seven cubicles or seven continents.” We liked hearing this because we are closer to the seven cubicles and are SICK TO DEATH of email chains.
Anything else? The other feature that we found intriguing is that Yammer allows the subscriber to connect and interact with external networks (vendors, clients and business partners) in a secure environment. We used to use a WIKI and then Google Docs for this. It would be great to find a suitable alternative that rolls intra and inter office communications into one nice, neat little ball.
What do the critics and pros say:
Eighty-five percent of the Fortune 500 is already using it. Inc. calls Yammer “one of the fastest growing enterprise software companies in history.”
With the acquisition of Yammer, Microsoft’s Office Division President, Kurt DelBene, hopes to “provide the most comprehensive and flexible solution for enterprise social networking” to date.
Venture Beat calls it “the smartest deal of the year.”
USA Today thinks the purchase may have “come too late.”
For now, the acquisition won’t have much effect on Yammer users. We guess time will tell if Microsoft missed the boat again or has bought into what will become, what Michael Lewis calls, “the next new, new thing.” Stay tuned!