Microsoft Buys Yammer
Microsoft has agreed to buy Yammer for $1.2 billion. While this news is now being reported by hundreds of news agencies across the world as “breaking news”, I wanted to dive deeper into why the Yammer / Microsoft deal makes a lot of sense. For those that aren’t familier with Yammer, Yammer is basically a private social network for enterprise customers.
The Problem with Social Media
The current state of social media is that of the wild west. There are hundreds of social media platforms, social media tools, billions of self-proclaimed social media guru’s, and everyone is fighting to dominate as much land as they possibly can. Some convergence and synergies need to take place in order to take consumers and enterprise customers to the next level of social interaction and real-time communication and collaboration. Microsoft is trying to lead the way with the purchase of Skype, and now Yammer.
Yammer Integration with SharePoint
SharePoint is an incredibly powerful tool when implemented by a quality Microsoft partner. The problem with the current version of SharePoint is that it does not enable real-time communication and collaboration with large groups of people. Yes there is Lync, and yes there is email, however these forms of communication require someone else to be listening. This has to be directed conversation.
Yammer, like Twitter, allows businesses to communicate with each other by simply throwing things out into the wild, and seeing what “sticks” with certain people. Imagine having your organization all posting micro updates to Yammer/SharePoint, and individuals getting updates from everyone across the organization. These things are crucial in all organizations, especially in larger ones where communication and understanding “The Pulse” can be so tough! Imagine updates like:
“Just landed in Chicago to work with ACME on our new web site launch with SharePoint as the back-end”.
Then later someone else sees the update and responds
“That’s awesome I didn’t know we were working ACME on a SharePoint project, boy do I have some news for you.”
The new conversations, chance encounters, and sales that can occur are fantastic!
Yammer Integration with Dynamics CRM
Microsoft Dynamics CRM is an incredibly powerful tool for businesses. At Imaginet we live and die by the data within Dynamics CRM. The problem with Dynamics CRM, is that unlike SalesForce.com that has Chatter, there is no simple way to communicate and get a real time feel for what is happening within our sales organization. Like my previous example, driving all that data and rich conversations into Dynamics, and associating specific conversations dynamically with target accounts and clients is going to be a huge win for so many organizations.
Yammer Integration with Lync
Lync is a fantastic communications and collaboration tool. However the problem with instant messaging applications and phone calls is they require someone to be listening. What if you just want to send out a status update? It’s very hard to do so with Lync. Having a new tab within Lync that connects Yammer to the entire organization will be huge.
When you tie together Yammer, SharePoint, Dynamics CRM, Lync, and even Skype, you begin to see where Microsoft is building an incredible toolset that will provide incredible competitive advantages for so many organizations for years to come. I for one am incredibly excited for the Yammer acquisition, and I can’t wait to see what comes of it.