As news circulates about Microsoft’s recent acquisition of Yammer, a provider of enterprise social networks, others are noting its ability to transform the future of B2B social media.
Many are claiming that with the purchase, for $1.2 billion in cash, it will create a kind of snowball effect within companies to take on the cloud-based world of enterprise social networking (ESN).
With ESN’s like Yammer, they operate similar to Facebook or Twitter allowing employees to share files, messages, and events, in one private network. Essentially, enabling employees to manage their workloads and tasks through the features ESN has to offer on one interface.
In this case, Microsoft is now in the works of offering such services; however, don’t expect it to happen overnight.
Steve Ballmer, chief executive officer for Microsoft, says with the acquisition of Yammer it “underscores our commitment to deliver technology that business need and people love.” Ballmer also noted how with Yammer, Microsoft is adding to their already “growing portfolio of complementary cloud services.”
Launched in 2008, Yammer will continue to be led by current CEO David Sacks. The company has more than 5 million corporate users, including employees at 85 percent of the Fortune 500.
Sacks states that with social networking “it could change the way we work,” adding, “joining Microsoft will accelerate that vision and give us access to the technologies, expertise and resources we’ll need to scale and innovate.”
According to a statement released by Microsoft, the service allows employees to join secure, private social networks for free and then makes it easy for companies to convert a grassroots movement into company-wide strategic initiative.
It’s both Microsoft’s and Yammer’s hopes that over time, customers will see more connections to SharePoint, Office365, Dynamics and Skype; which Microsoft acquired in October of 2011.
In addition to its task management features, Yammer allows administrators to access network analytics. With this tool, admins can see how employees are using Yammer. As stated by Yammer in an official blog post, “Network Analytics allows you to tracks aggregate activity across your members, groups, files, pages and more.”
“This immediately makes Microsoft a stronger competitor in the enterprise social market,” said Larry Cannell, a Gartner analyst, in an earlier article with CIO. “It’s a recognition by Microsoft that today’s information worker isn’t just focused on content. They need help working together and building relationships with others.”
Although Microsoft is making all the headlines, they’re not the first to move forward with ESN. Just two weeks prior to Microsoft’s acquisition, Salesforce announced their purchase of Buddy Media, a social media marketing platform.
Additionally, Oracle purchased Collective Intellect, a company that provides cloud-based social intelligence solutions for corporations, on June 5. With Collective Intellect cloud-based solutions, organizations will be able to “transform social conversations into actionable intelligence, creating better marketing campaigns, improving customer service, generating more targeted leads and opportunities, and enhancing products and services with real-time customer feedback,” as stated in an Oracle release.
As of this time, however, Microsoft has released no other information regarding the closing conditions.