There is going to be no shortage of analysis of Microsoft’s acquisition of Yammer. I’m not going to take time to parse it all. I do want to share some quick thoughts on the acquisition while everything is still fresh on my mind and the deal seems more likely to be completed.
Yammer Cashing Out
Yammer was one of the pioneers in the the Enterprise 2.0/Social Business space. The issue that over the years as the space has evolved, the amount of evolution coming from Yammer has been limited. Their product has gotten better but they remain, at their core, a micro blogging service.
The space has been moving on though. People have been learning that all these Social Business tools work best when they are part of the business process, not when they are on their own. With Yammer, you may produce less email and generate greater visibility into what people are doing in the organization, but you also have a new inbox to check. It is just one more window to keep open.
Let’s face it. Chatter turned SalesForce into a social platform. Yammer has been stuck in tool mode.
Yammer was facing a stiff uphill battle to remain relevant over the next several years. They seem to have been heading in the right direction, but there were a lot of questions about whether or not they could evolve fast enough to keep up.
This acquisition allows Yammer to still have a chance to be relevant while rewarding its founders for all that they have contributed to the industry. I couldn’t be happier for them.
Microsoft Creating a Social Platform
Microsoft has likely been looking at SalesForce and others and realizing that they need to get more social. SharePoint 2010 was a step up from the 2007 edition, but I’d heard rumblings that SharePoint 2013 wasn’t going to bring Microsoft up to par with the industry. Part of this is likely due to the SharePoint 2012 requirements being set a year or so ago.
Very little of that matters. What does matter is that SharePoint can serve as a development platform. This allows Microsoft to readily integrate Yammer more tightly into Office 365 and SharePoint quickly. In fact, not only could this help turn SharePoint 2013 into a social platform, but it could retroactively do the same for SharePoint 2010.
Did Microsoft over pay? Maybe. Microsoft is not hurting for cash. If they execute well, then the answer to the “over pay” question will quickly become mot.
Who knows? I sure don’t and I’m not going to make any definitive statements. I think that SharePoint and Office365 users are going to like the activity stream/micro blogging capability as part of the working experience. Yammer users will hopefully get to take advantage of more advance features, likely through the Office 365 platform.