Friend Your Co-Worker? No, Yammer Them...June 26, 2012 @ 6:08 PM EST
Every major media outlet ran a story in the last 24 hours on Microsoft’s purchase of Internet start-up “Yammer” for a reported $1.2 billion (coming on the heels of their “Surface” tablet announcement last week).
If you are anything like us, your eyes likely glazed over and you paid little attention to the story, as we are seemingly swamped everyday with the latest hot Internet startup story and then their purchase by a major player or their own eventual IPO or total flop and demise.
But after speaking to a friend at Forrester Research, we thought this is an extremely important story, not necessarily for Microsoft, but for the beginnings of yet another new chapter in how corporate America might be functioning in the very near future.
If you go to Yammer’s website they describe themselves as follows:
“Yammer brings the power of social networking to the enterprise in a private and secure environment. Yammer is as easy to use as great consumer software like Facebook and Twitter, but is designed for company collaboration, file sharing, knowledge exchange and team efficiency. Whether your company spans seven continents or seven cubicles, Yammer helps your team collaborate on content, ask questions, share knowledge and get work done.
Yammer Profiles aggregate employee information -- including contact details, conversation history, files, and expertise. Expertise is instantly searchable so that useful information or subject matter experts can be easily found via search. Cut back on meetings and email chains by working together in Yammer Groups. Create a group to let a department, team, or project share files, discuss deadlines, manage content or unify around a shared goal.”
Yammer is just one of many similar “applications/systems/services” which have been cropping up in a battle to become “the Facebook” of the office environment.
Gartner Inc. analyst Larry Cannell said Microsoft's latest acquisition was smart and reflected "a recognition that the social capabilities in Microsoft's products have been deficient."
And it is another reflection of Microsoft’s recognition that it must evolve and reaffirm a leadership role in a workplace which is moving more and more toward mobility, speed, and cloud-based applications which are “rented” versus software which is “purchased”.
A piece today in Fortune said:
“The Wall Street Journal notes that the Yammer purchase shows "Microsoft may be trying to plug holes in its ubiquitous Office software." It goes much farther than that. Enterprise software - the tools used by companies to do everything from process payroll to monitor customer leads and make spreadsheets - is right now in the midst of an unprecedented renaissance and "full-blown reawakening," according to no less an authority than Peter Levine, general partner at Andreessen Horowitz, the venture capital gurus that have invested in Facebook (FB), Twitter and Zynga (ZNGA).”
We don’t claim to be an expert on the topic, but this trend would appear to be one that may have a lasting impact in the workplace as it grows and evolves. (MSFT was up slightly today, closing at $30.02).
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David W. (aka The Underground Trader)
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