Microsoft Purchases Yammer – what it may mean for you…

Many employees at the junior (and now senior) end of the workforce live aspects of their personal lives through Facebook and Twitter, so the idea of introducing similar kinds of tools into the workplace seems to make sense from a communication and collaboration point of view. It’s not just Microsoft eyeing-up the opportunities afforded by the Facebook-led social paradigm shift. Established enterprise IT vendors, such as IBM, Oracle, Salesforce.com, and SAP, are all busy bringing social capabilities to the workplace via a variety of ways and means.

Microsoft already has a product that touts social capabilities – SharePoint Server, but this was designed and built in the pre-Facebook, pre-cloud era. Launched in 2008, Yammer is a new breed of enterprise collaboration solution, designed from the ground-up to exploit social, mobile, and cloud technologies, and would sit neatly alongside Skype, the communication product that Microsoft acquired this time last year for $8.5 billion.

Microsoft’s acquisition of Yammer is the latest in a wave of high profile acquisitions and consolidations in the social software space. We’ve already seen VMware acquire Socialcast, Jive Software snap up Offisync, Oracle scoop up Collective Intellect, and Yammer purchase OneDrum. And these represent just a small snapshot of activity over the last few years.

The Microsoft / Yammer deal provides further validation of the increasing importance of enterprise social software. Technology that supports the new ways in which people are sharing information and working together is no longer a ‘nice to have’ for businesses. Companies that fail to use innovative social and mobile tools to make the best use of information in today’s knowledge economy will simply get left behind their competitors.

By buying up social enterprise vendors, technology goliaths such as Microsoft and Oracle have obviously woken up to the fact that this really is the future of working. They are now racing to plug the gaps in their own social offerings so that they can respond to increasing demand from businesses and government organizations alike.

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About SCB Enterprises
System Solutions and Integration

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