Microsoft Office to get social after $1.2bn Yammer buy

Microsoft Office to get social after $1.2bn Yammer buy

Summary: Microsoft has bought the enterprise social network Yammer in a bid to boost the software giant's cloud portfolio.The $1.

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TOPICS: Telcos
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Microsoft has bought the enterprise social network Yammer in a bid to boost the software giant's cloud portfolio.

The $1.2 billion (£769 million) cash deal was announced on Monday, confirming rumours of the imminent acquisition. Yammer will continue to run as a standalone service, both it and Microsoft said, but Microsoft will push its adoption as part of a range of cloud services that also include Office 365, SharePoint and Skype.

Yammer

Microsoft is to buy the Yammer enterprise social network. Image credit: ZDNet.com

"As a Yammer customer, you will continue to get a secure, private social network — delivered with the same focus on simplicity, innovation, and cross-platform experiences," Yammer chief David Sacks, who will continue to head up the company as part of Microsoft's Office division, said in a blog post. "Over time, you'll see more and more connections to SharePoint, Office365, Dynamics and Skype."

Yammer gives Microsoft a rival to Salesforce.com's Chatter, also a social networking tool of sorts. Indeed, Microsoft has previously experimented with this sort of thing, notably with its OfficeTalk trial a couple of years ago.

However, according to a report in The Seattle Times, Microsoft chief Steve Ballmer is particularly keen on the 'grassroots' nature of Yammer's adoption.

"Consumerisation of IT is a trend which I think perhaps more than almost any other company out there, Yammer has gotten right with its viral adoption model," Ballmer was quoted as saying on a conference call. "Yammer now has a sales model that we like: viral adoption by the end user, the consumer inside some kind of professional organisation, with the option for IT to buy enterprise-level capability and management."

Yammer has itself been acquisitive in the recent past — in April it picked up the UK firm oneDrum so as to add file-sharing capabilities to its product.

Topic: Telcos

David Meyer

About David Meyer

David Meyer is a freelance technology journalist. He fell into journalism when he realised his musical career wouldn't pay the bills. David's main focus is on communications, as well as internet technologies, regulation and mobile devices.

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