Insights / social-media

Integrating Business with Social Networking: Microsoft buys Yammer

On Monday, June 25, Microsoft announced that it acquired Yammer, Inc. for $1.2 billion in cash. Yammer, a leading provider of enterprise social networks, will join the Microsoft Office Division headed by President Kurt DelBene, while still reporting to Yammer CEO, David Sacks. This acquisition will help Microsoft advance into the social networking world, a place where it was previously lacking a presence.

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Yammer helps bring company workers together through social networking in a protected and private environment and 80 percent of the Fortune 500 are users. Yammer compares itself to consumer software websites such as Facebook and Twitter, but with a focus on the business using it. The company hopes to improve employee collaboration through file sharing, information exchange and team productivity. Yammer’s software is a new approach for uniting employees and improving customer and partner relationships.

As for Microsoft’s plans, Steve Ballmer, CEO, said, “The acquisition of Yammer underscores our commitment to deliver technology that businesses need and people love. Yammer adds a best-in-class enterprise social networking service to Microsoft’s growing portfolio of complementary cloud services.” Microsoft plans on using Yammer as a stand-alone service, but is also considering integrating it into some of Microsoft’s partnerships such as SharePoint, Office 365, Dynamics and Skype.

Here is just another example of how businesses are beginning to find innovative ways to collaborate via social networking. Will we soon say goodbye to ordinary emails as a way of communication?

Do you think this is a beneficial move for Microsoft, or is it jumping on the social networking bandwagon too late?

By Victoria South
Mason Intern Summer 2012