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How Will the Yammer Purchase Affect SharePoint?

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Microsoft bought Yammer for a $1.2 billion price tag on June 25, 2012. This is a big move, as yet another tech startup is swallowed by a massive player in the software industry. The purchase reflects the growing importance of social and cloud technologies, not just for fun, but for business. Microsoft and Yammer haven’t yet announced detailed plans for the future, but we can expect the purchase to have an influence on the future of SharePoint.

SharePoint Goes Social

SharePoint has been incorporating social tools starting with the 2010 release. The business collaboration platform is a flagship in the industry, but it hasn’t quite broken into the social scene as well as some of the tech startups.

Recognizing this, Microsoft snatched up Yammer, one of the most successful startups in the social business scene. Yammer got started in 2008, back when social media was “just for kids.” The idea was hatched with the intention of creating a private, secure social network for use within a company. It is currently in use by 80% of Fortune 100 companies.

 Yammer already has SharePoint features integrated within its framework, which should allow the process to run more smoothly than it otherwise might.

Possibilities

Here are just a few of the ways that the SharePoint/Yammer mashup could move forward.

Facebook integration? – Microsoft’s partnership with Facebook has already led to social integration with Bing. The popularity and capability of SharePoint could see a massive boost if Yammer sees an integration with Facebook as well as SharePoint. This would allow businesses to handle their internal and external social communications through the same interface. It will also allow Yammer to be scaled in ways that weren’t practical before their acquisition.

Skype? – With Yammer under its belt, we may finally see Microsoft putting Skype to good use. If leveraged properly, an incorporation of Skype into SharePoint could revolutionize the way business communications are handled, and render the traditional office meeting nearly obsolete.

Regardless of how Microsoft plans to move forward, one thing is clear. The purchase of Yammer has put social business software’s importance front and center.

By Socius, an Ohio Sharepoint Partner

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