Rumored purchase of Yammer by Microsoft was confirmed Monday in official announcements by both companies. The acquisition is another confirmation of the importance of social networking technology to businesses of all sizes, but some believe the revolution is already under way.
The Big Announcement
Show me the money. If you want to know how important online social networking has become to business, there is no need to look any further than the $1.2 billion sale of Yammer to software giant Microsoft. The acquisition has been rumored for some time, but was first confirmed by both companies on Monday. Microsoft News Center
An office necessity. On his company’s blog Monday, Yammer CEO David Sacks announced his company would be folded into Microsoft’s Office Division after the agreed upon purchase of the company. It seems a clear indication that both organizations are positioning Yammer’s secure private social networking solution as a critical business tool on a par with other office products. Yammer The Blog
What It Means
More yammering about Yammer. Yammer calls itself “the enterprise social network.” More than one source has described Yammer as a Facebook for business. Microsoft describes its new acquisition as technology that business both loves and needs. The purchase seems a confirmation of the importance of social networking to the business community, something analysts say Microsoft has been slow to deliver. DealBook
A gated community. Certainly businesses are already using social media ranging from Facebook to LinkedIn for everything from marketing to networking, and in truth, sometimes as a bit of both. Yammer introduces a more gated community, but the question is whether businesses will see the added value of private online networking when so many other options already exist. CNNMoney
Timing Is Everything
Riding the wave. Yammer was created four years ago when social media was just kid’s stuff, said company CEO David Sacks in the official announcement confirming Microsoft’s acquisition of his company. The plan was to create a networking solution for business, a wave that Sacks believes the company is still riding today. The purchase can be seen as an increased focus on cloud-based services with roots in popular consumer products. Tech Crunch
Late to the party. Yammer’s purchase allows Microsoft, and perhaps business networking in general, to catch up with consumer social media solutions like Twitter and Facebook. Microsoft tools like SharePoint have lagged far behind in terms of adoption, and it’s thought by some pundits that the new deal between Yammer and Microsoft will help online business networking catch up. BetaNews
Pieces in the puzzle. Business customers are likely to see Yammer incorporated into Microsoft’s Office 365 as part of the software company’s overall offerings. The product will become part of a package that includes an increasing number of tools including Skype, SharePoint, and Dynamics, all adding to the kinds of business services the company can offer. Gigaom
Other Social Media Trends
Marketing mavens. While business networking is catching up to its consumer counterpart, social media sites ranging from Facebook to YouTube have become the domain of marketing, even more than networking it seems. Regular dispatches on social media marketing tips have become commonplace and give hints on where this side of the social networking revolution is headed. Venture Beat
Apple gives a Yelp. So popular are social review and check-in sites these days, that Apple has decided to feature this one in its latest iPhone Maps App. With so many iPhone users accessing these social media tools, it’s a foregone conclusion that businesses those users rely upon will be taking social tools a lot more seriously. Bloomberg
Making the time for social. While big money is spent at the upper end of the social networking food chain, time is the critical investment for entrepreneurs interested in using free consumer social media options to market and network for their businesses. A recent survey suggests 24 percent of small business owners say they don’t have the time for social media, indicating there’s a competitive advantage for those who do. Street Fight
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Yammer as an internal company micro-blog (à la Twitter) looks like a perfect fit to Microsoft’s portfolio with Skype as a communication tool.
Great news. I like Yammer and I know it’s going to become even more famous after the new ownership.