June 28, 2012
June 26, 2012
https://twitter.com/rwang0/statuses/217714929837424640 Tweet from Ray Wang, Constellation Research. MyPOV:
When Microsoft bought Yammer for $1.2 billion, it snubbed the vendor that has helped the most to round out SharePoint as an enterprise social platform. NewsGator's CEO explains why that's a good thing.
June 25, 2012
10 Reasons Why SharePoint Yammer Makes Sense
Please join me in welcoming the Yammer employees to the Microsoft Office Division and the broader Microsoft family. The talented people at Yammer bring valuable experience delivering rapid innovation in the cloud, and it’s exciting to think about how our teams will partner to reimagine productivity in the workplace. Posted by Kurt DelBene, President, Microsoft Office Division
"Think of Yammer as a fundamental part of our Office family," Ballmer said on a Monday conference call. "Our thinking was based on the fit with Microsoft and the fact that we think Microsoft is a great partner for us in expanding the service and taking it to the next level," Sacks said.
The takeaway: No immediate changes. Microsoft is very keen on Yammer's talent. It's also interested in Yammer's "viral adoption model," where employees sign up for the service without their bosses needing to buy anything.
Constellation Research analyst Alan Lepofsky points out that every NewsGator customer is by definition also a SharePoint customer. "If they had bought NewsGator, that would have been a technology purchase only, whereas this is a seat grab," he said. "Holding users hostage for features is very new to the Microsoft model," Lepofsky said. While Microsoft likes Yammer's pattern of viral adoption, it will likely try harder to appeal to enterprise IT, he said. "Microsoft doesn't need the influx of cash the way Yammer did, so they not have to do it on that same model."
June 23/24/25, 2012
the value of social networking tools is the ability to rally folks from inside and outside of the drug giant for collaborations.
What does this mean for Microsoft? It could initiate the next evolutionary step for Microsoft Dynamics products, which could benefit from more social networking and collaboration tools, particularly something as well-established and easy to use as Yammer.
If it is true, it suggests that Microsoft wants (or needs) something more than its own social product for businesses, SharePoint. Mark McDonald of Gartner, a research company, sees the putative purchase as “an industry consolidation play. With demand increasing, you want as much of the platform as possible.” And demand is rising quickly. A report this week by IDC, another research firm, said that most sellers of enterprise social software enjoyed double-digit revenue growth last year. It reckoned that Yammer’s revenue grew by a giddy 132%, to $22.3m.
Perhaps not surprisingly, Yammer is not everyone’s cup of tea. Yammer’s model is one “that end-users and venture capitalists love and that IT and finance hate.”
So this deal just leaves me a bit cold. If Microsoft had bought Yammer in 2010, and put it at the center of this upcoming version of SharePoint, then that would be exciting. Microsoft could have used it to fuse social to the core of the behemoth enterprise tool. It could have launched the new SharePoint in a couple of months and really hit the mark with a fresh social offering. As it stands, I don’t really expect to see Yammer as a useful part of SharePoint for a year at least.
the interest by Microsoft in acquiring Yammer—along with the recent buyout of similar ventures by large enterprise software companies—validates the nascent enterprise social media space. Yammer as largely a “microblogging platform” with some unique features for user profiles and for creating groups within Yammer and most people do not think of Yammer as a secure platform that enterprises would want in a social media solution.
June 21/22, 2012
In a sign of the growing importance of this type of software, Microsoft is in talks to acquire Yammer for about US$1 billion, according to a Bloomberg article last week. Microsoft, which lags in this area, could instantly boost the social features in its collaboration products, particularly SharePoint, if it bought Yammer.
Are chief information officers going to make a big commitment either to Microsoft's SharePoint or Yammer's enterprise-collaboration service until they know how the products are going to be integrated?
June 19th/20th, 2012
CEO of cloud storage player Box, if he had been interested in the enterprise social networking service. “Yeah, we should have bought Yammer, but they didn’t come knocking.”
“take an inventory of all these things that are floating around the enterprise to improve productivity and then use social networking to wrap that stuff together and apply it to a business problem.” CIOs saying “I will take a wait-and-see attitude with regards to Yammer.” And “after implementing a series of collaboration and communication applications, he’s come around to thinking that providing a tool that fits snugly into a larger platform is helpful” In regards to Chatter: “it’s more important for the social software to be the right solution, rather than have it fit into a given platform” and “It makes sense for the sales reps, but it didn’t make sense when we started looking at the broader population”.
the Number One thing that Yammer gives Microsoft is a social story outside of SharePoint, which it desperately needs
Microsoft is buying Yammer, a company that provides business-oriented social networking tools, for a reported $1.2 billion. That's quite a jump from Yammer's Q1 valuation of between $500 million and $600 million after an $85 million Series E round of funding led by DFJ Growth and Social+Capital Partnership. Double your money in just a few months--not bad if you can get it.
ALL of the incumbents are deeply flawed. SAP, Oracle, and even Salesforce, are reliant on systems that were architected for a different era, and have not yet shown a product fluency with social.
The bringing of Yammer into the MS stable suddenly allows Microsoft to take full advantage of the burgeoning social business (also known as Enterprise 2.0) trend which implements a social media network at corporation level and unleashes the potential of knowledge management (KM) within a corporation wall.
There are three trends that we see converging – the consumerization of IT; the ubiquity of social; and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD).
If it does come to pass, it's certainly an interesting deal. Is Yammer worth that kind of money? As one person I spoke to at Enterprise 2.0 this week told me, it's nuts because it's likely 10 times Yammer's actual value
My first reaction upon hearing this rumor was that these two companies are not a good match--not even a little bit. Keldsen added, "There are many illusions of synergy in M&A deals, but reality is an entirely different matter." Indeed.
While social is hot and cool and trendy (can you guess how lukewarm I am about this corner of the market?), and has been glaringly missing from Microsoft's enterprise portfolio, I expected the company to make a move into the human resources management system and talent management space first.
So where's the announcement?
June 17/18, 2012
Why Microsoft wants Yammer – enterprise social is booming
Microsoft’s quest to acquire enterprise social software player Yammer for more than US$1bn is being driven by the growing adoption of social media as the lynchpin of enterprise communications and collaboration.
If it happens, we will fully support the Yammer acquisition by Microsoft and look forward to integrating with it, too.
It is unclear as yet how Yammer will fit in Microsoft’s product portfolio – will it be used to bolster Sharepoint’s outdated and weak social capabilities? Or will it go the Skype way, where Microsoft uses it to enter enterprises through the backdoor (employees using it in small groups with or without official approval), and then upsell heavier Microsoft enterprise products like Sharepoint, Dynamics CRM and Office through integration points?
If Microsoft does acquire Yammer, it probably could be integrated in some way with other Microsoft collaboration tools, such as the SharePoint platform. Social enterprise platforms also have been employed to improve customer relationship management activities, another area in which Microsoft could match Yammer with assets it already has.
Microsoft is acquiring enterprise microblogging firm Yammer, the rollup of the industry has perhaps now reached a seminal phase. Or has it?
The story also says that the main deal itself "has been pretty much locked in for weeks."
The bigger issue is if Microsoft will set Yammer up to run on its own, like Skype; if it plans to use the Yammer team to improve its other products; or if it's looking to dismantle Yammer and fold it into a larger division.
Integrating a private social network like Yammer with SharePoint would give Microsoft a much more robust platform for collaboration, and allow Microsoft to compete on more even footing with rivals like Salesforce with its Chatter social network. Yammer also has apps available already for Windows Phone, Android, iOS, and BlackBerry mobile devices, as well as a standalone app for both Windows and Mac.
I would have expected NewsGator to be a more natural fit, as it runs on top of Sharepoint. This means “early whispers suggest that Microsoft did not enhance the platform’s social features to the extent everyone expected.” So the take over of Yammer would help Microsoft to deflect criticism of not delivering enough social into SharePoint 2013. Not for the Yammers customer base, not for Yammers technology. Maybe to have social capabilities in the cloud and to tell the world that they are social (me)too, what ever the next version of Office will deliver?
He says: “Microsoft has an interest in buying Yammer in order to complement its core SharePoint product which doesn't fit the bill, and to gain access to a customer base in which they have currently little traction. What is less understandable is that this a notable break from their approach of encouraging their ecosystem of third party developers to create add-ons, such as is the case for Newsgator and Telligent which basically have the same features (and more) as Yammer and which are better integrated with Microsoft Platform."
He adds: “The deal also helps Microsoft to catch up in the growing SaaS marketplace. While SharePoint and Lync remain the cornerstone for organisations still reluctant to move to the cloud, the Yammer acquisition builds on top of the Skype acquisition to give Microsoft a leg in the SaaS space."
Microsoft could target Yammer to small organizations such as PTAs or soccer clubs, small businesses or anyone who has small group projects that come and go, he said.
Colour me sceptical, but I doubt all of these bolt-on-deals will suddenly result in social enterprise nirvana.
In other words, Microsoft may be spending more than US$1 billion on a social UI for SharePoint. Couldn't one of Microsoft's many teams build a SharePoint activity stream that can compete?
June 14/15/16, 2012
For the social enterprise technology space, this move is a game-changer. Disruptive new products like Yammer, as well as similar tools from the likes of Jive, Telligent and Newsgator, have been setting the industry pace, leaving the industry heavyweights (think: Microsoft, IBM, Cisco, Oracle) playing furious catch-up games. In the space, Newsgator has taken the early market lead , producing a product that plugs tightly into SharePoint, adding market-leading functionality while avoiding the issues associated with having social activities on separate platforms. It is a fair bet that Microsoft will now seek to deepen the integration with between Yammer and SharePoint, creating a more unified experience,similar to that now available via Newsgator. For Yammer users, seeking better integration with SharePoint, should they wait for Microsoft's dev team to complete their work or should they jump immediately to a more mature platform, like Newsgator?
What Microsoft does suffer from, O’Brien concedes, is a perception problem. “A lot of people still look at Microsoft through the lens of the more visible businesses, like Windows and Office, when the fact of the matter is we have a multibillion dollar business in server operating systems, and databases, and management tools and development tools,” he says. “The overwhelming majority of those products are sold to enterprise customers.” f it only came down to a matter of mindset, then there’s no question: The Great Replacement in enterprise is well under way. Microsoft’s Yammer acquisition is proof of that.
When I was working on Microsoft’s SharePoint team, the #1 point we’d hear from customers who evaluated but passed on Yammer was one of governance and security– they didn’t like managing files and having conversations recorded in perpetuity on someone else’s servers. If you’re doing SharePoint in the cloud, well then, Yammer might mean something to you. But there are plenty of reasons to keep SharePoint on-premise, and many, many companies subscribe to one or more of these. So the net recommendation here is, relax and breathe deeply. If you own NewsGator or a similar product and you’re doing SharePoint in your own data center, you’re still in great shape for the next few years. Yammer is a cloud-based application and how (or even IF) Microsoft bakes it into on-premise applications is something that will take them awhile.
The best scenario, though, for leveraging Yammer is to go the Skype route. That way, Microsoft doesn’t hobble the product. It takes full advantage of the Yammer brand. And it leverages Yammer’s strengths to expand Microsoft’s market with a consumer-facing product that’s still tied to Microsoft’s enterprise stronghold.
It also lets Microsoft keep the stronger NewsGator product as the solution for internal, enterprise users of Microsoft SharePoint. NewsGator and Microsoft SharePoint have been a winning combination—one that Yammer can’t replace without considerable rework. That’s why acquiring Yammer doesn’t necessarily mean displacing the NewGator relationship.
For now, our bet is on the consumer/enterprise play for Microsoft’s Yammer acquisition, and a continued NewsGator/Microsoft SharePoint offering for inside the enterprise.
Life in the SharePoint partner ecosystem is a mixed bag. NewsGator was supposed to be SharePoint’s social squeeze. In fact, the two are such intimate friends-with-benefits that NewsGator’s Social Sites don’t even run outside of SharePoint. Yes, NewsGator will put on a happy face, and yes, some customers will still prefer the deeper integration with SharePoint
I love it, because it’s easy, and it works. It does one thing very well. But here’s the thing: Yammer is still buggy. It needs more innovation. It has only scratched the surface of what it could be. And there’s increasing competition
Here’s why Yammer will be a great fit for Microsoft and why Yammer’s stakeholders are well served by joining the Microsoft universe:
1. It makes Microsoft’s enterprise products social
2. It’s a natural product to integrate
3. It gives Yammer immediate worldwide distribution
4. Yammer + Skype = Awesome
Nitin: I’m very familiar with Yammer. Microsoft didn’t do a very good job of building enterprise social networking. Sharepoint has built-in capabilities no where near Facebook quality. Yammer was one of these types of business social companies that took the Microsoft platform and used it. I used Yammer for a while to test it out and I thought it was fairly good but not quite where it needs to be. Microsoft had their eye on Yammer for a while. My gut instinct is that Yammer will be left alone as a stand-alone product like Skype business. Then they will integrate Yammer with Sharepoint as part of the collaboration suite, and over time, it will become a big part of Sharepoint.
For the rest of us, the acquisition further supports what we already know: social business and cloud-based delivery are both here to stay
If Microsoft does buy Yammer, it would be going head to head with the likes of Oracle and Salesforce.com
"Microsoft Dynamics CRM does include some strong social networking features today, but obviously Yammer has a lot to offer to make the social capabilities more complete," said Mike Snyder, principal of Sonoma Partners. Yammer would bring to the table strong cross-platform support for Android, BlackBerry and iOS, as well as a standalone desktop application, which Microsoft Dynamics CRM does not have today.
The irony is that relatively few ever convert. A network of 10,000 users would cost $600k to $1.8mm per year at those prices. The main advantage to a subscription is the ability to have better control, mainly in deleting employees that have left the company. It is not until IT and Legal get involved that anyone wants to even consider a pay model. So, for the most part, the process continues and corporations in mass adopt this free service as a entry point into enterprise collaboration.
We don't think Microsoft is going to pay a rich price for Yammer to ruin it—say, by forcing all users to upgrade to a paid version of the product.
Frank Shaw, a spokesman for Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft, declined to comment on a potential deal. Dee Anna McPherson, a spokeswoman for closely held Yammer, also declined to comment
Here is what Microsoft needs to do to make this work:
- Keep Yammer largely autonomous.
- Keep Yammer a pure SaaS play.
- Fulfill the vision of a service.
Ideally, Microsoft should create a Collaboration division that contains both SharePoint and Yammer — in other words, make the product divisions subordinate to a way of working. However, Microsoft has been organized into product divisions for years, so I doubt that will come to pass. Again, it will be interesting to see if and how Microsoft + Yammer plays out….
According to information that MoneyWatch received from private company financial analyst firm PrivCo, Yammer's estimated revenue in 2010 was $10 million and $30 million in 2011, which means a year-over-year growth of 200 percent. That would make the deal worth 40 times its 2011 revenue.]
The acquisition would probably sit within the Unified Communications team. Yammer would nicely complement existing functions and features of Microsoft Lync whilst bringing together Lync and SharePoint.
The lead-up to Microsoft buying Yammer sounds almost identical to the lead-up to Microsoft buying Skype. Remember Microsoft OfficeTalk? Yeah, almost no one does. It was supposed to be Microsoft’s Yammer. Microsoft still views Salesforce and Oracle as archrivals.
Microsoft are the heavyweight champions of the fremium model having trojan horsed their Sharepoint product onto countless companies servers, who then upgraded to a pay model over the last ten years, and now use it for their Microsoft Office document content management. The Enterprise 2.0 movement was in large part a reaction to the shortcomings of that product, so it will be interesting to see what Microsoft do with Yammer, if and when they own it, and Skype the voice over ip telephony company they have owned since May of last year. It will also be interesting to see where the loyal partner ecosphere around Sharepoint - particularly Newsgator, who have made current iterations of Sharepoint somewhat more of a viable internal social network - fit into future Microsoft plans.
Yammer is fast growing—at least that’s the perception. Microsoft doesn’t have a cloud social collaboration tool. And Yammer can fit into Office, SharePoint and Dynamics. And the biggest reason Microsoft is buying Yammer is the most simple of all: Salesforce has nailed the social enterprise lingo and Microsoft can’t allow Marc Benioff to have all the good punch lines.
A more plausible theory is that Redmond fears that on the social front, SharePoint 2013 will prove the same disappointment as SharePoint 2010. SP 2013 is about to get released to beta, but early whispers suggest that Microsoft did not enhance the platform’s social features to the extent everyone expected. Unmet expectations are the stuff of serious revolts.
A Microsoft spokesman declined to comment. Representatives for Yammer didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.
It may seem like a lot of money but Yammer has been gaining traction - over 200,000 companies including Ford and eBay use it, and as it's still a start-up and has yet to reach an initial public offering, the gamble could pay off in the long-term. Better to pick up these start-ups before they become much more valuable.
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 $8.5bn," he continued.
If the deal comes to fruition, then San Francisco based Yammer could help Microsoft to catch up in the ever expanding social networking market, one area where they seem to have fallen behind the pack.
Last year Microsoft purchased internet video and voice leader Skype for $8.5bn. Yammer is known as the Facebook for businesses and is used by more than 200,000 companies worldwide. Neither firm has commented on the issue.
He said Yammer would sit well with Skype, the communications product Microsoft bought last year for $8.5 billion.
This does not bode well for the future of Yammer, and it doesn’t seem like something that will do Microsoft any good in the long run either. The deal doesn’t sound like a winner
Yammer would also give Microsoft a more direct counterweight to Salesforce.com's Chatter, which is offered on a similar cloud freemium model.....Meanwhile, if some enterprises favor the tighter SharePoint integration of NewsGator and an inside-the-firewall deployment, that's still good for Microsoft because every NewsGator Social Sites customer is also a SharePoint customer.
"Microsoft acquiring Yammer will make them relevant in the social space, but their lack of execution is forcing them to pay a premium." If Microsoft wants to make sure SharePoint remains relevant, buying Yammer makes perfect sense - even at a hefty premium. If this deal comes to fruition, the inclusion of Yammer’s social media tools within SharePoint - and other Microsoft products (including the flagship Microsoft Office productivity suite) - would deliver social capabilities that customers demand and help Microsoft retain SharePoint’s market share. It could also help Office compete against more sharing-oriented competitors like Google Docs.
"If they acquire Yammer, it wouldn't really do anything for Microsoft," he said. "It's just like their lack of a mobile strategy. The market has already been taken."
June 13, 2012
Microsoft may pay more than $1 billion, and a deal may be reached as soon as tomorrow, said one person, who declined to be identified because the negotiations are private.
We just heard from a source inside Yammer that the office has been abuzz since Monday with talk of Microsoft buying the social-enterprise startup.