Enterprise social media vendors who partner with Microsoft have been transformed into market rivals now that Microsoft is acquiring Yammer. One industry analyst says the market dynamic for the erstwhile social media partners "changes dramatically" after the deal closes.
Enterprise social media partners who saw
Microsoft as a natural ally and partner in their efforts to get their services
running inside corporate offices must reassess their positions now that
Microsoft is acquiring Yammer, says Rob Koplowitz, a Forrester Research
One example is Neudesic Pulse, an enterprise
social media service that partners with Microsoft to integrate its platform
with Microsoft products like SharePoint, Lync and Dynamics. For now, Neudesic
Pulse is confident it will continue to grow in the social market even as
Microsoft takes over Yammer. But Koplowitz sees Microsoft-Yammer having a
significant impact on the partner ecosystem in enterprise social networking.
Its never good for the 800-pound gorilla to
make a move like this, said Koplowitz. If Im a competitor, who do I align
with outside of Microsoft because I cant think of that as a primary alliance
Koplowitz wrote a report in May (weeks before
the $1.2 billion Yammer acquisition was announced June
) comparing five companies in the enterprise social media space that have
the strongest positions in the market, including Yammer and Neudesic. He
narrowed his focus to firms that primarily build internal social networks for
just corporate employees and perhaps business partners, but not consumers in
the general public.
What the five companies all have in common is
that they are developing social media technology that has the potential to
become an industry standard, would support a range of enterprise applications
and would be widely deployed across an enterprise rather than in specific
business service areas like customer relationship management (CRM). In other
words, itd be a fundamental application standard like email is a standard.
His analysis leaves out enterprise social
media targeted at a specific area. A number of recent acquisitions by industry
heavyweights have involved social media marketing, social media CRM, or social
media and procurement.
The five services Koplowitz profiled are
Yammer; Salesforce.coms Chatter; SocialCast, a 2011 acquisition by VMware;
tibbr, the social media service of Tibco Software, which is nearly a $1 billion
company; and Neudesic Pulse.
Neudesic is distinguished in the group for
being the only privately held company in the bunch now that Yammer is in the
process of being acquired by Microsoft, said Ramin Vosough, vice president for
products at Neudesic, adding that it was built without venture capital funding
and has been profitable for each of the last 10 years.