Does the Yammer Deal Validate Enterprise Social Media?
Neudesic is clearly a Microsoft shop, though Vosough says it integrates with non-Microsoft business applications, too. It also delivers Pulse in cloud and on-premise environments. Koplowitzs profile of Neudesic states that it integrates not just with Microsoft SharePoint and adds more features, but also with Lync for unified communications and with Microsoft Dynamics for CRM along with enterprise resource planning (ERP) in the cloud. Vosough says he thinks the acquisition of Yammer by Microsoft will bring greater attention to all players in the enterprise social media market. He cited another Forrester report that put the size of the enterprise social media market at $6.4 billion by 2016. In addition, a survey showed that only 21 percent of business decision makers in firms of 100 employees or more frequently use collaboration software in their business groups or departments. Translation: Theres room for everybody to grow.But the dynamics change when a smaller companys partner becomes their competitor, said Koplowitz. Now that Yammer will become part of Microsofts sales and marketing channels, the preference will be for Microsoft to push sales of Yammer, he said. The one situation in which a Microsoft person will offer something other than Yammer is if another product offers a feature the customer wants, but that Yammer doesnt offer. Therell still be opportunities for partners to fill white space, but primarily, Microsoft sales people will have the incentive to sell Microsoft products, said Koplowitz. Microsoft as a sales channel changes dramatically for the partners. Other companies profiled in the Forrester report include Salesforce.coms Chatter, which like Yammer, is a cloud-only provider. Salesforce made a name for itself as a CRM cloud platform provider, Koplowitz wrote, but has stepped up its promotion of Chatter as the next big growth opportunity for the company. Of the tibbr offering from Tibco, the report noted that for a company with such a deep reputation for middleware, Tibco has managed to build a product with a very well-received interface. Tibbr has been deployed in enterprises that were not originally Tibco customers and that its social networking service has been integrated with non-Microsoft enterprise software such as Oracle and SAP. SocialCast was started seven years ago, and one year ago it was acquired by VMware. As such, it emphasizes integration with VMware virtualization software as well as with the EMC product portfolio. EMC, a storage vendor, is a majority owner of VMware.
The news of this acquisition is going to educate more potential customers of the value of enterprise social networking, Vosough said.