Does the Yammer Deal Validate Enterprise Social Media?

By Robert J. Mullins  |  Posted 2012-06-27 Print this article Print


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. Koplowitz€™s 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 €œbusiness decision makers€ in firms of 100 employees or more €œfrequently use collaboration software in their business groups or departments.€ Translation: There€™s room for everybody to grow.

€œThe news of this acquisition is going to educate more potential customers of the value of enterprise social networking,€ Vosough said.

But the dynamics change when a smaller company€™s partner becomes their competitor, said Koplowitz.

Now that Yammer will become part of Microsoft€™s 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 doesn€™t offer.

€œThere€™ll still be opportunities for partners to fill white space, but primarily, Microsoft sales people will have the incentive to sell Microsoft products,€ said Koplowitz. €œMicrosoft as a sales channel changes dramatically for the partners.€

Other companies profiled in the Forrester report include€™s 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 €œfor 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.

Robert Mullins is a freelance writer for eWEEK who has covered the technology industry in Silicon Valley for more than a decade. He has written for several tech publications including Network Computing, Information Week, Network World and various TechTarget titles. Mullins also served as a correspondent in the San Francisco Bureau of IDG News Service and, before that, covered technology news for the Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal. Back in his home state of Wisconsin, Robert worked as the news director for NPR stations in Milwaukee and LaCrosse in the 1980s.

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