Microsoft Unfurls a New Yammer Road Map

A year after announcing the Yammer buy, Microsoft is picking up the pace in its efforts to layer enterprise social features onto its business software portfolio.

Download the authoritative guide: Big Data: Mining Data for Revenue

Yammer is good business for Microsoft, and the software giant is showing no signs of resting on its laurels.

On the one-year anniversary of the blockbuster Yammer acquisition announcement, Microsoft offered a peek at what the next six to eight months have in store for the enterprise social network. But first, the company took a look back at the impact Yammer has had on both the company's business portfolio and its bottom line.

"In just 12 months, we have made tremendous progress in accelerating the adoption of enterprise social, driving innovation within the Yammer service and beginning to integrate with Office 365," David Sacks, Yammer vice president, wrote in a blog post. He added that over the past year, Yammer experienced a 200 percent year-over-year increase in paid networks, and user activity has doubled.

"Users have grown by 55 percent to approximately 8 million registered seats," added Sacks. "This level of adoption is particularly impressive for a service that is just 5 years old," he argued. On Feb. 20, he reported that the platform had surpassed the 7 million user mark in 2012.

Microsoft has also been hard at work on growing the Yammer partner ecosystem. "The number of partners in Yammer's App Directory has nearly doubled since its launch in October 2012, and the number of developers building on Yammer has increased more than 70 percent, the company reported.

Among the newest partners is Klout, the online and social influence ranking tool. Microsoft took the opportunity to announce that newly launched Klout integration features allow Yammer users to post their Klout scores on their profiles and enables administrators to roll out internal Klout scores.

Referencing several of the features that the company previewed during its Yammer on Tour event on April 8 in New York City, Sacks said that Yammer and Office 365 development teams have a synergistic relationship. "The teams have continued to deliver rapid innovation within Yammer, including real-time message translation leveraging Microsoft Translator; enhancements to Inbox, Online Now and platform upgrades; and continued cross-platform mobile development on Windows, iOS and Android," he wrote.

Expect more in the coming months.

Jared Spataro, senior director for Microsoft Office, laid out what the next several months have in store for Yammer. SharePoint search integration will allow Microsoft's collaboration platform to search Yammer conversations, which will set "the stage for deeper, more powerful apps that combine social and search," he said in a June 25 blog post.

Also on tap are new Yammer app group settings that will allow customers to make Yammer feeds the default feed for all SharePoint sites. Yammer is being redesigned and will feature improved directed and multi-group messaging.

The teams are focused on email interoperability, mobile apps and regional localizations, indicated Spataro. Yammer will also grow more accommodating of outsiders, he hinted. Noting that "today you have to create an external network to collaborate with people outside your domain," he said that his team is "improving the messaging infrastructure so that you can easily include external parties in Yammer conversations."

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez is a contributor to eWEEK and the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Previously, he served as a managing editor for the network of...