16th September 2013
A recent report from Forrester suggests that organisations are not seeing the level of adoption expected amongst employees when they deploy SharePoint (54%) and do not feel that it has met their functional expectations, (i.e. has not improved collaboration sufficiently) (46%). One area regarded as being key to fostering collaboration is social. Microsoft has been criticised for not moving quickly enough into the social space – and, indeed, SharePoint itself has been criticised for lacking in social features. But Forrester suggests that Microsoft’s acquisition of Yammer may go some way to solving that where business collaboration is concerned.
Microsoft acquired Yammer a little over a year ago for $1.2 billion (£800m). In the first 12 months, the service saw a 55% increase in registered users (up to about 8 million) and 200% increases in paid-for networks and user activity. But it is what the service can do for SharePoint that is of interest to Forrester.
SharePoint 2013 has shown good progress on the social front compared to previous versions, but Forrester suggests that Yammer can both help to provide at least some of the functionality that users feel is missing and encourage adoption of SharePoint within organisations. Where SharePoint’s social features have been questioned, Yammer’s are highly mature and will be familiar to users of other major social networks. It is this maturity and familiarity that helps to encourage uptake.
Microsoft’s long-term strategy is to deeply integrate Yammer with SharePoint, essentially making Yammer the front-end for SharePoint social. Coupled with Yammer’s demonstrable success in encouraging collaboration, this provides a compelling reason to consider using the platform with SharePoint for collaboration within an organisation. However, Forrester report author Rob Koplowitz suggests that Microsoft is not going to bundle Yammer into SharePoint for free any time soon.
Koplowitz said, “The ability to bundle Yammer into enterprise license agreements creates a recipe for Microsoft to seed lots of licenses into the market quickly. This does not necessarily mean that Yammer will be the right answer for all, but it will get it on a lot of shortlists.”
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