Microsoft’s social enterprise platform, acquired last year, is helping the company gain a foothold in a growing market, with tighter Office 365 integration on the way
Microsoft acquired Yammer in June 2012 to help the company gain a firm foothold in the burgeoning enterprise social software market.
Today, that $1.2 billion (£780m) investment appears to be paying off. Following a quarterly earnings report that highlighted Microsoft’s healthy financials, the Office Team announced in an official blog post that Yammer sales were gaining “tremendous” momentum.
Yammer is definitely not suffering from the post-acquisition blues, assures Microsoft. On 20 February, the company revealed that Yammer added 290 paying customers during the fourth quarter of 2012 and that sales quadrupled year-over-year. It also surpassed 7 million registered users.
Yammer had 5 million users when it was acquired by Microsoft. “Yammer experienced banner growth in 2012 and grew particularly fast in the fourth quarter. Our momentum is definitely accelerating following the Microsoft acquisition,” said Yammer co-founder and Microsoft Office corporate vice president David Sacks in a statement.
Microsoft did not explicitly disclose Yammer’s revenue, but the announcement suggests that the cloud-based enterprise social network provider is contributing to Microsoft’s bottom line.
On a year-over-year basis, the Microsoft Business Division – of which Yammer is a part – reported an 8 percent rise in revenue to $6.32 billion. To keep that momentum going, the company plans to bring its sales teams together.
“We’re going from about a hundred sellers at Yammer to several thousand Microsoft sellers around the world bringing customers the benefits of enterprise social,” stated Microsoft.
‘Overwhelmingly positive’ response
Customer reaction has been “overwhelmingly positive”, reported the Office team, adding that clients are “excited” about the deep integration that forthcoming Office 365 and Yammer releases will offer.
One such client, power and automation technology specialist ABB, is “using Office 365 and Yammer to provide a single platform for productivity, communication, collaboration and enterprise social in the cloud for 145,000 employees across 100 countries”. Microsoft is also focused on advancing the technology and its integration efforts.
The Office and Yammer teams are adjusting to a regular update schedule and are currently driving “foundational work around identity, content and messaging that will drive seamless connected experiences across Office 365 and other applications,” revealed the blog post.
Yammer previewed some of the fruits of that labor during a Yammer on Tour event in New York City last month. In the coming months, Yammer is planning to roll out several new features that enhance collaboration and further embrace mobility.
These include a new Publisher with simplified posting and a new Priority Inbox feature that recognises contextual cues to “surface” relevant messages.
Also on tap are one-click translation services for Yammer feed posts, courtesy of Microsoft’s Translator technology, Office web app integration and revamped mobile apps with geo-location capabilities.
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Originally published on eWeek.