Yammer Opens European HQ In London’s Tech City

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Enterprise social network Yammer has opened a new European headquarters at London’s ‘Silicon Roundabout’

Enterprise social network Yammer has opened up it first European headquarters in London’s ‘Tech City’, where it hopes to establish a central sales and client service hub for the EMEA region.

“Yammer’s decision to grow their business in London and at the centre of Tech City illustrates our increasingly pivotal role in the global digital economy,” said Mayor of London, Boris Johnson. “International firms are investing here because it is simply the best place in the world to do business and, with the international focus ahead of next year’s 2012 Games, we will be pushing hard to lure more and more of the biggest and best business to our great city.”

Enterprise social networking

Founded in September 2008, San Francisco-based Yammer already has over 2 million users – 40 percent of which are based in the EMEA region (Europe, Middle East and Africa). The enterprise social network brings together the concepts of social networking and workspace collaboration, and is designed to cater to the needs of employees in companies of every size.

The emphasis is on connecting people, allowing workers to connect with colleagues and quickly find answers to questions, brainstorm and share ideas, documents, videos and praise in real-time.

“It’s what internal communication departments always say that they want, which is two-way communication with the staff,” said Yammer’s Mike Grafham, speaking to eWEEK Europe. “In all of these years of Intranets and email, that mechanism still doesn’t exist electronically, and it’s really hard to get everybody in the same room. So Yammer is a proxy for doing that.”

The company operates a ‘Freemium’ model, allowing employees to start up their own company networks for free before upgrading to the premium version, which costs $5 per user per month. The premium version includes advanced admin controls, custom branding, virtual firewall protection, and the support of a ‘Customer Success Manager,’ who pays regular visits to the company and helps them integrate Yammer into their business processes.

SharePoint integration, Windows Phone app

Together with the opening of a new London office, Yammer also announced the launch of a new version of integration with Microsoft SharePoint, and a mobile application for Windows Phone.

Yammer already integrates with Microsoft Sharepoint, but the new version will enable users to access their Yammer feed directly inside SharePoint, and post messages, polls, events and links to Yammer directly from SharePoint. Yammer also intends to launch its embed feature in the third quarter of 2011, allowing companies to embed Yammer feeds and activity streams into their business applications.

Meanwhile, Yammer hopes that the launch of its Windows Phone application will help to drive the company’s mobile strategy. Yammer already offers applications, for the iPhone, and Android and BlackBerry smartphones, but hopes this new app will give it greater access to large enterprise users who already use Microsoft technology to run their businesses.

“We’re continually developing those applications to make them more feature-rich, make them easier for people to use, because we see them as a really good way of driving engagement, particularly among senior people in organisations.,” said Grafham. “The time that they get to communicate with their organisation is often when they’re travelling, so it allows them to just dive in and see what’s going on.”

Market hotting up

Yammer’s presence in Europe could help it to compete with the recently launched Google+ social network, which Google says will evolve in a way that allows businesses to build profiles and interact with the public.

“We have a great team of engineers actively building an amazing Google+ experience for businesses, and we will have something to show the world later this year,” Christian Oestlien, a group product manager at Google, wrote in a 6 July posting on his Google+ profile page. “The business experience we are creating should far exceed the consumer profile in terms of its usefulness to businesses.”

Meanwhile, Tibco recently launched its business social networking tool Tibbr in the US, which takes a subject-based approach to social networking. Tibbr brings together unified communications capabilities, integration of enterprise application streams and business social computing, according to the company.

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