Friday, June 15, 2012

Yammer and Microsoft ... A Match Made in Heaven ... or at least in Adobe Air

Well, it seems like the buzz this week about Yammer “agreeing” to sell itself to Microsoft are all set to come true. At least based on some of the headlines …

There will be and has been a lot of speculation about what this means for Microsoft, for Yammer and for the Social Computing community.

The Adobe Air Question

It will be interesting to see how Microsoft deals with the Adobe Air install and platform. Yammer (at least on the PC) runs on the Adobe Air platform. Adobe Air has a lot of market penetration – perhaps more that the (semi-competing) offering from Microsoft called Silverlight. Will we see a best of breed approach take place?

From my perspective Adobe Air is a great platform to distribute applications. I have been using Tweetdeck (now owned by Twitter) for years with no problems. The platform is very stable and lets me know when it needs to be updated and then does everything necessary in the background and I’m back to work in no time. It remains to be seen how Microsoft handles this.

My Guesses and a Few Questions that come to mind:

  • Yammer and Skype --- VOIP calls for Customer Service, Between Employees, between customers and partners and so much more. See my post on Microsoft and Skype --- This could be a good thing
  • Yammer and Microsoft CRM --- this is the BIG WIN that Microsoft is seeking. They want to tilt the tables with SalesForce.com --- which launched Chatter (a Yammer-like component to SFDC) in the past year. Microsoft wants to go after the Social CRM (SCRM) space. Yammer will let them.
  • Microsoft Tablets will they be able to support Adobe Air out of the box? (Do iPads?)

A few SharePoint questions and my thoughts:

  • How will this affect the Social Computing elements within SharePoint? To me there this will just be added capabilities for SharePoint. Other than Wikis and I suppose MySites the out-of-the box experience with SharePoint doesn’t have anything like Yammer today.
  • How will this affect the partners that are building Social Computing capabilities to extend SharePoint? I think the partners like Neudesic with Pulse that have done a lot of work to build collaborative computing (and somewhat Social Computing) solutions on top of SharePoint will continue to extend and enhance their offerings. Yammer will make it easier in a lot of ways to add interaction capabilities.
  • What will this mean for Newsgator? They are not 100% head to head competitors (with Yammer), but there is a LOT of overlap. I like the Newsgator team and I’m sure they will keep moving forward.

What will this Ultimately Mean?

One of the best things about the Microsoft Partner Ecosystem --- There is always room for innovation. This acquisition will be just one of many in the coming months and years. Consolidation will continue. It’s up to us to keep innovating and finding new ways to go to market by building the next cool thing.

What are your thoughts?

  • Is this a good thing for Microsoft?
  • For the Microsoft Partner Ecosystem?
  • For the Social Computing marketplace?

Drop me a note here or via any of my contact points below.

Image Credit: Erik Sherman

imageAbout The Author:
I have spent the last 20 years working in various aspects of the ECM industry. I am currently with
Kodak as a Director of Business Development. In my past I have spent time at Kofax, Microsoft, FileNet, K2, and at Captaris (which was acquired by Open Text). Prior to that I was a Unix VAR running my own company. Follow me onTwitter, check my blog, send email or find me on Facebook or LinkedIn.

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