Microsoft has officially confirmed it has entered into an agreement to acquire social enterprise network Yammer for US$1.2bn in cash. Following the deal, Yammer will become part of the Microsoft Office division.
In recent weeks, rumours began circulating that Microsoft was interested in buying Yammer in order to enter the booming enterprise social space and was prepared to pay US$1.2bn.
Launched in 2008, Yammer now has more than 5m corporate users, including employees at 85pc of the Fortune 500 companies. The service allows employees to join a secure, private social network for free and then makes it easy for companies to convert a grassroots movement into company-wide strategic initiative.
Microsoft’s reasons for buying Yammer
“The acquisition of Yammer underscores our commitment to deliver technology that businesses need and people love,” said Steve Ballmer, CEO, Microsoft.
“Yammer adds a best-in-class enterprise social networking service to Microsoft’s growing portfolio of complementary cloud services.”
Yammer will continue to develop its standalone service and maintain its commitment to simplicity, innovation and cross-platform experiences.
Moving forward, Microsoft plans to accelerate Yammer’s adoption alongside complementary offerings from Skype, Microsoft SharePoint, Office 365, and Microsoft Dynamics.
“When we started Yammer four years ago, we set out to do something big,” Yammer founder and CEO David Sacks said. “We had a vision for how social networking could change the way we work. Joining Microsoft will accelerate that vision and give us access to the technologies, expertise and resources we’ll need to scale and innovate.”
The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approval.
Social enterprise image via Shutterstock
Below: an infographic Microsoft produced to explain its Yammer acquisition