Why Microsoft wants Yammer – enterprise social is booming

18 Jun 2012

Microsoft’s quest to acquire enterprise social software player Yammer for more than US$1bn is being driven by the growing adoption of social media as the lynchpin of enterprise communications and collaboration.

New research from IDC shows that enterprise social software adoption has accelerated significantly, finding use cases across almost all industry verticals as it continues to become a critical decision support and worker productivity tool.

The enterprise social media market is hotting up and it emerged last week that Microsoft plans to buy Yammer for in excess of US$1bn. Yammer is being used by more than 200,000 companies worldwide, including 80pc of Fortune 500 companies.

Enterprise social software market growth

IDC’s research found that almost all vendors in the market had double-digit growth for 2010–2011, with the top 2 vendors, IBM and Jive, delivering greater than 70pc year-over-year growth – almost double the market average.

The fastest-growing vendor in the top 20 was Yammer, with a year-over-year growth rate of 132.3pc.

“Companies are turning to social software in increasing numbers as they look for ways to increase collaboration, improve both business and individual worker productivity, and efficiently manage a growing deluge of content and information,” said Michael Fauscette, group vice-president, Software Business Solutions.

“Compartmentalised and specific collaboration is still required by many organisations and traditional collaborative applications providing closed loop and B2B communications will retain their existence in organisations alongside more open social solutions.

“As organisations’ workspaces become increasingly divested from traditional office environments, workers will ultimately choose the most appropriate combination of tools to perform daily tasks,” Fauscette added.

“It will be imperative for vendors to recognise that ad hoc collaboration will continue to complement social activity streams, particularly as enterprise social software becomes more embedded in business processes and the workspace.”

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years