Gartner Research

Microsoft's Changing Social Software Strategy: Yammer, SharePoint and the Role of Cloud Services Within Office

Published: 06 November 2012

ID: G00239629

Analyst(s): Larry Cannell


Microsoft acquired Yammer, an enterprise social networking company, in June 2012. This assessment examines what this acquisition says about Microsoft's vision for Office (particularly SharePoint) and how IT organizations should prepare for the future.

Table Of Contents

Summary of Findings


  • Microsoft Acquires Yammer
    • Why Now?
    • Microsoft Says Yammer Complements SharePoint
  • Gartner's View of How Microsoft SharePoint and Yammer Complement and Compete
    • Each One Addresses Different Collaborative Needs
    • There Is Some Feature Overlap Now, With More Planned
    • Outlook, SharePoint and Yammer Compete for Attention
  • Microsoft, Yammer and the IT Organization
    • Reaction From IT to the Acquisition
    • NewsGator's Role in Addressing SharePoint's Social Software Gaps
    • Yammer Is No Longer a Lever Against IT
  • The Long-Term Impact on Microsoft Office
    • Yammer Wrests the Activity Stream — and Maybe More — From SharePoint
    • Accelerates Logistical and Architectural Changes at Microsoft
  • The Impact on IT's Social Software Game Plan
    • This Is an Opportunity to Build a Better Relationship With the Business
    • Business Application Integration With Social Network Sites Has Re-energized the Market
    • IT Needs to Chart Its Own Direction With Social Software
    • The Social Online Workplace and Beyond
  • Strengths
    • SharePoint and Yammer Features Are Mostly Complementary
    • Cloud Delivery of Yammer Enables It to Continue Innovating
    • Yammer Strengthens Microsoft's Ability to Support External Social Networking
    • This Is an Opportunity to Socially Enable Microsoft Office
  • Weaknesses
    • Yammer's Cloud-Only Approach May Push Some Enterprises Away From Microsoft's Social Software
    • Microsoft Will Be Offering Competing Social Network Solutions
    • Yammer Adds to an Already Broad Set of Office Products
    • Yammer Does Not Address SharePoint's Hypertext Shortcomings
  • Choose Yammer Over SharePoint 2013's Social Networking
  • Monitor Microsoft's Execution, Not Just Its Vision Statements
  • Continue to Evaluate Non-Microsoft Solutions
  • Plan for Social Network Sites to Play a Large Role Within an IT Solution Stack

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