Gartner Research

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

Published: 16 January 2014

ID: G00258384

Analyst(s): Larry Cannell


Microsoft has been working on integrating Yammer with Office since acquiring the ESN company in 2012. This updated assessment examines what Microsoft's actions to date say about the future of Office, the roles that Yammer will play and what IT organizations should do to prepare for this future.

Table Of Contents

Summary of Findings


  • Microsoft Acquires Yammer
    • Why Yammer, Why Now?
    • What Microsoft Says About the Future of Yammer in Office
  • Yammer Foreshadows a Fork Between Office Cloud and Office Software
    • Cloud-Only Office Starts Now
  • Gartner's View on the Role Yammer Will Play in Office
    • Yammer Becomes Office's "Social Layer"
    • Most of SharePoint's Social Software Capabilities Get Offloaded to Yammer
    • Unresolved Office Roles
  • The Impact on IT's Social Software Game Plan
    • Enterprises Unable to Use Cloud Services Should Look Elsewhere for an ESN Product
    • NewsGator Still Fills a Role Addressing Gaps in SharePoint
    • This Is an Opportunity to Build a Better Relationship With the Business
    • Business Application Integration With Social Network Sites Has Re-energized the Market
  • Strengths
    • SharePoint and Yammer Features Are Mostly Complementary
    • Cloud Delivery of Yammer Enables It to Continue Innovating
    • This Is an Opportunity to Socially Enable Microsoft Office
  • Weaknesses
    • Yammer's Cloud-Only Approach Does Not Address Deployments That Must Remain On-Premises
    • Microsoft Is Offering a Confusing Set of Social Networking Solutions
    • Yammer Adds to an Already Broad Set of Office Products
  • Start Managing Office as Two Products (Cloud and On-Premises Software)
  • Monitor Microsoft's Execution, Not Just Its Vision Statements
  • Continue to Evaluate Non-Microsoft Solutions
  • Focus on What People Do, Not What Products They Use
  • Plan for Social Network Sites to Play a Large Role Within the IT Solution Stack

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