This guest post is by Gavin Baker, a tech-minded, digital marketing strategist.
Yammer selling to Microsoft is a wakeup call because they are spending BIG money to acquire key technologies. I've liked Yammer from its start four years ago because it is a communication platform that is Facebook-esque but internal to your own network. Employees prefer to use software that is up to date and easy to use, and Yammer fits the bill. Imagine your Facebook news feed, but replace the posts from your friends about weekend plans, or photos from trips with real-time information as documents are created, and employees update what they are working on. This type of nimble communication and collaboration is what Yammer brings to your company, and its ease of use will bring about employees who are better informed without spending hours in email every day. Social enterprise software makes companies more efficient in their communication and output.
Additionally it's smart for Microsoft, because Sharepoint isn't ever going to move fast enough to keep pace with consumer web trends AND most small businesses won't ever use it. They might use Yammer, because in addition to it's sexy interface, it allows you to share not just documents, but status on projects, plans and more. I'm sure we'll see integration into Office and Yammer + Office will start to look like an enterprise Google Docs.
As a whole, if you look at Yammer + Skype (which acquired GroupMe, a group texting company) and all of sudden Microsoft has a pretty sexy communications suite for businesses that no one else has. Of course, they aren't all integrated and who knows if they every will be, but I say smart move by Microsoft.
Gavin’s a high-level digital media maven with a passion for staying curious. He can be found online at his digital media blog and on Twitter @GavinBaker.