If you haven’t heard yet, enterprise social network software company Yammer has made their first acquisition with oneDrum, a vendor that I reviewed towards the end of last year. If you even been sort of following the enterprise collaboration space you will know that Yammer is growing rapidly and raising more money to keep that growth going. Now while Yammer has around 800k+ paying customers (and I believe around 4 million total) this still pales in comparison to Sharepoint’s near 40 million PAYING customers, but I think Yammer is hoping to change that.
Up until recently Yammer has been consistently thought of as just an internal micro-blogging platform (and rightfully so since it lacked in a many enterprise features), in fact I have talked with several current and past customers of theirs that have been wanting a bit more in terms of a true enterprise-wide application (they started improving this with Files and Pages that they rolled out last year). oneDrum is a platform which allows for collaboration to take place directly within Microsoft Applications, a key functionality that Yammer was missing (while onDrum was missing the whole platform and enterprise social network piece). Jive made a similar acquisition a year ago with OffiSync. Microsoft Office is still by far the dominant player when it comes to content applications within the enterprise and now Yammer as another way into all of these organizations. This feature will be rolled out later this year as a simple desktop application that sites on your computer.
Now while the acquisition of oneDrum is important I don’t think that’s the interesting thing here. The interesting thing is just the fact that an acquisition took place and what that is going to lead to. After all, Yammer isn’t the only company that is going to offer this type of Office integration. But I do think this is going to be the beginning of Yammer really moving towards becoming a much more serious contender for enterprise collaboration platforms and acting as a “social layer” for the enterprise. I wouldn’t be surprised if Yammer started building out their own Outlook and email applications or perhaps acquiring a company like Harmon.ie which already has all of the functionality built in.
One thing that I don’t think we hear much about is the fact that Yammer already has customer extranets deployed. So many people are looking at Yammer as just a pure micro-blogging platform for the enterprise and meanwhile they are building themselves into an enterprise collaboration monster. I wouldn’t be too shocked if Yammer took this one step further and eventually went down the road of just full customer communities. I know they are planning on rolling out live messaging sometime soon and web-conferencing shouldn’t be too far behind that.
Since Yammer is so adamant on being the glue that holds the “social” enterprise together I think it would also be interesting to see them take a widgetized approach where they can embed pieces of Yammer within existing enterprise applications like Quontext does. I’m going to have more on this in an upcoming post
For now congrats to Yammer and to oneDrum for a great acquisition that will benefit both companies. Looking forward to seeing what else Yammer will have going for 2012.