Microsoft buying Yammer means that Microsoft wouldn’t have to build an alternative to Yammer. Yes it’s a billion dollars, but if anyone can afford it, it’s Microsoft (and maybe Facebook?). They already own a segment of the business market, I think this would be a smart move on Microsoft’s part.
Originally posted on Gigaom:
Microsoft’s (s msft) reported $1 billion deal to buy Yammer isn’t done yet, but the move — despite what many see as a too-hefty price tag — could make sense.
Yammer has big name recognition in the burgeoning field of enterprise social networking — its product lets colleagues chat about projects and share tips in a business-defined context. Microsoft Office remains the market-leading productivity suite despite incursions by OpenOffice, LibreOffice and Google Apps rivals. Pairing the Office with Yammer makes sense, as Forrester Research analyst Rob Koplowitz wrote in Forbes.
Or the software giant could go narrower and yoke Yammer to the Microsoft Business Solutions’ CRM and ERP products — ripping a page out Salesforce.com’s Chatter playbook. Or it could do both and put Yammer everywhere. Right now, Microsoft wants workgroups to collaborate using SharePoint on the backend but many IT people find SharePoint a bit of a hairball to implement and support. Microsoft also has its own instant messaging client, but what’s a little overlap among friends?