Who says Microsoft
's too giant a corporation to be flexible when it comes to acquiring new firms? While even the massive Skype acquisition feels fresh in the minds of technology enthusiasts, Microsoft is now spending on yet another: Yammer. You may not have heard of Yammer in the consumer space, but businesses have been using it increasingly. In a nutshell, it's an internalized Twitter. Imagine a Twitter where only a set of private, invited guests were allowed in; that's -- generally speaking -- what Yammer acts like.
And clearly, Microsoft wants precisely that in its own portfolio. With a huge stake in enterprise, it's pretty obvious how Microsoft could take a tool like Yammer and integrate it with SharePoint, Skype or a number of other products. The deal sees Microsoft paying $1.2 billion in cash for Yammer. Yammer will join the Microsoft Office Division, led by division President Kurt DelBene, and the team will continue to report to current CEO David Sacks.
Yammer was launched in 2008, and now counts five million corporate users as its own. That includes employees at 85% of the Fortune 500; the service allows employees to join a secure, private social network for free and then makes it easy for companies to convert a grassroots movement into companywide strategic initiative. Yammer will continue to develop its standalone service, but moving forward, "Microsoft plans to accelerate Yammer’s adoption alongside complementary offerings from Microsoft SharePoint, Office 365, Microsoft Dynamics and Skype." So there you have it, straight from Microsoft itself.