Following in the footsteps of Oracle and Salesforce, Microsoft has added a social component to its Office Division and confirmed its purchase of Yammer today for US$1.2 billion.
The acquisition will allow the San Francisco-based social business collaboration service to continue operating as a standalone company, but Microsoft confirmed that they plan to integrate the social service with other programs including SharePoint, Dynamics, Office 365 and Skype.
Yammer is "really unique, maybe very unique in the viral adoption model,” said Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer in an interview with Information Week’s David F. Carr. “You can throw the words 'enterprise' and 'social' on a bunch of different stuff, but you can't find anybody [else] that has really built a customer base of enterprise IT customers, virally – with great respect from the IT department and with great love from the customers. I think Yammer is very unique in that."
SEE RELATED STORIES FROM THE WDM CONTENT NETWORK:
- Measure Marketing Success with 6 billion Facebook Users
- Salesforce Prepares to Purchase Buddy Media
- Social Media Dominates Traditional Marketing
More than 5 million corporate users have signed up with Yammer, including 85 per cent of the Fortune 500 companies, according to the media release.
Harnessing the expanding power of social enterprise has been a growing trend with other big companies over the past two years:
- Earlier this month, Salesforce acquired Buddy Media, the leading social media ad broker, for US$689 million. Coupled with Salesforce Radian6, the company has created a comprehensive ‘marketing cloud’ for engaging in and measuring social marketing programs.
- In May, Oracle acquired Vitrue, a social marketing platform, for US$300 million. The purchase will allow marketers to manage their presence on several key social platforms including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest and Instagram.
- Last November, Adobe sought out Efficient Frontier to boost its digital marketing strategies for US$400 million.