Yammer Reveals 3 New Business Integration Tools
At a small press conference today in San Francisco, Yammer (news, site) revealed three suite additions that promote the integration of the product within systems of record: 

Yammer Activity Stream & Activity Stream API

Hoping to make activities within a business much more transparent, the new Yammer tab labeled "Activity Stream" pulls together stories about coworker actions in their enterprise apps. The Stream is automatically populated, and includes the roll-up logic we've all grown accustomed to thanks to Facebook.

For example, let's say 10 of your colleagues change their user profile. The Activity Stream tab batches these related stories into a single item in the feed.

Here's how it looks:

yammer_activity_streams_ss.jpg

The release of the Yammer Activity Stream API will enable third-party developers to publish activity stories from business applications into the Yammer Activity Stream. An example of this can be seen in Yammer's very recent work with NetSuite. The partnership, announced last week, touts socialized business data for use with social networking and collaboration applications.

For example, users can 'follow' records of interest in NetSuite, and NetSuite's SuiteSocial takes the activities and updates that occur around them and syndicates them to an external social stream or feed.

A draft spec for the Activity Streams API is now available for comments on the Yammer developer site, and is expected to be finalized in early June.

Enterprise Extensions to the Open Graph Protocol

When Facebook first announced the Open Graph Protocol, it was all the rage on the Internet. Now, Yammer is extending the protocol into Intranets so that it may include extensions for business-specific objects. This way, information that would do well to go viral within the workplace can go viral.

Perks include:

  • Follow records to get notified of updates
  • Share internal and eternal links with your colleagues
  • Comment and Like activity stories to start a conversation

A draft spec for Enterprise Extensions to the Open Graph Protocol is available for comments on the Yammer developer site and is slated for an early June release.

Yammer Embed

While integration with SharePoint was a good start, the Yammer Embed feature enables feeds to be plugged into any HTML or JavaScript-based business application through the use of an embed code. This means users will be able to view and participate in Yammer discussions from virtually anywhere.

As a side note, this may mean bad news for other microblogging-based companies that have also designed their solution to be ubiquitous. Socialcast, for example, promotes bringing conversation into already existing applications, such as SharePoint and CRM systems.

Thank you, Facebook

Once upon a time it was thought that Salesforce.com's Chatter was the Facebook of the enterprise, but Yammer is pushing ahead not only by modeling its products after the social networking giant, but by directly extending them. In fact, at today's press conference Yammer CEO David Sacks said it is only a matter of time before users start to see Yammer "Like" buttons popping up everywhere.

And although Chatter is available as a standalone product, it is mainly a vehicle for picking up new Salesforce.com customers. Yammer, on the other hand, aims to be a single social layer across all every-day solutions. 

"We’re starting to see other players in the record space develop their own social networks inside these sytems of record," said Sacks. "But we don’t think companies want a dozen different social networks -- that’s a recipe for fragmentation and chaos."

As a bonus, the company is also offering free deployment and engagement services to ensure the product is deployed in the right way. This includes:

  • Change management
  • Policy development
  • Roll out plan
  • Training materials
  • Network health checks
  • ROI analysis

Check it out here.