You heard it right: Salesforce and Yammer are working together for the greater good of customer relationship management (CRM). But don't mistake this collaboration for an actual partnership -- it's very clear that the competition is still on. 

How it Works 

Yammer will now grab incoming data, exported by Salesforce, and plug it into Yammer news feeds. Sales leads, deals, marketing campaigns, etc. will becomes objects that can then be commented on and interacted with, making them more likely to spawn useful activity as well as become easier to keep track of. 

The whole shebang works just like a Facebook stream which, unsurprisingly, is exactly what Yammer CEO David Sacks compares it to. “A few months ago we released an activity stream API that lets any application push activity stories into Yammer, the same way that Zynga can push items like the latest Mafia Wars score into your Facebook stream." 

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Yammer Activity Stream

Showing up the Competition

Hoping to prove the ability to fill in the gaps that Salesforce.com's own enterprise network -- Chatter -- has left behind, Yammer leveraged Salesforce’s open API in order to build the integration. 

“Salesforce intended Chatter to be a company-wide tool, but we don’t see that today,” claimed a Yammer spokesperson. “So what Yammer does is it takes the activity streams from Salesforce data and by integrating it into Yammer you can socialize data across the entire company.” 

“The nice thing about the open API world that we live in is that you don’t necessarily have to seek permission to use these APIs," added Sacks. “We’re seeing a trend with all these various line-of-business applications to build their own social networks into what they do, and we’re already seeing customers and potential customers complaining about this because they wind up with a dozen different social networks in their company and that defeats the whole purpose.”

In other words, Yammer aims to be the middleman application that brings all social business streams into one place. 

In addition to Salesforce.com, Yammer has also socialized NetSuite's business data and the ever-popular Microsoft SharePoint.