Yammer Goes Beyond Saas, Offers Self-Hosted Version

Enterprise microblogging software service provider Yammer has announced a version of their software that can be run on a company's servers, inside the corporate firewall.

The Twitter-like service intended for the workplace has had great success with the hosted version of their software and is trying to take the next step in facilitating conversations in companies and workgroups.

The West Hollywood, California, company has been in the news quite a lot lately. Most recently, when Yammer received accolades from the TechCrunch50 conference last year and when the company raised US $5 million in funding.

Why Go Internal?

Why would Yammer release a self-hosted version? For many reasons, but primarily because many enterprises maintain IS security policies that all corporate communications are held on corporate servers. While using Yammer in a traditional manner, users store microblogging messages on Yammer's servers. Under this arrangement, potentially sensitive and confident information might seep out into just anyone's hands, causing unease in the information security fields.

With the self-hosted version, Yammer would likely provide the web service software so companies and organizations can install Yammer on their own server infrastructure. According to Yammer's blog post, ongoing support would happen via a service contract. There is no word currently on service level agreements or uptime guarantees. Presumably, these are forthcoming for the hosted version if Yammer wants to present itself an as enterprise-ready communications platform.

Not for Everyone

The Software-as-a-Service model has its advantages as well with Yammer. Small/medium sized companies can rely upon Yammer to instigate automatic feature updates and back-ups. Additionally, there is no hardware to install, maintain and fuss with. And finally, Yammer's server engineers handle all security, infrastructure and support.

To restrict access with the SaaS version, Yammer enables superusers inside organizations to restrict access to Yammer via IP address filtering.

Integration is Easy

Pricing will be set at US$ 1.00 per user per month. Companies with over 1,000 users can arrange special pricing directly with the Yammer sales team. If a company using the hosted version of Yammer wants to step up to the self-hosted version, Yammer claims this move will be easy and smooth. Network information can be transferred between the SaaS and self-hosted versions and Yammer users can switch between the two models as they see fit.

Additionally, Yammer integrates with directory information housed in a company-maintained directory. We are assuming this happens via LDAP. Hopefully in the future Active Directory will be supported as well.

Other Options Abound

For hosted microblogging, Yammer is an easy choice. You can utilize many methods to interact with Yammer including IM client, e-mail, web interface and SMS support is said to be coming soon.

However, as an alternative, Laconi.ca is an open source tool that powers the Identi.ca service. This free version uses PHP and MySQL as underlying technologies. Additionally, Google will soon be open sourcing Jaiku and effectively adding another free microblogging service for companies to choose from.

Is Microblogging and Micromessaging for You?

Does your organization utilize micromessaging for day-to-day operations? Here at CMSWire, we use Yammer internally as a messaging tool, much like a real-time alternative to e-mail. We look forward to reading your experiences in the comments!