Oh how the smell of money draws us in. Really, who could stare at US$ 1.2 billion and walk away? Yammer has agreed to that nice tidy sum and joins Microsoft's ranks. Everyone has a thought on it, and it isn't all nice.

The Yammer /Microsoft Story

According to the companies, Yammer is joining the Office Division and the team will continue to report to David Sacks, Yammer CEO. It will continue to develop standalone applications, but will also be integrated with the likes of SharePoint, Office, Skype and MS Dynamics CRM.

That's the gist of this story.

According to David Sacks in a blog post:

With the backing of Microsoft, our aim is to massively accelerate our vision to change the way work gets done with software that is built for the enterprise and loved by users."

Now I know this is no surprise as it's been around the block "unofficially official" for a week or so now, and we really aren't getting much more information other than it is "official" and it's subject to "regulatory approvals".

The Industry Point of View

I've been saving some of these for this day, because they comments from the vendors in the industry are nothing short of interesting:

Learning Opportunities

Microsoft’s acquisition validates the critical nature of social connectivity as an enterprise capability. If over the coming years MSFT is able to build out a fuller capability, they and the companies that invest in this technology might see a return on their investment. What the market needs to know is that fuller capabilities are available now, and that companies that use them are already getting a functional and financial benefit from the full-featured enterprise collaboration software that Moxie delivers today.” – Tom Kelly, CEO of Moxie Software.
Social is an increasingly important driver in Enterprise collaboration, and Microsoft’s reinvestment in SharePoint and acquisition of Yammer will further accelerate this. What Yammer could bring to SharePoint is rich collaboration functionality and better access via desktop, mobile, cloud and tablet apps, all of which will further accelerate SharePoint usage and adoption. The deal also plays into a growing trend of integrating social applications into the SharePoint platform -- such as TripIt, Amazon, SlideShare, Twitter apps, Quest Web Parts, etc.

But although people will want to move, they’ll be waiting to see the “upgrade” path from SharePoint 2013 to SharePoint 2013+Yammer. It would take a herculean effort to get Yammer integrated into the next SharePoint release, so as a backup option it’s likely there will be an improved integration pack at the time of release. Bottom line; the benefits and implementation timeline of SharePoint plus Yammer must be made crystal clear to SharePoint customers because if it’s not, it’s possible they’ll wait a year, or, worse, until Wave 16 (SharePoint 2016).” -- Chris McNulty, Quest Software
Microsoft has been deluding itself into believing SharePoint plays in the social space, arguably the most important market in software in the last decade," said Aaron Fulkerson, founder and CEO MindTouch. "Microsoft acquiring Yammer will make them relevant in the social space, but their lack of execution is forcing them to pay a premium."
Microsoft probably sees Yammer as an opportunity to ride the ‘social’wave without much effort. When Microsoft acquired Skype it wasn’tbecause the company didn’t already have homegrown VoIP software (theyhave Lync, previously known as Office Communications Server). Theypurchased Skype because they didn’t have a recognizable brand or theusers behind it. Microsoft already has some of Yammer’s functionalitybuilt into its 11-year old clunky (and expensive) SharePoint product.And let’s not forget doomed Microsoft OfficeTalk, which was Microsoft’sanswer to Yammer a few years ago before it faded into obscurity withoutmuch talk. -- from a Huddle post by Aaron Endre

And a couple of Tweets of interest:

"MyPOV: After years of less than stellar enterprise adoption of SharePoint, MS can now use Yammer as a hook from freemium to premium

"MyPOV: The real issue, why is not cutting it.That's what Steve Ballmer should ask his team.

Over the next few days we will hear much more about this deal. Jive is offering a special interview on their perspective, and the analysts will no doubt express more of their thoughts.

What I want to know is, what does this mean for all the social software vendors with integrations with SharePoint? Especially NewsGator, whose solution works only with SharePoint. Now it's true, there's a lot more functionality in NewsGator than is offered in Yammer, but with this acquisition, Microsoft has the ability to provide much better social capabilities out of the box -- at some point.

I would also question Yammer's ability to continue to grow on its planned path. It's very likely when I spoke with Adam Pisoni, this acquisition was well in the works, hence his point that Yammer is complimentary to SharePoint. But it's Yammer ability to innovate that could be called into question now. Time will tell I guess. Meantime, Yammer has a party to put on -- all expenses paid.