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The Microsoft and Yammer union – one year on

One year and two days ago Microsoft and Yammer tied the knot. Arguably still in an extended honeymoon period, the couple is reporting big things (amongst them: double the user activity, a growth of 55% in registered users – now 8 million – and an increase of more than 200% in paid networks), with plenty more plans afoot as the pair creates the social foundations for what is being called the future of work, and – perhaps even more boldly the next major communications revolution.

But, beyond the aforementioned big things, what do we know about the inroads that have been made since that auspicious day, 366 days ago? How is the landscape of enterprise social networking evolving and – the ultimate litmus test – how is it really (if at all) changing how we work?

Earlier this month we commented on findings from Microsoft’s research into how people and organisations use enterprise social tools, focusing in particular on Australasian adoption trends (you can download the full report here, and further analysis here).

In a nutshell: enterprise collaboration and social networking tools are being adopted. This is happening at a greater pace in New Zealand than in Australia – a trend, we thought, that could have something to do with the maturity and size of organisations in each respective country.

Not only is enterprise social networking taking hold – even if incrementally rather than with wholesale effect – but people are also finding value in it, with 74% of New Zealanders and 64% observing that it assists them in collegial communication, and with 33% of Australians and 42% noting improvements in productivity through use of ESN tools. And the most prevalent reservations or roadblocks to ESN uptake – concerns around security and productivity – are not surprising, given the cloud-based nature of enterprise social networks and the time-waster reputation of its consumer-oriented predecessors – Facebook chief amongst them.

That’s how the land lies now, but what’s on the horizon? In our latest issue of Smarts we look at Microsoft’s “social everywhere” plans for Yammer  – a vision in which Yammer will come to form the social layer across the lion’s share of Microsoft’s technologies. So it’s fair to say that the social experience will become more entrenched in – and intrinsic to – our technology experience, inside and outside of work, whether within the “four walls” of Yammer or by extension within the context of our other productivity tools.

Here’s a visual depiction of Yammer’s journey to date. It’ll be interesting to see what the next stretch of road has in store, and what Australasian ESN uptake and value perception numbers will look like another year down the track. More slow-but-steady growth, a levelling off as the novelty fades, or something else…?


Microsoft and Yammer transforming enterprise social

Posted by: Katy Sweetman, Marketing Director, Empired Group | 27 June 2013

Tags: Social Media, Microsoft, Yammer, ESN, Enterprise Social

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