Long after Microsoft acquired Yammer in 2012, we’ve been wondering how they’re going to leverage a social application with a productivity one. That’s now been made clear, with Microsoft announcing deep integration between Yammer and Office applications.
The reason it’s called deep integration is that much of the functionality available on Office will soon be open to Yammer users. Foremost of these is the fact that Yammer users will be able to create, edit and then share their MS Office documents across closed groups. In addition, Yammer will also be integrated with Office 365, allowing for a complete cloud-based solution for team-based social interaction as well as productivity. Yammer does have some base-level integration with Office 365 already, but now they’re going in much deeper.
Microsoft seems to be speeding up the process after agreeing to acquire LinkedIn for $26 billion. At an event held in July this year, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella spoke of LinkedIn as a means for Microsoft to open up economic opportunity to users.
“LinkedIn is not just about having your profile and finding a job. being able to find your economic opportunity.”
Microsoft is already taking the enterprise direction with most of its recent offerings, and the LinkedIn acquisition is now falling into place as the company explores more synergies. They’ve already given companies the ability to sync their organization’s contacts between LinkedIn and Office 365. Using the Outlook Web App, users can then communicate with their LinkedIn contacts just the way they would on outlook, sending messages, attachments and so on.
The deep integration between Yammer and Office is another step in that direction, allowing easier Office collaboration for Yammer users.
Why Integrate Yammer with Office?
The motivation behind these integrations is clearly about keeping users within the Microsoft fold. By creating an interlinked ecosystem of cloud-based applications that work seamlessly with each other, the company is giving enterprise users every reason to stick with Microsoft for everything they need.
If you extend that concept to devices as well, you’ll clearly see what I’m referring to. By building a device portfolio with tablets, smartphones, PCs and other display units like Surface Hub, and then integrating that with their software applications like Outlook, Office and so on, Microsoft is offering an irresistible and, quite frankly, incomparable service that few other companies can match.
There’s no confirmation yet on when the Yammer-Office integration will be available, but as of now we know that the intent is to not only integrate Office functionality into Yammer, but also OneDrive and Microsoft SharePoint for project-based collaboration and file-sharing.
We also know that they’ve been working on this integration for “years”, and the reason it’s taken so long is that they want to “meet security compliance and trust commitments to our customers.”
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