Microsoft acquired enterprise social networking company Yammer last June for $1.2 billion with the assumption that the software giant would weave Yammer into as many existing Microsoft products as possible.
Now, slowly but surely Microsoft is unveiling plans for Yammer. The first participant was Microsoft Dynamics CRM, which has had Yammer integration since December, with an update earlier this month.
But Microsoft has grander plans for Yammer.
At the Convergence 2013 conference this week in New Orleans, Microsoft announced that Yammer integration with Office 365 and SharePoint will begin this summer and include more updates in the fall and beyond.
Office division senior director Jared Spataro shared more Yammer roadmap details on the SharePoint blog today.
Here are some highlights:
- This summer's Office 365 update will allow customers to replace the existing SharePoint newsfeed link with Yammer.com. Microsoft admits that some customers have been unsure as to whether they should use Yammer or SharePoint for their news feed. This gives them an option to choose. In addition, Microsoft will release a Yammer app in the SharePoint Store so that users can embed a Yammer group feed into a SharePoint site.
- The fall Office 365 update will offer Single Sign-On into Yammer and SharePoint, but the option of choosing between Yammer and the SharePoint newsfeed remains. Microsoft also said the fall Office 365 update will add more document management features to Yammer such as editing and co-editing to the Office Web App versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
Microsoft promised to keep adding more Yammer features into Office 365 every 90 days and in 2014 will "deepen the connections between Yammer and Office 365 services, but over time these incremental enhancements will combine social, collaboration, email, instant messaging, voice, video, and line of business applications in innovative new ways."
Those businesses that say no thanks to Office 365 and must use SharePoint server on-premise can still use Yammer via the Yammer app in the SharePoint Store. Microsoft will provide guidance for replacing the SharePoint newsfeed on-premises with Yammer during its summer update of Office 365.
From the SharePoint blog:
"The Yammer app in the SharePoint Store will be a valuable addition, allowing customers to create connections between Yammer groups and on-premises SharePoint sites. While we don't plan on delivering updates for SharePoint Server every 90 days, many of the enhancements to the Yammer service will still be valuable in this scenario. The SSO, updated UX, seamless navigation, and Office Web App integration will all deepen the connections between your Yammer network and your on-premises SharePoint deployment."