Yammer impacting Microsoft's software development process

Yammer updates its enterprise social networking software on a weekly basis and then closely monitors user adoption of the changes

Microsoft has started to adopt some key software development practices from Yammer, the ESN (enterprise social networking) vendor it acquired several months ago.

Specifically, Microsoft sees great value in the way Yammer introduces weekly changes and new features to its cloud-hosted suite and then closely monitors their usage to determine if they are useful to customers.

This process of tweaking software in constant small doses and then rapidly vetting the impact by slicing and dicing user analytics represents a major departure from Microsoft's traditional "big bang" product upgrade approach.

"We release software updates with data. We know when a change drives more or less engagement," said Adam Pisoni, Yammer co-founder, in an interview at Microsoft's SharePoint Conference in Las Vegas.

The impact of Yammer's approach is naturally being felt first in Microsoft's Office Division, which absorbed Yammer after the US$1.2 billion acquisition in July, and where Pisoni is now engineering general manager.

"The influence these guys have had on us has been very deep," said Jared Spataro, senior director of SharePoint Product Marketing.

To continue reading this article register now

Get the best of CIO ... delivered. Sign up for our FREE email newsletters!