Microsoft is continuing with major acquisitions this year, following the purchase of Skype, and next in line is Yammer.
Yes, the Redmond-based company has officially declared that it has inked an agreement to purchase Yammer for $1.2 billion in cash.
Yammer is a business oriented social network which Microsoft will be looking to continue to run as a standalone service, although naturally it will eventually be integrated into MS products such as Office and of course Skype.
Yammer will join the Microsoft Office Division, although the team will continue to report to the current CEO David Sacks (an unfortunate name for a boss if ever there was one).
There are an estimated 5 million corporate users of the Yammer network, and many of those are members of high profile Fortune 500 companies (in fact 85 per cent of those firms are on board, according to the network).
Steve Ballmer, CEO, Microsoft, enthused: “The acquisition of Yammer underscores our commitment to deliver technology that businesses need and people love. Yammer adds a best-in-class enterprise social networking service to Microsoft’s growing portfolio of complementary cloud services.”
Note the focus on the cloud – Yammer will be developed in that respect, as opposed to on-premise deployments.
Yammer CEO Sacks noted: “When we started Yammer four years ago, we set out to do something big. We had a vision for how social networking could change the way we work. Joining Microsoft will accelerate that vision and give us access to the technologies, expertise and resources we’ll need to scale and innovate.”
As ever, the deal is subject to the usual regulatory conditions which rarely cause any hiccups, but it’s still be be confirmed.
It’s not a hugely surprising move, of course – social media is certainly something Microsoft wants a piece of – and it makes sense to pick that up on the enterprise front, without making nearly as big an outlay as for Skype.
Still, it isn’t an insubstantial amount of money, and it has to make you wonder if Microsoft will actually see a billion dollars worth of value from the acquisition. Time will tell.