Yammer, an enterprise focussed social networking site has been bought by Microsoft in a $1.2 billion (£770 million) cash deal it has been confirmed today. Rumours of this deal have been in the news over the last week but Microsoft had refused to comment until this new announcement.
Yammer was launched in 2008 and currently has over 5 million users. The business focus of the social network is confirmed by the statistic that the freemium Yammer network is used by employees at 85 per cent of US Fortune 500 companies. The Yammer company was founded four years ago by former PayPal COO David Sacks. Mr Sacks will continue to work as Yammer CEO.
David Sacks said of the deal “Today’s announcement is great for Yammer customers… Microsoft can help scale Yammer to the next level.” He said the same Yammer service would be enjoyed by customers “but with integration opportunities for Office 365, Microsoft Sharepoint, Microsoft Dynamics and Skype.”
On the Microsoft side of the equation Kurt Del Bene, president of the Microsoft Office Division, said “It's a perfect fit for our cloud plans. We have a very aggressive plan to move our core capabilities to the cloud with Office 365 and Yammer fits right in.” On how the integration might work he explained “I picture people being able to use Yammer to manage and expand their professional relationships, share and collaborate on Office documents, stay informed about content updates, and to seamlessly move from status updates and feeds into voice and video conversations.” Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft added “Yammer adds a best-in-class enterprise social networking service to Microsoft’s growing portfolio of complementary cloud services.”