I have eclectic interests spanning the mobile, internet and venturing domains and with altruistic intentions the attempt here is to air views on key global trends in these segments!
Views expressed here are purely PERSONAL and not necessarily of my employer = I haven't engaged a lawyer !
Comments, feedback and criticism are always welcome !
Saturday, June 16, 2012
Why Microsoft’s purchase of Yammer is the smartest deal of the year
Microsoft has reportedly bought business software company Yammer, Inc. for $1.2 bn, in a sign Microsoft is working to evolve its ubiquitous Office software by adding its corporate social networking tools to its Office and SharePoint software.
Yammer is often called the Facebook of the workplace by creating social networks within companies. It also has file sharing tools.
Yammer is used by more than 200,000 companies worldwide. It competes with Salesforce.com's Chatter and Jive.
In my view its a super acquisition and will greatly strengthen Microsoft's enterprise offering by making them much more collaborative, am already factoring in Skype's integration - Absolutely the way to go given the 'socialization' of everything including the workplace!
Office + Skype + Yammer = The most extensive and collaborative network in the world. Awesome !
That didn’t take long. It’s less than 24 hours after the news broke, and critics have already come out of the woodwork to denounce Microsoft’s $1.2 billion acquisition of enterprise social networking platform Yammer.
They’ve got it all wrong. This is the best Silicon Valley deal we’ve seen all year.
Here’s why Yammer will be a great fit for Microsoft and why Yammer’s stakeholders are well served by joining the Microsoft universe:
1. It makes Microsoft’s enterprise products social. Microsoft is getting exactly what it needs: a social product for the enterprise that has already been validated by the marketplace. More than 200,000+ companies worldwide are already using Yammer, proof that it solves a real need.
2. It’s a natural product to integrate. True product complementarity — not vaguely defined “synergies” — is probably the single most important factor in determining the success or failure of a tech acquisition. eBay’s purchase of PayPal succeeded because PayPal filled a void in eBay’s marketplace. Nearly a decade later, PayPal has grown to the point where it is now poised to become the largest revenue contributor to eBay Inc. Similarly, Yammer complements the Office suite of products. By adding a social element to Outlook and SharePoint (and maybe even SkyDrive), Microsoft will make its already ubiquitous corporate products much more powerful and collaborative.
3. It gives Yammer immediate worldwide distribution. Yammer’s business model is brilliant: Grow virally by allowing employees to start using the product for free, avoiding the IT gatekeepers until you’ve reached critical mass. In some sense, it’s very PayPalian — grow through organic sharing, achieve a network effect, and then start to monetize. But as great as viral products are at building networks, a “stackable network” is an even better option. PayPal built its network on top of eBay’s, and more recently, viral apps like BranchOut and Instagram have built theirs on top of Facebook’s. Yammer will now be able to stack its network on top of the most extensive enterprise platform in the world: Windows.
4. Yammer + Skype = Awesome. Remember that other expensive acquisition that Microsoft recently made? Despite critics wailing that somehow the innovative communication network would be ruined once it entered into the Redmond giant’s portfolio, Skype has maintained its independence. Now, think how useful real-time chatting capabilities would be inside of Yammer for a large enterprise spread out across multiple office and locations. Yup, it’s pretty cool.
Acquisitions are tricky things, and there’s always an element of risk to big deals, but from where I stand this one looks pretty smart.
Eric M. Jackson is CEO and co-founder of CapLinked, a social enterprise platform for business transactions. Companies, investors, and advisors use CapLinked to raise capital, sell assets, syndicate deals, and manage investor relations. He is also author of The PayPal Wars