Today, Microsoft announced that it has acquired Yammer.

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To get a better understanding of what this means for the industry, for users and for Jive, I sat down with Jive CMO John Rizzo.


 

https://community.jivesoftware.com/profile-image-display.jspa?imageID=8712&size=350Q: What’s your reaction to the news?

First of all, I want to congratulate Microsoft on their acquisition. From Jive’s position as the largest pure-play social business provider, it’s a really positive development. It’s clear validation that social business is now a mainstream market, and a must-have technology for major enterprise solutions providers. If you want to be in the game, you’ve got to have social. Microsoft clearly realized this, hence the acquisition of Yammer. This move will only accelerate a fast-growing market.


Q. Why has social business become so important?

Social business takes social networking technologies pioneered in the consumer space and applies them to actual business problems in the enterprise – problems like employee collaboration, marketing, sales and customer service. This is technology that works the way people do, making it much easier to share information, work together and communicate, both inside and outside of organizations. It’s the most transformative technology to hit the enterprise in a decade, and it’s moved quickly from cool early adopter status to a business imperative. Among Jive customers over the last few years, social business has had huge dramatic impacts on productivity, sales, brand loyalty and customer satisfaction.  For example, T-Mobile USA's 20,000+ employees use Jive to help them provide excellent service and first call resolution to more than 30 million customers.  And all 94,000 employees at IT services and consulting company CSC use Jive for better internal collaboration and knowledge sharing, and as a secure public community to manage their partner and customer relationships.

 

Q. How will this acquisition impact Jive?

For Microsoft, it’s clear they could not compete in the increasingly social enterprise market without something new. SharePoint is under attack, Salesforce.com competes with Microsoft's Dynamics product, and Google competes in the cloud with Office 360 and Skype for business use. All three of these initiatives lack social. The Yammer acquisition was therefore a necessary move to bolster Microsoft's social strategy, and it remains to be seen if and how they are able to work Yammer into their existing product mix in a way that makes sense. If the intention is to integrate Yammer and SharePoint, as many observers believe, that's likely to be a long, drawn-out process. There are big technological hurdles, the architectures and functionality of the two products are completely different, and the next version of SharePoint, due out in late 2012 or 2013, is already baked. Given those realities and Microsoft's long product release cycles, a true Yammer/SharePoint integration appears to be years away.


In any case, this move does nothing to alter Jive’s course or our mission to change the way work gets done. In fact, it confirms that we’ve been on the right path all along. We’ll stay focused on being an enterprise solutions provider that end-users love, and setting the agenda for social business. Case in point: our recently-introduced next-generation platform and the Try Jive program, which raise the innovation bar substantially while making enterprise-class social business even easier to deploy and use.

 

Q. How can people find out more information about Social Business?

For more information or to start your free 30-day trial now, visit: jiveon.com

 

What's your take on the news? Comment below.


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