The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that Microsoft is acquiring Yammer, a business collaboration and communications platform for employees that is often characterized as “Facebook for enterprises.” The speculated acquisition price was $1.2 bilion.
Neither company commented or confirmed the acquisition.
Yammer, which is one of several such social enterprise collaboration software tools, describes itself in the following way:
Yammer brings the power of social networking to the enterprise in a private and secure environment. Yammer is as easy to use as great consumer software like Facebook and Twitter, but designed for business collaboration.
Yammer looks and acts like Facebook but it’s only available to people with a verified corporate email address.
Microsoft already owns an enterprise social-collaboration tool in SharePoint. Perhaps Yammer will be merged into it or replace it. That remains to be seen. There’s also some speculation that it might be incorporated into Office.
The company was reportedly on its way toward an IPO. I also wouldn’t be surprised to see LinkedIn in the near future try to expand its business with an acquisition of a company with capabilities like Yammer.
The following is a testimonial for Yammer that illustrates how the software is used within enterprises.