Microsoft today confirmed that it would be buying out business social network provider Yammer for US$1.2-billion.
According to an official press release from the Redmond based tech giant, Yammer will join the Microsoft Office Division, while the team will continue to report to current CEO David Sacks.
“The acquisition of Yammer underscores our commitment to deliver technology that businesses need and people love,” said Steve Ballmer, CEO, Microsoft. “Yammer adds a best-in-class enterprise social networking service to Microsoft’s growing portfolio of complementary cloud services”.
Microsoft claims that Yammer will continue to develop its own stand-alone products, but that it eventually plans to “accelerate Yammer’s adoption alongside complementary offerings from Microsoft SharePoint, Office 365, Microsoft Dynamics and Skype”.
“When we started Yammer four years ago, we set out to do something big,” Sacks said. “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.”
In late 2010, some 80% of Fortune 500 companies were using Yammer. That number has more than likely grown over the past year and a bit, giving Microsoft even greater access to some of the world’s biggest companies.
The Yammer acquisition would beef up Microsoft’s business offerings considerably. It’s no accident that Yammer is called Facebook for the workplace. Companies are also increasingly expected to use social in their company structures.
As companies cotton onto the fact that using in-house social properly will make them more successful, the market will only get bigger.