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Microsoft Cites Yammer Progress, SharePoint Integration

Microsoft on Tuesday described progress and future plans for its Yammer social networking application, which has reached a one-year milestone.

It's been one year since Microsoft announced the acquisition of Yammer, which is part of the Microsoft Office Division as of July. Microsoft plans to integrate Yammer across a number of its products, including SharePoint, Dynamics CRM, Outlook, Exchange, Skype and Lync. The social networking capabilities of Yammer are now sold with Office 365 subscriptions and come at no additional cost with Enterprise Agreement licensing.

While the Yammer team is based in San Francisco, it now has a branch up north, closer to Microsoft, according to David Sacks, Microsoft's corporate vice president for Yammer. "There has been tremendous synergy between the Yammer and Office 365 development teams, so much so that there is an established Yammer North team in Redmond," he explained in a blog post.

One of the new Office 365 interoperability improvements includes the addition of a Yammer newsfeed for SharePoint Online that can be used to replace the SharePoint newsfeed. Microsoft lately has stressed that organizations should favor Yammer for their social networking needs in SharePoint, if it's possible to use the Yammer online service. Yammer is a hosted multitenant solution only, so some organization may not want to use it. For instance, those organizations that want to keep their social networking traffic on premises can instead elect to use SharePoint server.

Another interoperability improvement is a new Yammer application, which will appear in Microsoft's Office Store by the end of June. This Yammer app will facilitate pulling "Yammer group feeds into SharePoint sites," according to Microsoft's announcement.

By July 1, Microsoft will have integrated Yammer into the Microsoft global sales network, according to Sacks. The partner support channel has doubled to 60 partners since October 2012, according a Yammer blog post.

Klout is a new Yammer integration partner, and now it's possible for Yammer users to publish their Klout scores. A Klout score is a measurement of social networking activity and community involvement. Other recent Yammer partners include Scoop.it, 7Geese and GoodData, which provide extended capabilities such as content curation, social performance measurement and social analytics, respectively.

The Yammer partner community will expand to include SharePoint partners, too, according to the Yammer blog post. Microsoft's Yammer team is already working with SharePoint partners Axceler and Nintex on such integration efforts. In November, a Yammer Developer Certification Program will be launched for Yammer's developer partners. Microsoft currently counts 12,000 developers accessing Yammer's open APIs.

Jared Spataro, senior director of the Microsoft Office Division, listed features that will be coming to Yammer in the next six to eight months. In an Office blog post, Spataro said that Microsoft will be adding search capability in SharePoint that will allow users to search Yammer conversations. Yammer will become "a primary communication tool," he added, with new messaging enhancements. E-mail and Yammer integration will be arriving and it will be easier to use Yammer to talk to people outside an organization's domain.

Microsoft claims there are eight million registered Yammer users, which is up 55 percent year over year. Paid Yammer networks have increased 200 percent in that same time period, according to Microsoft.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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