Microsoft has confirmed rumours that it is to acquire social collaboration start-up Yammer for $1.2 billion.
Yammer, whose technology allows employees to share short Twitter-like messages on an internal social network, says it has 5 million corporate users.
The company will be folded into Microsoft’s Office division. "I see opportunity for exciting new scenarios by adding Yammer’s stand-alone service alongside and integrated into our collaboration offerings with SharePoint, Office 365, Dynamics and Skype," said the division’s president Kurt DelBene of the acquisition.
"I picture people being able to use Yammer to manage and expand their professional relationships, share and collaborate on Office documents, stay informed about content updates, and to seamlessly move from status updates and feeds into voice and video conversations," he said.
In April, Yammer acquired UK start-up OneDrum, which allows users to collaborate socially around Microsoft Office documents.
Speaking at Information Age‘s Social & Mobile Business Conference earlier this year, Shomila Malik, head of Telefonica UK’s Enterprise Innovation Lab, explained how the company uses Yammer to improve cross-departmental collaboration.
“The best thing is for on-boarding new employees,” she said. “All you need for Yammer to work is a corporate email address, so you get access to the network before any other IT systems. This means that new starters can go on Yammer and see the kind of culture and conversations that are going on. Lots of people came up to me and said it was one of the most useful things from their first week.”