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FreePint BlogCould Yammer socialise SharePoint?

Wednesday, 27th June 2012 Please login top-right to be able to star items

By James Mullan


A number of sources have reported that Microsoft is very close to purchasing the enterprise social network Yammer for approximately £1.2 billion. Although not officially announced the purchase of Yammer by Microsoft would certainly make sense, given some of the challenges when using Microsoft's flagship internal collaboration tool SharePoint.


Microsoft just went public with its purchase of the enterprise social network Yammer for approximately $1.2 billion. Even before it was officially announced, the purchase of Yammer by Microsoft made sense, given some of the challenges when using Microsoft's flagship internal collaboration tool SharePoint.

SharePoint allows organisations to easily share documents and collaborate internally. What SharePoint doesn't offer is the social networking features that many individuals joining organisations these days expect. Yammer could potentially make up for some of SharePoint's perceived social shortcomings .

Whilst SharePoint 2010 has introduced improved social features such as status updates, tagging, and document ratings, many organisations including law firms are looking for ways to expand social delivery beyond SharePoint’s out-the-box offer. To facilitate this SharePoint works very closely with a number of major players in the social networking environment including Newsgator. Newsgator provides what it describes as social sites, which supplement existing SharePoint functionality. These social sites enable Microblogging, Activity Streams, Social Profiles, Social Insights and Communities.

SharePoint also works closely with a number of other companies including IBM and its product IBM Connections. IBM connections has the potential to act as a complete social business layer on top of SharePoint. Using IBM connections or another social product alongside SharePoint in this manner has some clear advantages. Notably the simplicity of managing two distinct platforms, rather than over-customising SharePoint and taking advantage of the far more advanced social features of a dedicated social business platform compared to those available within SharePoint.

This would also be seen as a good move by Microsoft given that they're often accused of missing the boat in relation to Social Media. Yammer also already integrates with SharePoint so making the two products talk to each other on a more "official" level you would think would be relatively painless.

If you're interesting in reading about some great examples of companies taking SharePoint beyond the out of the box deployment then I highly recommend Booz Allen’s Hello and Colliers International’s employee sites. You can also read more about how Yammer's acquisition would improve SharePoint and how to make SharePoint more social via some of the links below.

Other resources:


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James Mullan has worked in the legal sector since 2001. He is an advocate of social media tools and has been talking about how these tools can be used by information professionals and organisations since 2005. James is a Past President of BIALL and in 2009 won the Wildy-BIALL Law Librarian of the year award for his use of social media tools. Outside of work James is a keen runner and maintains his own blog called "The Running Librarian". You can follow James on Twitter @jamesmullan6 or friend him on Facebook.

James can be reached at

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