A shared vision of enterprise social networking drives Microsoft's ongoing integration of Yammer with SharePoint 2013. But it's not just enterprise social networking at play, said Jared Spataro, senior director of Microsoft's Office division; it's also a common approach to cloud services and mobile technology that informs the new mix of enterprise collaboration and SharePoint content management.
"Every day you walk into the office, things are always changing," Spataro said, "and mobile, social and cloud are part of the way you are going to have to respond." The Yammer integration was coming at a "pivotal moment" in the way business was being done across all industries, he said.
Different SharePoint users react in different ways to Microsoft's acquisition of Yammer and what it means for SharePoint. For his part, Spataro called the inclusion of Yammer in the Microsoft fold a blending of its document-centric history with Yammer's user-centric approach. Technology is going to enable organizations to differentiate themselves from the competition in increasingly meaningful ways, he said, and Yammer's integration would help ensure Microsoft's customers can do just that. It wasn't just the Yammer enterprise social platform that would aid in the process -- Yammer's overall approach to software development would also be valuable to Microsoft SharePoint content management and collaboration, he added.
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"We're sort of bringing together these two customer worlds," said Adam Pisoni, chief technology officer at Yammer and general manager of engineering in the Microsoft Office division. While Microsoft's strengths with enterprise software mean the company has a solid reputation with IT departments, Yammer has developed strong relationships with business divisions, he said.
"And to be successful, we kind of need both these [groups of] people on board," Pisoni said. "This isn't about social as a destination; it's about social as a common fabric across all these applications."
Pisoni and Spataro agreed to talk about the Yammer integration and how the Yammer team will help Microsoft in its social, cloud and mobile developments during an interview at the SharePoint Conference 2012 in Las Vegas last November. The two explained that as the company integrates Yammer into its Office products, Microsoft also views its forays into mobile and cloud as representative of a new direction in software development.
Aside from the oft-cited benefits of cost and resource savings that Software as a Service and Platform as a Service bring to organizations, cloud services are able to "really deliver value more quickly in a more measured way," Pisoni said. That means users can focus on the new capabilities they offer, he said. In support of that what?, Spataro indicated that an initiative within Microsoft was well under way to move from the traditional three-year software cycle to sending out SharePoint content management, as well as other Office updates, every 90 days.
The SharePoint 2013 integration with Yammer and with Microsoft's cloud services means "you can really focus on very high-value work, very high-value objectives," Spataro said, "and you have to invest in that as a company."
Here's what viewers of this 13.5-minute video will learn:
- How IT can help generate direct business results
- How Yammer and Microsoft will work together and where their collaboration emphasis comes from
- Where the difference between coordination and collaboration lies, and how that collaboration represents a big shift in the way organizations do business
- That technology is the easy part -- that the difficulty lies in making organizational changes to make more efficient use of technology
- About the importance of cultural change in making sure enterprise social initiatives work and take root
- How important it is for organizations to become more open and approach change incrementally