In a May announcement (misfiled in my trash) Microsoft posted some really big growth numbers for Yammer: sales of the work media solution (enterprise social network) grew 259 percent year over year. Yammer acquired 312 new customers, and March was Yammer’s best month to date, measured by user engagement.
This clearly validates the $1.2 billion acquisition, and it is also a confirmation that Microsoft’s vision for Yammer integration into Office 365 and Sharepoint is meeting the desires of clients (see New Sharepoint Online services are “coming soon” and Yammer is becoming the social UX for Microsoft).
There is also the looming possibility for a market consolidation, because this summer Microsoft will be folding in Yammer’s sales team with Microsoft’s enterprise sales group, and instead of a few dozen selling, it will be thousands. My prediction? The market will fall into a dramatically smaller number of offerings, and companies will pick vendors based on a small decision tree:
- Are we heavily invested in Sharepoint, Microsoft Analytics, or Office 365? If yes, buy Yammer, otherwise go to 2.
- Are we similarly heavily invested in one of the other enterprise software vendors (Salesforce.com, Citrix, IBM)? If so buy that vendor’s work media solution, otherwise go to 3.
- You are likely to be a small or medium company, perhaps with distinctive set of needs. Evaluate the more deep-and-narrow offerings to find a product or set of products that matches your needs.
This is only this year’s consolidation. I am still waiting for Google to do something aggressive — Google+? — based on its huge market share and Google Apps use in the enterprise. But my bet is that the Yammer + Sharepoint + Office 365 will wind up with more than 50 percent of the 2015 “new enterprise office platform” marketplace, although a growing proportion will not be running Windows machines.