The Yammer deal and what it means for Social Business Software

The not-so best kept secret was finally announced this week. This was fantastic news for the Yammer founders and Investors as they managed to sell their business to Microsoft for $ 1.2 billion in cash. (Over time Microsoft intends building this into their Office product).

For companies dealing in the Social Business Software space, their business cases are now more valid but more importantly CEO’s around the globe who don’t even know about Social Business Software must suddenly be sitting up and saying “What is this about, Why don’t I know about Social Business Software and why would Microsoft pay $ 1.2 billion for this Yammer business? That is 50-60 times their current revenue!”

While Yammer is a great product it doesn’t join all of the dots. I maintain that for a Social Business Software product to be effective and provide a real Return On Investment opportunity for the enterprise it has to be mapped to a companies vision and strategy. Through careful planning, strategic consulting and effective training this can be achieved. Worryingly many of the Social Business Software platforms don’t offer this and this will lead to deployment failure. The last thing you want is an internal Facebook! Business leaders will want to see how this tool improves the bottom line for their business, how it can achieve better efficiencies, better innovations and better client interactions delivered through the use of a Social Business Software Platform.

The link between becoming more openly innovative and effective Social Business Software deployment is something that has to be carefully constructed by both the vendor and the client.

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