Last year in October we reported in our blog about the completion of SharePoint 2013 and gave the first insights into the new features. We are currently working on the sequel to our Microsoft SharePoint 2010 study. Matching the currently published study by Microsoft about the acceptance of social networking tools we could not miss the chance to write a blog post.
Last summer, to be exact on 25/06/2012, Microsoft confirmed the purchase of Yammer, the enterprise social networking solution. Previously Microsoft had started to jump on the bandwagon of Enterprise 2.0 and social software with its solution Microsoft SharePoint.
The perceived main focus of Microsoft SharePoint was previously more on document management. Step by step Microsoft strengthened its foundations with social tools and features. Whether it is the purchase of Yammer or the ongoing integration of the communications platform Lync, the VoIP service Skype or the launch of Office 365. Yammer will now serve as additional social level for SharePoint.
Regarding the results of Microsofts’ last study “social tools in the Workplace”, it looks like Microsoft is on the right track. 46% of respondents indicate that their productivity has increased by the use of social networking applications to a multiple. According to 40% of the statements social applications enhanced the contribution to cooperation.
77% of employees surveyed would like to use such technologies, which allow to work more productively and efficiently. 31% would be even willing to contribute their own money. Unfortunately, according to 34% of the respondents, underestimates their management the benefits of social applications at work. Safety concerns and productivity losses are the main reasons of the interviewed.
Kurt DelBene, president of Microsoft Office Division, sees great potential for development in enterprise social applications and compares it to the milestone of the economy, the e-mail was. “Just as email accelerated the pace of business in the ’90s, social enterprise wants to be the driver of Greater agility and transformation in the 21st century workplace.”
DelBene continues: Similar to the two factors, collaboration and communication, develop, all those applications, such as instant messaging, VoIP, video conferencing and social network tools will continue to grow together and will be integrated into apps, which accelerate cooperation, and thus influence the way people work together.
Through the acquisitions of Yammer, Lync and Skype, as well as through the development of SharePoint and Office 365, Microsoft is targeting now to unite all the collaboration tools in one organization. If this is done, this will improve networking of staff, sharing information and working in a network. Thereby they enable a significant increase of company value. Microsoft has set itself an ambitious goal.
Short riots between Yammer and Microsoft occurred in February this year, when there was a wave of layoffs and 20 employees were terminated. The corporate culture of Yammer was previously characterized by an open and transparent communication. Even more annoying is that the employees of internal reporting learned of their termination through the press.
On the way to an embracing social business solution and the integration of Yammer, Microsoft has also set an ambitious roadmap. Starting with the connection and possibility of Yammer as a new newsfeed, an app to interface a group news feed through to the further integration and single sign-on access to the consistent navigation of Office 365 and Yammer for offering the office 365-users an all-embracing platform.
The complete-solution sounds good. For Microsoft the implementation and the rollout, means facing several new challenges. Firstly, many customers have their own SharePoint on-premise. Coupled with the fear of filing data at cloud-based systems this leads to one of Microsoft’s greatest challenges. Office 365 with all its social features and cloud-based systems may be the future, the transition is still unclear.