July 12, 2012

Microsoft shakes the software business again with the purchase of Yammer

Microsoft shakes the software business again with the purchase of Yammer


With the recent announcement of Yammer's purchase by Microsoft, the Social Media software companies are already scrambling to figure out their strategies.  Just last week Oracle announced the acquision of Involver, a social media comany.  This would be Oracle's third acquisition of a social media company in the last 2 months. Salesforce has also acquired Buddy Media in the social media space.  This has left leaders like Jive scrambling to determine their next move.

We at Netwoven are pretty excited about this acquisition and the impact it will make to our customer's Social media strategies.  Microsoft's brilliant move is remniscent of the acquisitions Microsoft made several years ago in the Collboration, Web Content Management, and Business Intelligence space.  For readers, here's a summary of the moves Microsoft made and the impact on the technology landscape:

Collaboration and Document Manaement

In 2003 Microsoft released SharePoint with integrated portal and collaboration features.  This hastened the acquisition of eRoom by Documentum to better compete in this integrated environment.  Later Documenum was purchased by EMC.  Filenet and Hummingbird were also later acquired by different companies.

Today, there is no standalone document management system vendors out there.  They are integrated in a smart suite (as gartner calls it).

Web Content Management

In early 2000, Microsoft purchased nCompass Labs to improve its web content management capabilities.  This led to the acquisition of Reddot by Livelink, followed by acquisition of Interwoven by Autonomy.

Today, there are no standalone web content management system vendors out there.  They are integrated into a suite.

Enterprise Search

In late 2000, Microsoft purchased the FAST Search engine to improve its search capabilities.  This has already shaken the entire landscape.  Oracle has purchased several companies to better compete with Microsoft.  These companies include Stellant, and Endeca.  Opentext has purchased several companies to better compete.  Autonomy has purchased Interwoven to better compete in the integrated environment.

Today, there are still a few standalone search vendors remaining.  It remains to be seen if they are able to stay independent or will be acquired by other software giants.

Business Intelligence

Microsoft made its first acquisition of an OLAP engine in the late 1990s.  Since then it has made several acquisitions in the BI space that has changed the complete landscape.  Today Microsoft's BI products are tightly integrated with SharePoint.  This has led to acquisition of most of the major BI vendors.  These vendors include:  Cognos, Business Objects, Crystal Reports, Hyperion, Brio and many others.

Today, there are very few standalone BI vendors remaining.  The BI landscape is constantly changing so there is an expectation that innvoation will continue in this space as Big Data is becoming a big issue for enterprises to deal with.

In my opinion, the purchase of Yammer will have a significant impact equal to or greater than the other purhases and will begin the cycle of further innovations.

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