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Microsoft shakes the software business again with the purchase of Yammer

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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.

Niraj Tenany

About Niraj Tenany

Niraj is Chief Executive Officer and a Co-founder of Netwoven, responsible for the strategic vision and direction. Niraj has been working with Fortune 500 companies to implement large-scale enterprise systems for the past 25 years.

Prior to founding Netwoven, Niraj led a profitable Enterprise Applications Consulting Practice at Microsoft. His team implemented large scale deployments of enterprise applications like Siebel, Ariba, and SAP with Fortune 500 customers. Niraj’s team also led the design and implementation of OLAP solutions based on the Microsoft platform. Prior to joining Microsoft, Niraj led a profitable Business Intelligence Consulting practice with Oracle Consulting Services.

Niraj has also worked with startup organizations in senior management positions. Niraj was the Director of Consulting Services at Zaplet, a Kleiner Perkins funded company.

Niraj holds a BS in Computer Science from Birla Institute of Technology, India, an MS in Computer Science from State University of New York (SUNY), and an MBA from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business in North Carolina.

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