What the heck is Yammer?

Here's what you need to know about the company that Microsoft recently acquired for $1.2 billion.

By Brad Chacos, PC World |  Unified Communications, Microsoft, social media

Anyone can attach a file to a post to quickly share information without forcing recipients to slog through clogged inboxes. You can also upload files--including images and videos--to a file repository, where other Yammerers can download and update them. Groups have their own separate file repositories that augment the main one, and employees can receive automatic notifications whenever critical files are updated.

Collaborating

In addition to the previously mentioned file repositories, teams can also collaboratively create Pages (Pages are essentially documents) in a group setting. Admins have the ability to lock down Pages (and all other files) as official or read-only.

Open APIs

Need to integrate Yammer into Sharepoint? SAP? Salesforce.com? Something else that starts with an S? No problem, Yammer plays nice with them all.

Mobile Platforms

Yammer has apps for iOS, Android, BlackBerry, and--of course--Windows Phone.

Less Email

Yammer claims that companies using Yammer generate about 40% less email.

Yammer's Future

Microsoft's decision to fold Yammer into Microsoft's Office Division business unit indicates the company sees social networking as key to the future of its flagship software. In fact, Yammer CEO David Sacks recently told Wired that the company is already exploring how to integrate Yammer with Office 365 (cloud-based productivity), Sharepoint (enterprise collaboration), Dynamics (CRM), and Skype (video conferencing). And back in April, Yammer acquired a company called OneDrum, which offers software that adds synchronized file sharing and real time collaborative document editing directly to Microsoft Office.

So there you have it: a basic overview of everything Yammer offers your business. Interested? The service operates under a freemium model that delivers most of its basic features away for free, but assesses a monthly service fee for access to its advanced group or administrative controls. You'll find pricing information here.

Have you already tried Yammer, or is your business using it now? Did you find it to be a worthwhile investment in time and resources? Please share your experiences in the comments section below.

Brad Chacos is a freelance technology and business writer. His work has appeared in Laptop Magazine, the Intuit Small Business Blog, Maximum PC, and elsewhere.


Originally published on PC World |  Click here to read the original story.
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