Further reading on the Yammer + SharePoint roadmap
If you are still trying to get your head around the deeper implications of the Yammer & SharePoint roadmap announcement, here is some further reading:
Hold tight - its just a bump in the road
Jeremy Thake is one of my favourite SharePoint technologists - he's not afraid to dig into the details of SharePoint, good or bad. He still has questions he would like answered - for example:
- If you switch off the SharePoint Newsfeed and replace with Yammer, what happens to the actions and activity that drive the Newsfeed?
- What will win out of Yammer Groups and SharePoint Communities?
But overall his advice is to look ahead to 2014:
"The transition process right now is just a bump that needs to be rode over."
What about Yammer?
This post from Jeff Dunmall on the AIIM community was published a day before the roadmap announcement, but he makes some good points about where Yammer differentiates
- The ability to blend internal & external networks.
- On-premise integration without SharePoint using the Open Graph API.
- Mobile access (although I think SharePoint 2013 is catching up).
I'm glad to see someone focusing on Yammer itself, because a lot of the discussion is very SharePoint centric. Yammer was and still is a solution that can stand on its own. Of course, unless your underlying strategy is to only buy Microsoft then it may be worth looking towards other solutions.
BTW I'd also suggest that you take a good look from the perspective of Yammer + Dynamics, and not just Yammer + SharePoint.
The analyst's view
Ovum quizzed Microsoft in more detail about the specifics of their announcement. Reflecting some of the points raised by Jeremy Thake and Jeff Dunmall above, the key take aways for me:
- Microsoft has a lot of work to do in order to bring the architectures of Yammer together with the existing platforms that already exist in the Microsoft stack.
- It may be time to start thinking less about just SharePoint, instead look to Microsoft's broader Office 365 platform (I'd also suggest including (again) Dynamics and Azure as part of that total system). Ovum commented that "Yammer is clearly hitting a market sweet spot, and its fame and fortune could even eclipse that of SharePoint – a $2bn business – if Microsoft executes well."
However, Ovum did take a shot at what they see as a hole in Microsoft’s unified communication and collaboration strategy:
"Perhaps Microsoft should glance over its shoulder and take a look at IBM as it releases Notes and Domino 9 Social Edition and integrates Microsoft Exchange with its own business social software platform, IBM Connections. At the very least, Microsoft must update its Outlook Social Connector and bring Yammer into the fold to make life easier for end users."
Don't turn off all this functionality
If you can't or don't want to work in the Office 365 cloud, Newsgator offer a different strategy - instead of switching off the Newsfeed in SharePoint 2013, enhance it:
"The real opportunity is “how do I use all this functionality in a consistent and reliable way”. In order to get their job done, people want to follow documents and sites and see if they change. People want to see if someone has answered their question or added to a discussion thread."
As Newsgator is specifically designed to run as part of SharePoint 2013, it avoids the issues of trying to integrate a separate platform from both a technical and security perspective.