SharePoint and Office (heart) Yammer
The main points of the announcement are covered here:
No surprises that Yammer and the SharePoint & Office suite will work together more closely - this is API-based, through the Yammer Open Graph. Perhaps the more important announcement is that this integration will eventually be supported by a unified identity, that will integrate "document management and feed aggregation". Techcrunch explain further that:
"Microsoft will make Yammer, Sharepoint and other tools accessible through a single identity. We heard a bit about this at Build. The idea is to make it possible to log in, use Yammer as an activity stream, Skype for calls, and Office365 to manage documents."
Yammer's pricing has also been changed with two options - free and 'enterprise' - plus additional SharePoint Online and Office 365 bundles. Customers on an Enterprise Agreement with Microsoft (i.e. companies with more than 250 users) will also be able to access Yammer through SharePoint Online and Office 365 at no extra charge.
Naturally there are still some unanswered questions, such as what happens to the duplicate functionality in SharePoint 2012 and how will SharePoint integrate in Yammer (rather than vice versa)?
And while I'm very interested in the quality of the user experience this roadmap ultimately creates, I'm also interested to see how this plays out commercially:
- Will the freemium model become more restricted, to encourage small-to-medium sized enterprises over to paid enterprise subscriptions?
- Will Yammer implementation support shift to partners, as it becomes more SharePoint-centric?
- Will Yammer's existing app partners continue to invest in Yammer, if it becomes an engine for the Microsoft ecosystem?
- Yammer is still a cloud-based solution - for those refusing to play in the cloud, what does Microsoft's strategy mean for them?
Game changing? Maybe not. Game on? Definitely.