Yammer boss: social set to revolutionise business communications

Yammer boss: social set to revolutionise business communications

September 5, 2013

Yammer co-founder Adam Pisoni believes social is set to become the primary way for businesses to communicate with their staff – due to its simple effectiveness.

Mr Pisoni – who is now the enterprise social software firm’s chief technology officer – is convinced the next two years will see businesses grasp the true potential of communicating with employees via social.

Launched in September 2008 and likened to Facebook for office life, Yammer currently has almost eight million users worldwide and the growth in paid-for element of the network was up by more than 250 per cent in the first three months of 2013.

But, according to Mr Pisoni, this is only the tip of the iceberg.

Social is about to get absolutely massive in business, he claims.

Speaking in an interview with IT Pro, he said: “Social will be the primary communication for companies because it is just so primarily more effective.

“It’s a way of extracting more value out of every person, even that front line check-out person… if they can contribute and write feedback.

“To me, it’s a foregone conclusion that this is how we’ll work in the future.”

The growth of the social enterprise network – which includes the likes of Salesforce and Jive – is already hugely impressive. Indeed, according to global market intelligence experts IDC, the sector will be worth a cool $4.5 billion in just three years’ time.

Yammer now sits in the Microsoft Office division alongside the likes of Skype, SharePoint and Dynamics.

However Mr Pisoni believes social is a term that will eventually become redundant – because almost every tool used in companies will already incorporate it in some way.

He added: “In five years, we won’t talk about social because all the tools we use will be social.

“Social will not be a necessary concept because it will just be the way we interact and work.”

“It’s people on the front line who see the problems first and they’re the ones who can provide the most context.”

Yammer was acquired by Microsoft in late 2012, a deal which swiftly saw prices slashed for would-be Yammer customers.

The move, it appears, is reaping dividends. Microsoft are not disclosing Yammer’s exact revenue figures but are – understandably – delighted with the growth in the months following the acquisition.

“We’re really pleased with the acquisition, with the process of the teams coming together and with the continued customer acceptance and demand,” Jared Spataro, senior director of the Microsoft Office Division, told CIO.

“When we did the acquisition, we talked a lot about how it would accelerate Yammer’s momentum. So this is a great data point to demonstrate how well things are going in general.”