Shadow? I think it that's misinformation. Yammer and Newsgator really have some overlap in strategies my mind. Customers will have to make that decision. Overlap in features yes, but overlap in implementation… Hardly. There are customers that will go NewsGator and those that go Yammer. In the SharePoint Community I think we can co-exist. Right now it's cloud verses on premise which seems like a good battleground to me. Even in the cloud NewsGator has a play, so this battle isn't game over just yet. NewsGator may have taken a blow, but let's give them a fair fight.
The Information Week article Shadow over NewsGator is really poor in its perspective and generates confusion and discomfort. There is still a play for NewsGator, Gobeezy, SnapWorkSocial and more. It won't surprise me to see some of those go out of business or consolidate. To be honest, I am a big fan of Yammer from a perspective of what it can do with social momentum (Read my 10 Reasons Yammer Acquisition is a good thing for Microsoft and Yammer.) It's viral strategy has made it the killer disruptive business… some love to hate it others have just decided to embrace it… sounds like SharePoint J. It has momentum and it just got a MASSIVE endorsement. From a timing perspective many say it's too late for other players. The SharePoint social space in cloud just got really crowded. The big questions are about SharePoint 15… but hey SharePoint 15 is 95% baked… the cake is in the oven and it's got 5 minutes left to cook. You aren't going to see Yammer and SharePoint onPremise baked together for another generation of SharePoint… maybe sooner for Office365, but even that can't get started for some time after the acquisition fully goes through.
- OnPremise takes longer to REV - First there is no indication that Microsoft will be doing anything with SharePoint 15 and Yammer more than webparts. We are really very late in the game to be doing something monumental that would push out other vendors.
- Cloud isn't 100% yet - Cloud adoption still has a LOOONG way to go – for the same reason we say that onPremise is not DEAD. The same can be said of adoption of Cloud apps for many companies. Many corporations will resist keeping social conversation in the cloud, and will want many of the social apps on premise, a play that Yammer is not talking about providing and much of the bread and butter that NewsGator is built on. What is cloud adoption of SharePoint… 5% or 10%? How do we even measure that. I'm sure if it's companies it's a lot higher percent, but if it's seats or % of Fortune 500
- Sales will still bring in partners for social customer needs - Yammer will definitely get a major seat at the table in sales but the SharePoint ecosystem is rich and in many conversations it will go down to the feature level because both the sales folks and the customer know the issues with a cloud only social solution.
- Yammer doesn't have 100% overlap with any of the SharePoint Social Vendors. Bake offs will and must continue.
- Cost – Yammer isn't free. Well, I guess it depends on how you look at it. There is Yammer Freemium, but that may not be the sweetspot. It will definitely put pressure on cost models… this isn't a bad thing. This may be a wake up call for Newsgator and good news for the customer looking to negotiate with Yammer.
This is really Microsoft endorsement of Social as an enterprise tool. Don't go so far as to say there isn't room for anything else. Please. Microsoft isn't telling it's social vendors to stop building software, so let's give it some time and see how it plays out. Look what happened with SharePoint 2010? Did that put NewsGator and the other social vendors out of business? If anything the partnership got stronger. While it may seem obvious to me why Microsoft acquired yammer in it's push for cloud and 9 other reasons, it's not game over.
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