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Microsoft retools Yammer

Microsoft has announced that the Yammer Enterprise service tier will no longer exist in 2017.

Even though Enterprise is on the way out, Yammer is far from dead. The social networking and team collaboration tool remains part of a bigger picture plan for Office 365.

Rumours of its demise, greatly exaggerated

The announcement to do away with Yammer Enterprise came within days of Facebook readying their launch of Facebook at Work. To some, the timing might have seemed like Microsoft were retiring from the competition.

In fact, it’s a case of retooling rather than retreat.

Office integration

Yammer will be enabled by default for all eligible Office 365 commercial customers. It’s integration with Office 365 Groups will be tightened. For example, shared conversations will soon be able to go through Yammer itself, or through Outlook.

Features like Yammer Notes will be getting integrated too. As an intermediary step, the Notes will be migrated to Word documents. In future, the Yammer Notes functionality is expected to be completely replaced by Microsoft’s pre-existing app, OneNote.

Ultimately, files currently stored in Yammer will be migrated to Microsoft’s established document management platform, Sharepoint.

Natural evolution

Four years ago, Microsoft bought Yammer for $1.2 billion. Since then, the market for collaboration tools has become more competitive and prone to disruption.

By making their offering an intrinsic part of their Office 365 package, Microsoft are presumably seeking to leverage the ubiquity of their more popular softwares.

Perhaps the promise of comprehensiveness—the oft mooted one-stop-shop—will be enough to win over a significant proportion of the market.

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