Forrester: Move towards Sharepoint and Yammer integration to solve social problems

Last year Microsoft paid US$1.2 billion to acquire Yammer, a cloud based collaboration platform

SharePoint's lack of social functionality is a pain for users, but integration with Microsoft's acquired Yammer service could be key to solving collaboration issues, says analyst Forrester.

"With market penetration of well over 100 million seats, SharePoint is a strategic investment for many organisations looking to foster more effective collaboration among employees", Forrester says in a report.

"While returns on SharePoint are positive for most, there is room for improvement. Two key faults of SharePoint are user adoption and enterprise social functionality," said report author Rob Koplowitz.

According to a recent Forrester survey, the biggest factors in SharePoint not meeting expectations are "We are not seeing the level of adoption we expected" (54 percent), "Users don't like the SharePoint experience" (51 percent), and "The product is not meeting functional expectations" (46 percent).

Last year Microsoft paid $1.2 billion (£800m) to acquire Yammer, "which appears to be the perfect solution to address SharePoint's main challenges", said Koplowitz, "but only for those firms who can move critical workloads, at least in part, to the cloud".

However, said Koplowitz, Microsoft is not going to bundle Yammer into SharePoint for free. Instead, he said, SharePoint customers will have to secure and configure Yammer subscriptions "to leverage functionality".

He said: "The ability to bundle Yammer into enterprise license agreements creates a recipe for Microsoft to seed lots of licenses into the market quickly. This does not necessarily mean that Yammer will be the right answer for all, but it will get it on a lot of shortlists."

In June, Redmond outlined its integration plans for Yammer, which included closer interoperability and functionality with Sharepoint.

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