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Market Research: Article

Yammer Looks Smart - A Quick Review

Robust Twittering in the Enterprise

Yammer is relatively new and is funded by two venture capital funds; Founders Fund and Charles River Ventures. It also is a very clever idea to get some of the instant messaging benefits of Twitter and apply them to a closed corporate environment. As a private communications tool, Yammer is effective since the user doesn’t have to spam everyone. They simply post it to their own company view of Yammer. The user can also look at profiles of other employees to learn more about them. The profile will include a photo, background information and they are working on.

Just like Twitter, the user can follow their fellow employees to get updates. The user can search any topic and see what the other employees had to say about it. Users can receive updates anywhere due to the iPhone and Blackberry updates. Yammer also has a desktop application which looks a lot like Tweetdeck for Twitter. Yammer can also be set up for groups so an employee can communicate with a department like a product team for example. Yammer is very compelling for an organization that wants to protect its privacy while it’s sharing immediate information, yet it also offers the ability to share files. The company claims to have 30,000 businesses using the solution. It has a nice video on the front page to get a viewer engaged quickly to understand.

The Company's Own Description

Yammer is a tool for making companies and organizations more productive through the exchange of short frequent answers to one simple question: “What are you working on?”

As employees answer that question, a feed is created in one central location enabling co-workers to discuss ideas, post news, ask questions, and share links and other information. Yammer also serves as a company directory in which every employee has a profile and as a knowledge base where past conversations can be easily accessed and referenced. Anyone in a company can start their Yammer network and begin inviting colleagues. The privacy of each network is ensured by limiting access to those with a valid company email address. Information is never shared with third parties. The basic Yammer service is free. Companies can pay to claim and administer their networks. They lay out their pricing model on their site.

My view: Yammer's capabilities look pretty compelling as a community building tool and should be considered as an instant communication service. It seems the company has made it easy for businesses to give it a try.

More Stories By John Ryan

John is an experienced leader with a strong background of defining and executing company strategies. He is especially skilled in channel management, market analysis, brand marketing and selling technology products and services. He has successfully served in a number of executive positions and has been in management for 20 years. John is currently writing a book on increasing revenue generation. He has been a co-author of a comprehensive marketing methodology for high tech companies and has helped venture capitalists and private equity firms gauge their technology investments. In 2004, John served as Vice President of Marketing for the NA arm of the $6B IT Services division of Siemens, AG. John served on the board of directors at WebTrends, purchased by NetIQ (NTIQ) for $1 billion in 2001. WebTrends was highly successful dominating the web site analysis and reporting space. Prior to WebTrends, John was the Vice President of Marketing for Tivoli Systems. John has worked as a contracted consultant for established companies, start ups and top analyst firms. John can be reached at john@johnwryan.com or you can follow him on Twitter @buyersteps