Yesterday, Yammer did its first big customer event since being acquired by Microsoft. It pitched the concept of an “enterprise graph,” showed a lot of integration features for third-party software, and even made some room for Microsoft. GigaOM Pro analyst Stowe Boyd isn’t the only observer who likened some of Yammer’s work media API angles to those of Facebook, though Stowe thinks the approach is more like Socialcast’s.
Yammer aims to distribute its functions outside its “site.” I’d hate to call it a Google+ style strategy for social tech APIs, but while Facebook aims to extend its reach, it still soaks up huge amounts of (consumer) user time on its own properties. I don’t think Microsoft would be nearly as happy if Yammer technology shows up next to Salesforce.com apps at the expense of its own Dynamics CRM or SharePoint.
Meanwhile, Yammer is embracing beefed-up security and identity management standards, including various flavors of single sign-on. All good. Integration is a key differentiator for enterprise collaboration. So even if Microsoft has to grit its teeth a little at the thought of competitors to its own services, it’s still doing the right things with Yammer. It’s not killing freemium pricing, and it might even be learning a little about cloud development.