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Microsoft’s New Roadmap for Enterprise Social: Cloud is King

Finally, a little clarity.  Yesterday’s roadmap post by Jared Spataro on the official SharePoint blog shed some much-sought-after public light on the question of how Microsoft intends to rationalize the Yammer and SharePoint 2013 newsfeeds.
“Which newsfeed do we use for enterprise social?  The native SharePoint 2013 feed, or Yammer?”  It’s a question Microsoft customers have been asking since the acquisition last summer, and while the answer—use Yammer—isn’t exactly shocking to industry veterans, it was nice to see an official statement on exactly how and why that’s going to be the right choice going forward.
Desert Highway
For the cloud, anyway.  If the cloud isn’t king right now, it’s a royal heir apparent assuming more and more duties of state.
I was introduced to the discipline of enterprise architecture ten years ago, and a high-concept idea like cloud computing then is finally a practical reality today.  The upshot of focusing on Yammer is simple—it’s a cloud-based service and it’s going to be tied in ever more closely to Microsoft’s offerings in Office 365.  For many, many organizations, the economies of scale offered by the cloud make great sense, and Microsoft is right to push this as their enterprise direction.
For Office 365 customers, the near-term benefit is:

  • Yammer newsfeed can replace SharePoint Online newsfeed as a configuration choice
  • The global navigation of the O365 UI will link to for a social newsfeed in much the way it links to Outlook for email and SkyDrive for documents
  • Yammer app in the Office store to embed Yammer groups into SharePoint sites

This will be followed shortly by:

  • SSO between Office 365  (including SharePoint Online) and Yammer
  • Seamless navigation on the glass – The Yammer newsfeed will now appear within the O365 window, as opposed to taking you off to
  • Integration with Word, Excel, and PowerPoint web apps for document collaboration

The ties Mr. Spataro references as “connected experiences” (i.e. “social, collaboration, email, instant messaging, voice, video, and line of business applications”) blaze the path to the unified, socially collaborative productivity platform Microsoft has long envisioned and that we’ve blogged about before.
All of this sounds great!  If you’re buying into the cloud, anyway, whether “all in” or simply in a hybrid scenario where you do social collaboration online.  But Mr. Spataro also talks a little bit about where on-premise customers can go too, and I’ll cover that in my next post—and like everything else around this topic, we’ll also discuss this in our webinar with Forrester next week.

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Rich Wood

Rich Wood has been planning, designing and building enterprise solutions and internet sites with an emphasis on stellar user and customer experiences since 1997. Rich is a National Director for Content and Commerce Platform work in Perficient Digital. One of the rare breed of strategists to truly understand both the business needs of the customer and the platforms that serve them, he is a keen advocate for and accomplished speaker/writer on issues that surround that inflection point. His work has been published on CMSWire, Sitecore and Microsoft partner blogs, and his own LinkedIn page as well as our various blogs here at Perficient, and he has spoken at multiple major conferences including Microsoft's SharePoint Conference 2014. Married and a father of five, Rich enjoys spending time with his wife and family. He is a native of South Milwaukee, Wisconsin and a graduate of Marquette University.

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