Forrester recently released their Enterprise Social Platforms Wave. I like Forrester’s Wave approach because of the depth of information on a variety of scored points. While I cannot divulge the entire report, I can show a glimpse of where Office 365 + Yammer stand and tell you a few points why. For the complete review, you need to download it from Forrester.
Microsoft’s combined strategy of cloud based Office 365 along with Yammers existing and strong social streams and groups allowed them to make a really strong showing on the strategy side. On the current offering side of things Forrester noted:
Microsoft Office 365 begins to fulfill the Yammer promise. As predicted by Forrester, Microsoft has provided clear guidance that Yammer is the social engine for its offerings and Yammer will be supported by the broader portfolio to provide adjacent capabilities. (see endnote 1) With Office 365, Microsoft begins the process of deeply integrating Yammer for social with SharePoint for document management, team sites, and other functions. The next announced experience, which is code-named Oslo and scheduled to be released by the end of 2014, will provide the first unique Office 365 application that spans multiple applications to generate a social graph and drive recommendations for workers. With the bundling of Yammer into Office 365 at no charge, Microsoft can advance the platform as an integrated set of services rather than disparate applications. Office 365 shines when you require a full suite of capabilities in a cloud environment and desire integration and alignment with the broad Microsoft portfolio.
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The combined offering also had strong rankings for language support and security. Frankly, I’m not surprised at this ranking and will be very interested to see the next Forrester wave that appears after Microsoft releases Oslo. I would expect a move up on the current offering side.
Forrester has a lot more information on Office 365 and Yammer in the report. You can also gain insights into the other solutions out there.