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The gradual integration of Yammer into Microsoft

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The gradual integration of Yammer into Microsoft

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Imagine you went into work tomorrow and found out you were no longer employed by your company?  You'd have a different boss, different reporting structure, and a different employer to put on your business cards and LinkedIn profile.

That's what has happened to Yammer sales staff this week.  They've been told that from July 1st they will cease to be Yammer salespeople, and will instead be Microsoft salespeople.

Yammer, who were bought by Microsoft last year, are rapidly being integrated into the Microsoft belly.  The aim is undoubtably to tie Yammer in with services such as SharePoint and, of course, Office 365.

The integration has not been without impact upon Yammer though.  20 employees have been layed off thus far, with the company tapping into the vast Microsoft sales and marketing operations.

It represents a shift from the original plan for Yammer.  When they were first acquired they were told that the structure of Yammer would remain intact, with all staff continuing to report to CEO David Sacks.

That has already changed however.  The marketing department already report directly to Microsoft, and in a few months time the same will apply to the sales team.

Yammer insiders are revealing that the news has not been shared widely (until now), and the lack of transparency is concerning those steeped in Yammer culture.

The change in the marketing department was pushed by Yammer executives. It's not clear whether Microsoft or Yammer executives prompted the handover of sales to Microsoft.

Of course there are clear advantages of utilising the vast scale and resources within Microsoft.  The question for many though is whether the changes have been handled as well as they might have been.



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