updated - May 19, 2013 Sunday EDT
By Zanub Saeed
Microsoft announced this week that they acquired a deal to purchase Yammer Inc., a leading provider of enterprise social networks, for $1.2 billion in cash.
Yammer, which was launched in 2008, according to a press release issued by Microsoft Inc. on Monday, has over five million corporate users, including employees at 85 percent of the Fortune 500. The Yammer service lets employees join a private social network for free, and makes it easier for the companies to convert the small groups into a larger strategic initiative, said the release.
"The acquisition of Yammer underscores our commitment to deliver technology that businesses need and people love," Steve Ballmer, CEO, Microsoft, said for the press release. "Yammer adds a best-in-class enterprise social networking service to Microsoft's growing portfolio of complementary cloud services."
The basic service for Yammer is free, but for those interested in upgrading their network to receive more advanced security tools, they would have to pay for the service, said the press release. Paid programs will also provide top-priority customer service and a designated customer success manager.
Yammer will join the Microsoft Office Division, but the team will still report back to its CEO David Sacks. The social media company will continue to develop its service and commit to its innovative and cross-platform experiences, said the press release. The Microsoft Office Division will be led by division president Kurt DelBene. Going ahead, "Microsoft plans to accelerate Yammer's adoption alongside complementary offerings from Microsoft SharePoint, Office 365, Microsoft Dynamics and Skype," noted the press release.
"When we started Yammer four years ago, we set out to do something big," Sacks said for the press release. "We had a vision for how social networking could change the way we work. Joining Microsoft will accelerate that vision and give us access to the technologies, expertise and resources we'll need to scale and innovate."
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