In July 2012, Microsoft acquired the Yammer business-themed social networking service for $1.2 billion. Since then, Microsoft has been preparing to add Yammer support to its Office 365 services, and today it was revealed Microsoft has formed a new development team charged with helping merge Yammer into Microsoft's services.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the new team is based at Microsoft's Redmond, Washington, headquarters and is known as "Yammer North." Despite its name, the 70 team members come from the Microsoft employee pool. Yammer's team members still work in San Francisco. However, the story says Yammer North personnel collaborate strongly with the main Yammer office, including their participation in Yammer's "hack days."
Jeff Teper, Microsoft's corporate vice president of Office servers and services, stated the company felt having a Yammer North team could help Microsoft learn how to update software on a faster basis, as Yammer does. He said, "We update quarterly, and we said, 'Huh, what do you do to deploy new things weekly? How do you test things out, changing and tweaking the experience so customers don’t push back?'"
The process works both ways, as Yammer team members can also learn from Yammer North on how to respond to concerns from a large group of customers, something which Microsoft deals with on a regular basis.
Microsoft has already said it will begin to fully integrate Yammer features into Office 365 later this summer, although it added that business customers who don't want to make the change can still access the current SharePoint newsfeed if they wish.
Source: Wall Street Journal | Image via Microsoft