Arik Hesseldahl

Recent Posts by Arik Hesseldahl

Yammer Now Works With Box.net and Five Other Cloud Services

Yammer, the social enterprise and collaboration outfit once described simply as “Twitter for the office,” just got a lot more powerful. Today the company announced integrations with a half-dozen cloud-based enterprise services.

The main one is Box.net, the red-hot cloud storage and collaboration start-up. Yammer users will now get notifications that new files have been uploaded.

Another Yammer integration that will get attention is Zendesk, the cloud-based help-desk service. If your job involves helping people with their IT troubles, Yammer can publish help-ticket updates as different people work on them.

Expensify is a cloud-based expense-reporting service. I’m not sure I see the point of broadcasting anything about expense reports to coworkers. But if you’re a boss, and you need to do a little public praising and/or shaming around the size of expense reports (or people who file theirs chronically late), then I guess it could make some sense.

TripIt is a cloud-based travel and itinerary management service. The Yammer integration will let you know when a coworker is traveling, about to travel, or has come back from a trip.

The other two: Badgeville, which helps companies create loyalty programs through the creation of Foursquare-like game-and-badge programs; and Spigit, which aims to get employees sharing ideas in order to better “tap into the collective intelligence of an organization.”

These aren’t the first integrations with other services that Yammer has done, and certainly not the last. The first three were NetSuite; Salesforce.com’s Chatter, which was kind of meant to tweak Salesforce a bit; and Microsoft’s SharePoint.

The other piece of news out of Yammer today is that it has debuted something it calls its Activity Stream Ticker, which is a live-streaming side module on the homepage that looks an awful lot like the new activity stream on Facebook. Well, if it looks familiar, that’s because it is based on Facebook’s Open Graph protocol. In fact, Yammer is starting to look less like “Twitter for work” and more like “Facebook for work” all the time. (To see what I mean, click the image below for a bigger screenshot.) You can argue that knowing what music your friends on Facebook are listening to isn’t all that useful. But it might be useful to know who in the office is out on a trip, and who is available for that important meeting.

I talked with Yammer co-founder Adam Pisoni, who told me it all comes down to working with the open APIs of pretty much any service. That means there will be a lot more integrations like this.

And it makes perfect sense. While there’s a lot of activity around social enterprise software and collaboration services — Salesforce.com’s CEO Marc Benioff can’t stop talking about the subject — Yammer has quietly emerged as the market’s leader, on track to have four million verified corporate users. And last month it landed a $17 million Series D round of funding from the Social+Capital Partnership, a new fund established by former Facebook VP Chamath Palihapitiya.


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