Will Microsoft-Yammer Kill Social PLM? Not yet…

Will Microsoft-Yammer Kill Social PLM? Not yet…

BAM. BAM. BAM. Social Enterprise. Do you think, it is about magic words? No, I don’t think so. If you want to catch up read few of my earlier posts – PLM and Social Enterprise: Files vs. People, PLM, Social Enterprise Failure and Future Steps and Social Enterprise Discussion and Next Collaboration Buzz. Saleforce.com is seriously in the game of social enterprise. Salesforce Chatter is focusing on how to leverage social network innovation in enterprise products like CRM. If you haven’t heard yet, Microsoft is now playing a “catch up game” by acquiring Yammer (for $1.2B) – company focused on enterprise social networks. The following article in TechCrunch can provide you a good background about Yammer and Microsoft Social Enterprise Strategy. Another interesting article in InformationWeeks put some lights on what is planned path for Yammer in Microsoft and how it will be integrated with Microsoft’s products:

Microsoft did confirm that Yammer will be integrated into the Microsoft Office division, making it part of the same product family as SharePoint, which was one detail that hadn’t been clear previously. Some analysts thought it would be more likely to be positioned as an adjunct to Microsoft Dynamics CRM, as a counter to Salesforce.com’s Chatter service, which is similar to Yammer. Instead, Yammer is to be integrated with SharePoint, Dynamics, and other products but will also have a life of its own.

Yammer + Office = Social Email?

The combination of Yammer with Office products is an interesting opportunity, in  my view. Office keeps holding a lot of content in all organizations – everybody is working with Word, Excel, PowerPoint and SharePoint. This files are a life blood in many collaboration scenarios in a company. Today, most of the communication is going via email. By a combination of Office and Yammer, Microsoft can convert MS Outlook into Social Email hub.

Social PLM – valid concept?

Companies in CAD and PLM space are trying to play with “social” buzz as well. The list starts from large companies like PTC (Windchill SocialLink) and Dassault (3DSwYm). I can also mention few interesting startup companies such as Vuuch and Nuage trying to innovate on the edge of CAD, PLM and Social Networking. CAD and PLM providers are looking how to improve collaboration using new social paradigm. The unrealized potential I can see here is in combination of product development tools with social communication. Engineers and other people involved in product development, manufacturing, sales and support need to have a better context to communicate.

What is my conclusion? In the past, we said “content is a king”. However, in communication and collaboration, “context is a king”. To provide the right contextual information will help people to communicate. PLM companies need to think how to make product content available for communication in the company using social tools. It is still an open call and opportunity to improve collaboration. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg


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