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Klout partners with Microsoft's Yammer in social business push

Microsoft says Yammer users have jumped 55 percent to about 8 million in the year since it bought the corporate social-networking company.

Klout and Microsoft's Yammer have formed a partnership. Klout
Your co-workers will now be able to see how influential you are through a new partnership between Klout and Microsoft's Yammer.

Klout, which gives users an influence or Klout score based on their presence on social media and the general Web, will now allow users to show their Klout score and topics of influence in their Yammer profiles, the company said Tuesday in a blog post. Klout also is beginning the process of ingesting data from Yammer to create a Yammer-specific Klout Score.

Here's the example Klout gave for how this could work:

Imagine your graphic designer is also a talented photographer and DJ (like Klout designer, Geoff Olegario!). Geoff handles most of our photography needs and serves as our resident DJ at Klout. We're guessing (hoping!) he enjoys these opportunities to flex his creative muscles beyond his day job. Until today, most large companies lacked the tools to surface and embrace this expertise and talent at scale. By joining forces with Yammer, we envision a world where employers understand and harness the influence and talents of their employees to create a more fulfilling and connected workplace for everyone.

Social networking, long popular with consumers, has also been taking off in the business world. Yammer, which Microsoft bought for $1.2 billion a year ago, allows people to connect and collaborate with their colleagues. More than 85 percent of the Fortune 500 uses the service. Klout, meanwhile, determines how influential someone is based on their presence online. A higher Klout score can result in perks, which encourages people to do more social networking to raise their scores.

Pavan Tapadia, the Yammer executive responsible for the development and execution of the company's product vision, noted in a blog post that Yammer is committed to expanding its partner ecosystem to include all enterprise apps. Since launching the Yammer App Directory in October, it has doubled the number of partner integrations -- such as the partnership with Klout -- to 60.

The integration with Klout is twofold, Tapadia said, allowing Yammer users to publish their public Klout scores and expertise directly on their Yammer profiles. And Yammer administrators will be able to turn on a deeper integration with Klout to produce Yammer-specific Klout scores for employees based on their activity within their company's Yammer network.

"This is a great opportunity for organizations to identify top contributors and subject matter experts based on their Yammer participation," Tapadia said.

He added that Yammer will launch a developer's certification program in November that will feature self-paced training, community groups, webinars, and a certification exam that develops the advanced skills necessary to be called a "Yammer Certified Developer." More than 12,000 developers currently are using Yammer's open APIs, he said.

"Needless to say, it's an exciting time to partner with Yammer," Tapadia said.

Klout will now integrate with Yammer. Microsoft

Microsoft is so happy with the one-year anniversary of its Yammer acquisition that it published three blog posts and a press release about it Tuesday. (We found three, anyway. Let us know in the comments if there's even more). Along with the official Yammer blog about the Klout integration, the company also posted two blogs talking up Yammer's progress over the past year.

David Sacks, corporate vice president of Yammer, noted in the official Microsoft blog that since the Microsoft acquisition, one year ago today, the company has "made tremendous progress in accelerating the adoption of enterprise social, driving innovation within the Yammer service and beginning to integrate with Office 365."

Over the past year, the number of users has jumped 55 percent to about 8 million, while user activity -- as measured by messages, groups, and files -- has roughly doubled year-over-year, Sacks said, while networks have more than tripled.

And Jared Spataro, the senior director in the Microsoft Office Division who leads the SharePoint business, noted in the SharePoint blog that while "we're proud of what we've accomplished over the last twelve months, we recognize that we're really just getting started." Microsoft and Yammer will be introducing innovations over the next year to make Yammer a mainstream communication tool, he said.

That includes the following new features coming in the next six to eight months:

  • SharePoint search integration -- Microsoft is enabling SharePoint search to search Yammer conversations and set the stage for deeper, more powerful apps that combine social and search.
  • Yammer groups in SharePoint sites -- The company is working on settings that will make Yammer feeds the default for all SharePoint sites.
  • Yammer messaging enhancements -- The company is redesigning the Yammer user experience to make it easier to use as a primary communication tool. It also will improve directed messaging and add the ability to message multiple groups at once.
  • E-mail interoperability -- Users will be able to follow an entire thread via e-mail, respond to Yammer messages from e-mail, and participate in conversations across Yammer and e-mail.
  • External communication -- To collaborate with people outside an organization, users currently have to create an external network. Yammer will improve the messaging infrastructure so users can easily include external parties in Yammer conversations.
  • Mobile apps -- Yammer will continue to invest in its iPad, iPhone, Android, Windows Phone 8, and Windows 8 apps as primary access points.
  • Localization -- The Yammer interface will be located into new languages to meet growing demand across the world.

"As we look ahead, I'm more confident than ever that not only was the acquisition the right move for both Yammer and Microsoft, but that our combined vision is the right one -- that enterprise social is how people will work, and that we have the expertise, portfolio, capabilities, vision, and insight to make that future real," Sacks said.