If you probably thought I was going to say no then I’m hoping you’ll be pleasantly surprised about why I think the answer is “yes.” I love free stuff, and while I understand that sometimes paying for more gets you important features I’ve seen a lot of failure in the enterprise software department to warrant rolling out the big bucks.
For example, I get why people don’t fawn over Google Apps – it doesn’t do everything well, and there are only a handful of decent Excel replacements (and Google Spreadsheets isn’t one of them). But the potential to cover your email/calendar/collaboration/content management/chat all in one relatively powerful place makes for one serious argument why at least non-profits (who can get it for free) should seriously consider it.
So why pay for Yammer when you get almost all the good stuff for free?
It comes down to a word: integration. Integration into your CRM; integration into your collaboration tools; and integration into the tools you need to run your business.
Then, there’s the data. Behind every activity stream is a wealth of data about what’s on the mind for your organization’s staff. Mining that data to help others do their work and building a stronger organization is part of the value that these social tools can provide. Why waste it?
Auto-analytics was how one blogger was thinking about it. However given the privacy concerns, I think we’re a ways from that.
Regardless, purchasing Yammer can:
- Increase the value of the data your org creates daily by using Yammer,
- Enable integration into the tools and systems that are core to your businesses work (like CRM and content management),
- Make it easier for your IT department to manage and provision user accounts from a centralized space, and
- Add additional layers of security for orgs that need it.