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IDG News Service - Upcoming integration points between Yammer and Microsoft products will include email interoperability, document collaboration and enterprise search, as Microsoft pursues its plan to make Yammer a common enterprise social collaboration layer across its business software.
The news comes on Tuesday, the one-year anniversary of Microsoft's announcement that it was acquiring Yammer for US$1.2 billion primarily to boost the enterprise social networking capabilities of its SharePoint collaboration server.
In addition to the previously announced plans to unify SharePoint and Yammer via single sign-on, Microsoft said it will deliver improved interoperability between Yammer and email.
Today, Yammer users can receive email notifications about changes in Yammer discussions they're participating in, but the alerts tend to be brief, short on context and in plain text, said Jared Spataro, senior director in the Microsoft Office Division and leader of the SharePoint business.
Microsoft wants to make the notifications richer, more sophisticated, so that people who are participating in Yammer discussion forums via email feel "as first-class citizens," he said.
Specifically, this means giving users the ability to follow an entire discussion thread via email and respond to Yammer messages from email.
Moreover, Microsoft will improve the way users create, edit and share documents within Yammer and Office 365, the subscription suite that in its most sophisticated editions includes online versions of Office, SharePoint, Lync and Exchange, as well as cloud-delivered versions of Office desktop applications like Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote.
Yammer will also get expanded IM (instant messaging) and communication capabilities, and integrated search capabilities with SharePoint.
The SharePoint search integration will allow SharePoint to index Yammer content and serve it up to users of SharePoint's search engine.
"This is an important step as we continue to deliver on this vision of a more integrated, connected platform," Spataro said.
Microsoft is also working to let Yammer users invite people from outside of their organization and network to internal Yammer groups. Currently, Yammer users have to create specific external networks in order to interact with outside parties.
"We want to reduce the difficulties of working across organization boundaries," Spataro said.
These improvements should be delivered within the next six to eight months.
Earlier this month, Microsoft delivered on the first phase of its Yammer-SharePoint integration road map, allowing Office 365 customers to replace SharePoint Online's activity stream with Yammer's.
Later this year, Microsoft plans to deliver a single sign-on for the two products and to add Yammer to the main Office 365 interface.
Before the end of this month, Microsoft will release a Yammer application for SharePoint that will be available on the Office Store and let users embed a Yammer group feed into a SharePoint site. The application will work both with SharePoint Online and with the on-premises version of the server SharePoint 2013.