Yammer gets file syncing with oneDrum buy

Looks to support Microsoft Office files

Last week Yammer announced it purchased oneDrum, a cloud file syncing service, giving it a more complete social business experience.

The real target here appears to be oneDrum's sweet spot around sharing Office and SharePoint documents.

You'll be forgiven if you haven't heard of oneDrum, the U.K.-based company, which according to the company website is still in Beta.

David Sacks, Yammer's CEO indicated the purchase was aimed at making all enterprise content social. "Through oneDrum, Yammer will incorporate all of that content into the enterprise social graph, making it discoverable and collaborative. Our mission is to create a social layer across the enterprise, bringing together people, content, and conversations across all business applications," Sacks said.

However, Analyst Dan Keldsen from Human 1.0 wasn't impressed with what he saw, and suggested that competitors have more natural integration with Office and SharePoint. "The primary 'selling point' of the oneDrum integration is real-time, cross-platform, document editing, which has yet to be demonstrated (the promised Q1 2012 delivery of Mac-native capabilities have not been shown publicly), and is easily side-stepped by the 'virtual document' competition who have no need to 'bolt-on' to Microsoft Office," Keldsen said.

But analyst Larry Hawes of Dow Brook Advisory Services sees this as way for Yammer to attract SharePoint customers, while still supporting it and other content repositories--a curious position to be sure (but one in which many vendors in the Enterprise 2.0 and ECM spaces find themselves).

Hawes sees still another reason for the purchase beyond SharePoint and that's enterprise problems with email as a defacto collaboration system. "Yammer's real target appears to be email--a more widely-used tool in which people may communicate, share content and get work done in a single place," Hawes said.

Whatever you think of the move,  it seems to be clearly designed to give Yammer a more complete social toolkit with which to compete in the enterprise social space. Whether oneDrum has the chops to compete with other service's file syncing capability remains to be seen.

You can get a sense of the integration from the video below:

Yammer + OneDrum from Yammer on Vimeo.

For more information:
- see the Yammer press release

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