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Enterprise social networking provider Yammer will now include data from customer relationship management software provider Salesforce.com.
The enterprise social network will now grab incoming data that Salesforce.com can export — including the likes of customer leads and sales data — and drop it into Yammer news feeds. Yammer users can then comment on it and interact with it just like any other Yammer news feed entry.
But this is not a partnership with Salesforce.com, which has its own enterprise social network called Chatter, a Yammer spokesperson told VentureBeat. Yammer instead leveraged Salesforce.com’s open application programming interface (API) to build the integration with Yammer.
“Salesforce intended Chatter to be a company-wide tool, but we don’t see that today,” a Yammer spokesperson told VentureBeat. “So what Yammer does is it takes the activity streams from salesforce data and by integrating it into Yammaer you can socialize data across the entire company.”
Yammer is taking a shotgun approach to gathering data through partnerships instead of building up internal tools. Box.net, another enterprise 2.0 company, fleshes out its cloud storage product by integrating applications from the likes of Salesforce.com and Google to make its software more useful for enterprise companies. Yammer still intends to integrate with other enterprise companies that also have open APIs.
“We want to be this super center of activity stream from applications across the enterprise,” a Yammer spokesperson told VentureBeat. “We see a lot of enterprise applications adding activity streams, but yammer really wants to cut across all that and integrate.”
To compete initially with Yammer and make a splash in the collaboration space, Salesforce.com launched Chatter, a micro-blogging service. The service quickly picked up around 60,000 customers, and its biggest customer, Dell, has around 100,000 active users. The rest of its paying clients have around 5,000 active users, according to a presentation at today’s conference.
That’s compared to Yammer, which has 3 million verified corporate users. Around 80 percent of the largest companies in the world on the Fortune 500 list have deployed the enterprise social network. It’s one of a number of stars in the enterprise 2.0 space — along with companies like collaboration service Huddle and cloud storage provider Box.net — that are taking lessons learned from Web 2.0 applications like Twitter and Facebook to the enterprise.
Yammer also has the added benefit of having its own open API that lets businesses add news feed widgets to their websites using HTML coding. That gives employees a way to view important information in Yammer without actually visiting the website. Yammer’s success even charmed Salesforce.com, which turned its enterprise social network loose on the freemium revenue model in order to compete with other collaboration startups (it cost non-Salesforce.com users $15 per user per month beforehand.)
The company uses a freemium model — which gives companies a free taste of a stripped-down version of Yammer in order to hook employees on the service. Yammer charges $5 per user per month for a “gold” subscription that offers additional control and support from the Yammer team. Yammer then converts around 19 percent of its free Yammer users into paid users. The companies either find value in the service, or it becomes so widespread among employees that the companies need a way to control the flow of information and make sure there are no leaks.