Yammer Brings the Power of Social Networks Inside Your Firewall


David Sacks likes to call them "Dilbert problems."

You know, all those excess emails, unproductive meetings, and other awkward aspects of daily life in the typical office that make you wish you were anywhere else than -- in the office.

As the CEO of Soma-based Yammer, which positions itself as the "Facebook for inside the company," Sacks has a pretty good story to tell.

Since launching in September 2008, Yammer has attracted enough B2B customers that it now appears to be able to stake its claim as the social media platform of choice for the Fortune 500.

Unlike consumer social media sites, Yammer has optimized various functions like search and sort, and made it easy to add files or submit creative concepts under its "Ideas" tab that are especially useful for businesses.

Local fans include IGN, eBay, Modcloth and Stanford. But do you know what is far more cool about Yammer?

It's good after a crisis.  Last year, the U.S. Department of the Interior and the U.S. Department of Fish & Wildlife Services used Yammer to facilitate communication among the various entities involved with the Deepwater Horizon oil spill cleanup efforts in the Gulf of Mexico.

More recently, after the tragic earthquake in Japan last month, that country's  Nuclear Energy Institute helped coordinate its work on the damaged reactors with Yammer.

"It's good after a crisis," says Sacks, "because it rapidly brings people together via a real-time communications feed."

Think about it.

Yesterday, the Presdent of the United States visited Facebook's office in Palo Alto. The social media wave has not yet crested. So, from a corporate perspective, how can you leverage this massive trend toward sharing among your employees without compromising security?

Yammer looks to be a viable option. Meanwhile, they have doubled their workforce (to ~150) in the past half-year or so.


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