|Weekly News Digest
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Yammer.com Launches Microblogging for the Enterprise
Yammer (www.yammer.com), a microblogging tool for enterprises, officially launched at the recent TechCrunch50 conference. Selected from among thousands of applicants, this "Enterprise 2.0" startup allows companies and organizations to take advantage of a technology that has exploded in popularity among consumers on sites such as Twitter.
On Yammer, co-workers exchange short frequent answers to one simple question: "What are you working on?" As employees answer this question, a company feed is created in one central location, enabling co-workers to discuss ideas, post news, ask questions, and share links and other information. The company feed can be accessed in real time via the web, instant messaging, SMS text messaging, an iPhone application, a BlackBerry application, a desktop application, or email.
Yammer also serves as a company directory in which every employee has a profile and as a knowledgebase where past conversations are archived and easily searched. Unlike traditional enterprise tools, which must be installed by a company’s IT department, anyone in a company can start a Yammer network and begin inviting colleagues. This means that Yammer can spread virally through a company like a consumer social network. At the same time, Yammer ensures the privacy of each network by limiting access to those with a valid company email address.
The basic Yammer service is free, but companies can pay to claim and administer their networks. The cost is $1 per employee per month, after a free 3-month trial period. Companies that claim their network can configure their own security requirements by setting stricter password policies or restricting use to their office or virtual private network (VPN). These settings are also used on sites such as Salesforce.com.
Yammer was originally developed at internet company Geni.com (www.geni.com) as an internal productivity tool. Over time, the product evolved into a full-fledged company intranet/social network, adding features not available on consumer microblogging sites.
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