Benefits to Microsoft of the acquisition include:
- Product enhancement. Yammer's enterprise social networking platform may enhance a number of Microsoft products, including Outlook, SharePoint and possibly SkyDrive and Dynamics CRM. These are likely the true synergies from the acquisition.
- Enterprise Customer Base Expansion. Yammer reportedly has over 200,000 enterprise customers, and Yammer boasts that more than 85% of the Fortune 500 use Yammer's services. This could drive cross-selling and up-selling opportunities.
- Skype possibilities. Skype could be a beneficiary of Yammer's enterprise solutions. Imaging Skype at an enterprise level that includes Yammer's capabilities.
- Defensive acquisition. Acquiring Yammer takes away a future competitor and also takes Yammer out of play for other companies to acquire. It also helps Microsoft catch up to Salesforce.com and Oracle, which have recently made acquisitions in this space.
Prior post on the acquisition: http://www.allenlatta.com/1/post/2012/06/yammer-to-be-acquired-by-microsoft-for-12-billion-wsj-report.html
WSJ.com article on the acquisition:
VentureBeat article on the synergies from the transaction:
ZDNet article on the synergies (and an argument that the acquisition is "zany"):
Trefis article on the synergies: