Only two weeks after initially opening negotiations with Yammer, a social-networking site for businesses, Microsoft closed the deal for no less than 1.2 billion dollars. Yammer offers business owners access to their own private social networks, allowing their employees to keep track of everything related to the business, including file sharing and communication.
But were the goods worth the buy? Many internet savvy techs are looking into the details, and the competition, and the answer is most frequently, no. While Yammer’s definitely got something to offer to Microsoft’s growing list of features, I believe that there are great many other websites that would have been a better buy and bargain.
Bitrix24 is 100% free for small businesses with 12 employees or fewer. You get free options like free CRM, free project manager, free document sharing, free planner, free tasks and more. The site also features easy to use to-do and task lists, social media, search systems as well as free social communication. Bitrix24 is basically an intranet site that allows users to share data, collaborate online and more through a simple, non-technical interface. Bitrix, like Mango, would have been a perfect, affordable substitute for Yammer.
Formerly known as MangoBox and now known as MangoSpring, the Mango apps are a great alternative to Yammer. MangoSpring offers a full range of integrated social internet, email and CRM for small businesses, meaning that it offers everything Yammer does, and more. MangoSpring also offers mobile applications that are compatible with iOS, Windows and Android, meaning that small businesses can stay in touch, wherever they go. Mango allows employees to work together, talk together, chat and interactively edit documents and projects completely online!
Nearly every business could make use of a social question and answer app, and Degree3 is it. The site allows users to build question and answer apps on their websites so that customers or employees can ask about anything from fashion sizes to what the next part of the project is. Degree3 is a good tool for business and would have been a great addition to Microsoft’s growing list of services. Degree3 could easily be integrated into Microsoft’s cloud technology as well as their blogging and word-processing software.
This website is a tool that allows free desktop sharing and video conferencing from literally anywhere. The free version allows 2 person video conferences and desktop and document share for up to thirty minutes while the paid version allows multi-person, conference recording tools, scheduled meetings, file sharing and real time board and annotation tools including the ability to see mouse and keystrokes on the computer being shared. Yugma also works with Skype which would have made it a great ad-on to Microsoft’s own rather clumsy collaboration and sharing technology.
Jive claims to be the worlds most advanced social business platform, and it does have a lot to offer. The site offers social intranet for business, the ability to set up teams of almost any size, customer service options and social marketing and sales tools. The team software is based around allowing teams to work effectively online, meaning that even when work isn’t done at the office, your employees can have full access to projects and communication with each other. Jive allows users to try their products free for thirty days, meaning that while it isn’t free to use, it is risk free to try. Jive could easily have been integrated into Microsoft’s business tools program in order to produce an effortless, easy platform that could have been used to easily integrate teams and employee sharing direction into their creation software such as Word, Powerpoint and Excel.