Did Microsoft buy a rotten apple? IBM ranked #1, Yammer #8

IBM has developed Connections. Microsoft has bought Yammer. IBM is ranked #1 for the third year in a row by IDC. Microsofts newly bought Yammer is ranked #8. 

Ahead of Microsofts Yammer we find social services and solutions like Jive (#2) and Communispace, Telligent, Socialtext, Mzinga, and Lithium (of which Socialtext is the only one with a known brand). Then we find Microsofts Yammer.

IBM the leader of the pack

An IDC report that looks at social software for corporate collaboration, says that IBM brought in $105.4 million in revenue for its IBM Connections product line, achieving a market share of 13.7%, according to Information Week. Jive Software brought in $65.3 million for enterprise social networking, for an 8.5% market share, IDC said.

According to IDC almost all vendors experienced double-digit growth, with the top two, IBM and Jive, enjoying growth of 75.1% and 72.8%, respectively. The fastest growing vendor in the top 20 was Yammer, with a growth rate of 132.3%. Yammer is growing from a smaller base, reaching $22.3 million in revenue in 2011.

In an email to Information Week, IDC analyst Michael Fauscette said part of the equation for IBM is its international presence and the appeal of IBM Connections to multinational companies. Jive is a closer competitor to IBM in the U.S. market, but IBM still dominates.

On the contrary to the IDC finings, another analyst, Tony Byrne (founder of The Real Story Group, claims that IBM Connections has lost a bit of momentum in the market. Byrne is a small analyst company and claims that their findings are based on dialogues with Connections customers and not based on market share.

Comment: In my market, Norway, I do not see that Byrne is right. On the contrary. The interest for IBM Connections is more intense than ever. I am personally involved in a double digit new qualified customers cases and have quite a few new adoptions to work on. These are both big and small/medium businesses. Most of them are well known company brands in the market.

In all my customer meetings I have met Yammer only once. And that was with a customer who was only on a small scale testing basis for four people. That is all. But I have met a lot of Sharepoint customers who wish they had the functionality of Connections. 

New developments for IBM Connections

IBM’s Collaboration Solutions Group focuses on rapid development of their social intranet platform IBM Connections. They will bring further improvements and new functions in the next release that is expected in the second half of this year. This release will probably have the name IBM Connections 4.0.

According to Information Week IBM will entice Lotus Notes customers to adopt Connections and will also introduce compatibility features like making Connections activity streams visible in the Notes client.

They will also bring in a new concept called Social Mail and enhance the environment by taking advantage of the OpenSocial standard to embed applications in the social stream. A new concept of Activity Stream is also expected to be part of the release. Possible will also IBM Docs be integrated in both Connections and IBM’s cloud offering, IBM SmartCloud for Social Business. IBM Docs is a full bodied productivity suite fully compatible with MS Office standards and OpenOffice standards. It gives the users the ability to write and edit documents simultaneously in real time.

What about Microsofts Yammer?

Today Yammer is mainly a cloud based social solution for businesses and organizations. The website AppAppeal has measured Yammer popularity around the world. To Microsoft the result should not be a reason to pop the crocks an shout Hurray!

The list is based on 32 countries and counts the average of daily visitors and page views. See the list for yourself:

  • Nigeria – 1386th most popular site
  • Japan – 1574th most popular site
  • South Korea – 1852nd most popular site
  • Israel – 2120th most popular site
  • South Africa – 2318th most popular site
  • Canada – 2440th most popular site
  • Australia – 2467th most popular site
  • Belgium – 2657th most popular site
  • Thailand – 2670th most popular site
  • United Kingdom – 2764th most popular site
  • Netherlands – 2876th most popular site
  • Mexico – 2923rd most popular site
  • Singapore – 2953rd most popular site
  • France – 2985th most popular site
  • Finland – 3021st most popular site
  • USA – 3025th most popular site
  • Spain – 3176th most popular site
  • Malaysia – 3277th most popular site
  • Argentina – 3830th most popular site
  • Switzerland – 4270th most popular site
  • Sweden – 4531st most popular site
  • Taiwan – 4647th most popular site
  • Austria – 4754th most popular site
  • Brazil – 4808th most popular site
  • India – 5036th most popular site
  • Germany – 7041st most popular site
  • Italy – 7447th most popular site
  • Russia – 8314th most popular site
  • Turkey – 9344th most popular site
  • China – 9656th most popular site
  • Poland – 11883rd most popular site
  • Indonesia – 12022nd most popular site

Comment: After not seeing Yammer as competition in Norway and after having a look at the popularity list above, I think Microsoft has a long, long way to go to be able to offer Social Collaboration to a well mature market that has already been here for at least five years.

See all the details from AppAppeal here.

Read the whole article in Information Week here.


  1. Can you please share some of your personal experiences with Yammer? How did you like using it? Was it easy to integrate with other apps and platforms?


    1. As I am not a techie I have no technical or user experience with Yammer. In my blogpost I only had a look at market facts from open sources.

      This is not a technical focused blog, but I sure would like any blog readers with Yammer experiences to share their knowledge as comments to this post!

      You are all welcome to share!


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