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Assessing Microsoft's Position in the Online Collaboration Space with Yammer, Office 365

by Bridget McCrea
Contributing Writer,

No business is an island in today's connected, global environment. Organizations partner with external groups, depend on mobile workforces, and serve customers all over the world. Enabling these activities is a group of software vendors that have carved a place in the cloud-based online collaboration space, where the web has become a facilitator for collaborations across many different channels and partners.

In a recent report The Forrester Wave: Cloud Strategies Of Online Collaboration Software Vendors, the research firm examined the role that online collaboration tools - which sit outside of the firewall and are easily delivered to both PCs and mobile devices - play in allowing information to flow freely between those behind, and those outside of, the corporate firewall.

Culling Through the Options

In the report, Forrester evaluated the online collaboration offerings from companies like Microsoft, Cisco, Google, IBM,, and Box, among others. To be evaluated, the vendors had to provide business-oriented collaboration services for at least three years and at least two enterprise-size (1,000+ employees) deployments.

The "big three" on Forrester's list were IBM's Jabber/WebEx Connect,'s Chatter, and Microsoft's Office 365. Microsoft further entrenched itself in the collaborative online space by acquiring enterprise social network service Yammer in June 2012. According to the Forrester report, the acquisition put Microsoft the in the position to leverage Yammer's "enterprise strategy built on ...

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About Bridget McCrea

Bridget McCrea covers business and technology topics for various publications. She can be reached at

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