Yesterday I attended Yammer on Tour in San Francisco. The company's going gangbusters. 5,000,000 users and growing exponentially. Just hired another 45 people. New features galore, including a Dropboxy file store than reads Office formats, an awesome federated search, and the ability to embed Yammer windows in all sorts of applications.
Reading between the lines, I don't think many businesses are embracing social business whole hog. They refer to Yammer as an "overlay" on existing systems. The "systems of record" are still chugging away underneath the social network. People are using Yammer in lieu of the intranet, but in many cases, that intranet is still in place. Going social takes more than shared feeds.
Also, adoption rates are a concern. Is a business "social" if only 10% of the workforce participates? Deloitte has 50,000 people Yammer users; they made 8,500 posts last month. They're in start-up mode, but still, that's not much participation.
Yammer's president described a shift in IT decision-making. IT looked for security, reliability, and compliance. Lines of business were more concerned with ROI and needs. Yammer thinks end users are now controlling the shots; they value usability. Software is following hardware, as freemium apps are riding the bring-your-own-device movement.
"Enterprise social networks are growing at 'social speed,' not network speed." Four factors driving this are: benefits of the cloud, mobility (62% of U.S. workforce works from multiple locations), social (sharing), and viral (voluntary adoption).
No one addressed using social networks to support learning, my current hot button.
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