In a blog post on critical decisions related to the Yammer acquisition, Forrester Research analyst Rob Koplowitz asked, "Does Yammer become the next Groove, a bold vision of collaboration that goes to Redmond to die?"
When Microsoft acquired Groove Networks in 2005, Groove had created an impressive desktop collaboration tool with peer-to-peer file sync and an offline mode that made it attractive to the military and humanitarian organizations operating in areas with unreliable network connections. Founded by Ray Ozzie, previously famous as the creator of Lotus Notes, Groove was supposed to be a collaboration tool that would help Microsoft reinvent the workplace.
Today, the technology lives on as SharePoint WorkPlace but doesn't really have a life of its own. Koplowitz wondered "whether this will be one of so many botched acquisitions we've seen in our industry, or one of the few really good ones."
To be one of the good ones, Koplowitz believes Microsoft must allow Yammer to remain largely autonomous, maintain the cloud-only model that keeps it nimble, and fulfill the version of a service that can integrate with many enterprise systems, not just SharePoint and its kin.