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7/15/2011
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BrainYard News Briefs: Yammer And Badgeville

Better SharePoint integration, Windows Phone app coming to Yammer. Gamification company BadgeVille raises $12 million.

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Yammer Says New Windows Phone and SharePoint Offerings Coming Soon

Yammer says a new mobile client for Windows Phone and an upgraded SharePoint integration are both on the way.

A Yammer application for Windows Mobile users has been available since 2009, but the mobile client has been retooled for the newer Windows Phone operating system, including its upcoming "Mango" release. The software will be available as a free download in the Windows Phone marketplace later this quarter.

Key features include threaded conversations, multi-feed access, member and directory profiles, private messages, and Live Tile integration (the ability to receive notifications on the Windows Phone start screen without opening the application).

Yammer also is releasing version 3.0 of its SharePoint Web Part, which embeds the Yammer social experience within a SharePoint portal. This new integration notifies Yammer users of messages and conversations created within SharePoint and replicates social profiles between Yammer and SharePoint to prevent duplication of effort. In addition to posting documents, users can now post other list items such as events and tasks from SharePoint to their Yammer feed. Yammer is also making it easier to embed simple versions of the Yammer feed in SharePoint pages.

Included in Yammer's premium offering, the Web Part will be available in the third quarter.

Badgeville Gets $12.2 Million For Gamification

Badgeville closed a $12 million Series B round led by Norwest Venture Partners (NVP) and El Dorado Ventures, with participation from Trinity Ventures and Webb Investment Network.

Badgeville CEO Kris Duggan said in an interview that the funding, taken together with other recent rounds of investment such as $6.5 million for competitor Bunchball, "is a good indication that there's a real category forming around this gamification thing, that there is a real business here."

Badgeville provides a social gaming engine, along with widgets that can be embedded in any website to show social status and opportunities to compete. The idea behind gamification is that any business that values a strong online community can benefit from working more like a game, with recognition and rankings for participants.

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