Putting an end to all speculations,Microsoft announced that its process of acquiring Yammer is now complete and they have closed the deal for US$1.2 billion. The news of Microsoft’s intention of possessing Yammer came almost a month back.

Following the acquisition, Yammer will now work under Microsoft’s Office Division, led by president, Kurt DelBene. Nevertheless, it has also been clarified that Yammer’s team will continue to report to its previous CEO David Sacks.

Post its cash deal with Yammer, Microsoft announced that it will continue to provide Yammer’s software as a stand-alone product. They also said that they will make the product better by integrating it with various applications such as SharePoint, Office and Lync, and Dynamics business applications.

Yammer’s software is popular among users because it is cloud-based and offers attractive features like that of Facebook and Twitter for workplace use by making use of its enterprise social networking (ESN).

The benefit that ESN offers to users is that it allows them to make changes in the features offered. Employee profiles, activity streams, microblogging, discussion forums, wikis, idea generation software, joint document sharing and editing are some of the features that ESN products offer. Some of the other features that these products offer are tagging, rating and reviewing of content, and IT management and security capabilities.

Keeping in mind the changes that have been witnessed in the modes of communication recently, features that ESN products offer are considered as compulsory in the product. It is only with the help of ESN software that one can have access to email, IM, Web meetings, IP telephony and video conferencing.

Experts are of the view that the demand for products with ESN software is going to grow strongly in the near future as this product holds the capability to improve the way in which employees have been interacting and working with each other.

First ESN product was launched around 2007 when it was used by smaller vendors such as Socialtext, NewsGator, Jive Software and others. Later as it gained popularity larger merchants such as Oracle, Salesforce.com, IBM and SAP started including its features in their business applications. Not only this, a research revealed that the investment in ESN is growing annually and that it is expected to witness annual growth rate of 61 percent by 2016.

Microsoft’s collaboration with Yammer, leaders in ESN has come as no surprise as the company could not trust SharePoint with its ESN features anymore.

“Yammer will be an important addition to Microsoft’s cloud services, and this acquisition underscores our commitment to helping customers move to the cloud. Together we’ll deliver the most complete solution in the marketplace,” DelBene said of the deal during the press conference.

However, what yet needs to be seen is how much freedom Microsoft will give to Yammer when it comes to incorporating with other products from other vendors.

Yammer’s software at present is being used by more than 5 million corporate users in more than 85 percent of the Fortune 500 companies.

The company provides a basic, free version of its software and three fee-based tiers, which have helped the company, raise a fund of almost $142 million, till date.