Yammer is back into the limelight, with Microsoft rolling out the social networking service to all its eligible Office 365 Business clients.

The service is scheduled to reach its end users in three waves, the first of which will target customers with a business subscription who have fewer than 150 licenses. Of course, one should be for Yammer.

The next wave of Yammer will start on March 1 and will bring the social networking service to bigger entities that own fewer than 5,000 licenses. Organizations that benefit from an education subscription will not be covered by the second Yammer wave.

The final wave begins on April 1 and addresses the entities that have education subscriptions. That is when the rest of Office 365 Business customers will get their hands on Yammer.

Microsoft aims to see all Office 365 users integrate Yammer's potential into the Office 365 app launcher. This would allow people who use Yammer to begin conversations from within Video Portal, Office 365, SharePoint and soon, Skype Broadcast and Delve.

The three-phase rollout is the first step into turning Yammer from a separate software product into a naturally-embedded part of Microsoft's business instruments.

Microsoft purchased Yammer in 2012 for $1.2 billion, but the company was discreet about its development. Speculation loomed about the destiny of the pricey corporate purchase, but Microsoft's announcement throws some light on the matter.

Figures show that at the time of the purchase, about 200,000 businesses were using Yammer. Now, the number exceeds 500,000, showing that the adoption rate was rather low for the social networking service.

During the first half of 2016, Yammer will be packed into the Office 365 Groups service.

This allows customers to turn Yammer conversations into Skype calls, schedule and arrange meetings using Outlook calendar, share files in OneDrive and update task lists in Planner. As all these activities will be available from inside Yammer's groups, the service could give a serious boost to users' productivity.

It should be noted that Yammer has some serious competition to face. Slack is the first example that comes to mind, and Microsoft noticed the potential. That is why the company implemented Skype integration in January 2016, allowing users to start off a Skype call from within Slack.

A similar attempt to mix social media and business tools came from Facebook, which revealed Facebook at Work last year. The software will purportedly be available this year.

Because of Microsoft's focused efforts to integrate Yammer into its Office 365 for business customers, enterprise environment could be the perfect place for Yammer to spread its wings.

Microsoft says that Yammer will be set to launch in the default mode, but adds that admins will have the possibility to shut it off, should they desire to.

"If you are not ready to fully adopt Yammer in your organization, you can un-assign Yammer licenses for those who should not access Yammer from Office 365," the company's official blog reads.

The integration of social networking services into traditional productivity tools such as Office 365 triggers another question. Does Yammer stand a chance in its competition with the basic email, a tool that does not show its age, despite having been here forever?

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