Enterprise social networking platform Yammer has announced new integration with SAP, enabling updates from SAP’s software to appear as activity stories in Yammer’s news feed, Ticker.

The Yammer SAP Connector is a plug-in that allows users to follow data objects in SAP. When changes to those objects occur, an activity story describing the event will appear in Yammer’s Ticker with a link back to the original record in SAP, enabling users to take further action.

SAP customers who have installed the Yammer SAP Connector will see updates from all business suite applications including HR, ERP and CRM. The Connector was built in partnership with Freeborders, a certified SAP developer with expertise in SAP integration.

SAP is one of six companies announcing integration with Yammer today, alongside GageIn, Kindling, Moreover Technologies, Planview and Sparqlight. They join a long list of third-party software companies that already integrate with the social business platform using its open APIs, including Badgeville, Box, Expensify, Microsoft SharePoint 2010, NetSuite, Salesforce.com, Spigit, TripIt and Zendesk.

These companies integrate with Yammer in one of three ways:

  • Via a Login Button, which allows users to log in to third-party sites using their Yammer credentials;
  • By embedding Yammer feeds into existing business applications;
  • By using Ticker to publish real-time activity stories from third-party business applications in a scrolling feed.

“The integrations we announced today are a continuation of our strategy to be the social layer on top of all systems of record companies rely on, improving collaboration and decision-making around critical business activity,” said David Sacks, chief executive of Yammer. New integrations will be available by 31 March.

IDC analyst Michael Fauscette said that adapting legacy systems like SAP's ERP software to the rapid pace of innovation and change can be a significant challenge, but social business offerings like Yammer can help.

“By providing a social engagement layer that aggregates content from both cloud and on-premises systems, Yammer wants to help organisations unlock content that lives in legacy systems and make it more accessible and engaging for employees and mobile workers,” he said.

Yammer is used by 85 percent of Fortune 500 companies and a significant amount of the Global 2000, so overlap between Yammer's and SAP's customer bases is already significant.

A report by Forrester Research at the end of 2011 predicted that enterprise social collaboration software, which offers Facebook and Twitter-like capabilities adapted for workplaces, will grow strongly in the coming years, eclipsing demand for more traditional communications and collaboration products.