Business management software provider Access Group has acquired East London startup Sazneo for an undisclosed sum.

The acquisition of Sazneo’s online collaboration tech, which has been likened to Yammer, comes just a few months after Colchester, England-based Access officially launched its SaaS-based self-service platform, Access aCloud. The acquisition is designed to accelerate the integration of persistent instant messaging services into its product suite by up to 18 months.

We first reported on Sazneo last year, a platform that enables companies to have really smart online conversations within their teams. It’s a real-time group messaging service for businesses that includes IM functionality, topic-tagging and voting-style Q&A, and The Next Web’s Martin Bryant said at the time:

“While a number of solutions have popped up to help remote teams stay in touch, UK-based Sazneo may have come up with the best solution for easy and organised group conversation that we’ve seen yet.”

Following on from this, the good people at Sazneo launched a new iPhone-focused Web app, aimed at helping teams communicate and stay connected on the move, the lack of which was one of our main gripes initially. Indeed, Sazneo subsequently launched as a Web app for the iPhone, iPad, Android and BlackBerry.

Then, in January last year, the company launched Sazneo Embed, which let companies harness the power of Sazneo without the hassle of launching the application across the company. Businesses could essentially roll out real-time group messaging capability within the systems they were already using, be it SharePoint, an in-house intranet or a CRM system.

Access’s portfolio covers ERP, finance, HR, Payroll, warehousing, business intelligence, professional service automation and manufacturing, with more than 10,000 UK organizations tapping its tech to date.

“Sazneo goes beyond the social media tools currently available, taking interactive dialogue to a whole new level,” says Access CEO Chris Bayne. “This is Yammer for the enterprise, but for real-time discussion rather than status updates. Sazneo keeps a complete audit trail of conversations including access to documents and links so everyone involved has full visibility and our aim is to build the ‘go to’ place for communicating and collaborating with employees, customers and the supply chain. This technology makes that easily available across any platform including tablets and smartphones.”