Yammer, the company that provides real time communications solutions to businesses has acquired oneDrum, the platform for creating better collaboration between applications. This means that Yammer will now have the capability through oneDrum to get applications to talk to each other in ways that they might not usually.

Yammer opened up its European business last year with just three people, now there is a team of 50 and it is expected to grow to 150 by the end of 2012.

“This is Yammer’s first acquisition,” points out Georg Ell, EMEA General Manager for Yammer. “When we started looking at oneDrum we saw that the technology and the people are a great fit for us. It’s an extensible product that oneDrum has and we are excited about what we can do in the future.”

OneDrum will bring, desk top synchronisation to Yammer. So, when you upload files into groups on Yammer it will synchronise those files down to folders that relate to those groups on your desk top and vice versa.

“Yammer was built to be social from the ground up, so it’s natural for it to be the platform for maximizing content value. I’m proud that we’ll become part of the pioneer and leader in enterprise social networking to make our vision a reality,” says Jasper Westaway, Founder and CEO of oneDrum.

oneDrum took part in the Start Up Rally at last year’s The Next Web Conference. Here’s our own Martin Bryant chatting with Jasper Westaway.

The integration of oneDrum’s technology also means that users can co-author documents in Microsoft Office products. You can see the changes character by character in the document as you work together, just like working in Google docs.

The function is not a plug-in but a wrap-around so it will not slow down the process and it makes collaborative work much more efficient. Once the documents are synced they become discoverable in the Yammer environment and  people can talk them in Yammer without having to learn new skills or change existing habits.

For those concerned about cross platform security, Yammer offers admin controls for content. Data in motion will be encrypted using 256-bit SSL/TLS and data at rest will be encrypted using 256-bit AES. Viewing permissions are based on group access, so when a user is removed from a group or network, access to files is revoked accordingly. Admins can mark content as read-only, restricting who can edit a file and a version history tracks all the changes to a document and allows a previous version to be reverted.

The new features should be available this Summer and as with the existing model from Yammer, those who pay and those who use the free version will see a difference in storage capability.

Alex van Someren of Amadeus Partners in Cambridge, the main investors behind oneDrum is also pleased with the new deal. “This is an awesome business and it has taken some years to solve some very hard problems. The new  functionality has only been available for a few months via oneDrum and it has attracted the attention of one of the greatest collaboration businesses in the world. It’s clear that OneDrum is providing a solution that was sought by millions of people. We’re absolutely thrilled.”

Working together

The move will mean changes for oneDrum as well as expansion for Yammer in Europe. “All nine members of the oneDrum team are headed to San Francisco and they are very excited about the move,” says van Soren. “It will help them engage with Yammer much more closely and get the integration done as quickly as possible. Everyone’s feeling very good about that. As an investor this is a great result and we feel there is going to be a great return.”

Ell stresses that although the oneDrum team is heading over to the States, Yammer is also committed to investing in the UK. “We are a huge importer of talent here in the UK,” he says. “We chose London over New York when we chose to source our engineering talent. Over the next few weeks a team from San Francisco will be here interviewing Ruby on Rails engineers. We need to get the integration right and so the intention is to have oneDrum work with us in San Francisco while we expand our engineering team here.”