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9 Reasons why Teams is succeeding where Yammer Failed

What has Teams done that Yammer did not? Is that a real question?


What has Teams done that Yammer did not? Is that a real question?

A few years ago, I wrote this and got slammed hard. Some weeks ago, there was chatter about how Microsoft is driving the Teams message. Yes, Teams is the new utopia. Its been on everyone’s lips for the better part of a year and has rewritten how we as traditional Enterprise Content Management people see the world.

Enter, what i call: Chat Based Information Management.

Let’s forget about what Teams is and what it purports to do. That’s a separate conversation. Lets look at, well from my perspective, why Teams has been accepted at the rate that it has and why its “working” for Microsoft where Yammer did not.

  1. The right timing — We have seen text based communication take over our lives. We all use some form of chat app on our phones, millennial’s know of no other way as making an actual call is foreign to them.
  2. Application Maturity — When Yammer became famous enough for Microsoft to buy them, Authentication and Authorization platforms where not available so the product could not “do” what later products like Slack could; surface external data and apps.
  3. Cloud — Well its real, its current and its as powerful as Tesla is to the motor industry. People are no longer worried about where their data is, we no trust the cloud, we trust the providers and we see the value.
  4. The death of Skype — Porting Skype features to Teams means that Teams is no longer just your chat/collab platform, its now your turnkey comms tool.
  5. DevOps — Test Automation and Release Management has finally stabilized and proper methodologies pertaining to continuous innovation, speaking directly to release cadence means that release cycles are drastically reduced. Ergo, more coolness, faster.
  6. Teams uses SharePoint [sic] — Well it does for storage, right? So in theory, where Yammer was outside of SharePoint for the largest part and seen to be competing with SharePoint, Teams uses SharePoint for content storage and some content delivery.
  7. Multi-Platform — The Teams mobile client has definitely ushered in faster usage and usage on the go. The Yammer mobile app is still problematical from a user experience perspective.
  8. Enterprise Social — I don’t think I have ever read that Teams claimed to be an ESN product. Teams showed up and the messaging was around competing with Slack. ESN is soo far removed from product. Yammer was positioned as a silver bullet instead of the ESN methodology required to implement a product like Yammer. When the product failed it was because a proper ESN strategy was not used.
  9. Positioning — Well not that Microsoft got it right but SharePoint people were not told that Teams is the new holy grail and that they now have to work with it instead of SharePoint. For the most part, Teams and SharePoint do different things. YammerGate was very different back in 2012.

So what if there’s more marketing budget for Teams than there was for Yammer. The points above are the real reasons why Teams is succeeding where Yammer failed.

And comparing Yammer to Teams, why? If the Yammer people were confident enough in the science behind Yammer (ESN methodology) then it should not have hit a nerve.

In closing, like I said at last years Ignite during the 2 Guys and SharePoint show, Chat Based Information Management is a huge departure from what we know and should be seen as such.

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Be cool my ninjas.

About the Author:

Alistair Pugin has worked in various capacities in multiple verticals from retail – manufacturing to government, spanning 50 to 50000 users utilizing all aspects of pure Enterprise Information Management.
His current position as an Office Servers MVP in Johannesburg, South Africa, provides him with a mechanism to assist companies with designing their SharePoint environment using “best of breed”, proven methodologies to foster innovation and growth through an ECM framework while incorporating a Knowledge Management strategy.
It is with this vision that he strives to provide customers with a platform for Business Productivity Enrichment, establishing communities of practice through proper analysis and building a knowledge economy that is both quantifiable and achievable.
Grab his stories at 

Specialties: 20+ years pure IT, 16 years ECM, Livelink, Zylab, SharePoint, FileNet, etc. IT Pro dabbling in Dev, ECM Consultant, Suffering from Technophilia

Technology Architect specializing in Business Productivity Enrichment


Pugin, A (2018). 9 Reasons why Teams is succeeding where Yammer Failed. Available at: [Accessed 5 November 2018]

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