We have Facebook for sharing cute cat videos, Twitter for bullying and LinkedIn for solving 2nd-grade math problems. And now we have Yammer. What is Yammer and does your organization need it? This post will try to answer these questions.
WHAT IS YAMMER?
Yammer is an Enterprise Social Network (ESN) that is part of your Office 365 subscription. It allows for Facebook-style communication with users inside or outside of your organization.
HOW CAN I ACCESS YAMMER?
You can access Yammer on your desktop using the Yammer link from Office 365 App Launcher.
If you are a road warrior, you can also access Yammer and participate in conversations using your mobile device. Yep, there is an App for that! 🙂
HOW DOES YAMMER INTEGRATE WITH SHAREPOINT AND OFFICE 365?
Historically, Yammer was not very well integrated into other Office 365 assets. As a result, its user adoption suffered. However, recently, there were key improvements made by Microsoft, and now Yammer seems to be much better integrated with the rest of Office 365 components. Here are a few examples:
Integration with Office 365 Groups
If you like the flexibility of Yammer communication (instead of email), yet also enjoy the assets you get as part of Office 365 Group (SharePoint Site, Planner, OneNote, etc.), you can connect Yammer to an Office 365 Group. Here is what you need to do to make it happen:
- In Yammer, click on Gear Icon > Network Admin
- Under Content and Security, click on Security Settings
- Under Office 365 Identity Enforcement, click the Enforce Office 365 identity
- On the next screen, make sure to select Committed option (no the 7-day trial one)
- Click Save button to save the changes
What will happen once you connect Yammer with Office 365 Groups
- When you create a new Yammer Group, it will also provision an Office 365 Group with all the assets you would typically expect in Office 365 Group (SharePoint site collection, Planner, OneNote).
- On the new Yammer Group page, you will notice Office 365 Group resources accessible on the right-side panel. Clicking on each will bring you to the corresponding Office 365 Group asset.
- Likewise, when you click on Conversations feature from Office 365 Group, it will bring you back to the Yammer Group page! That’s correct, there will be no email distribution list or Outlook calendar with the Yammer-connected Group. The email will be replaced with Yammer chat conversation!
You can read more about the above feature here.
Integration with Microsoft Teams
You can also add a link to Yammer feed from Teams. Presently, there is no Yammer Tab to add to a channel, but you can embed Yammer just like a regular website via website tab. Please reference this post for instructions.
Integration with SharePoint
Lastly, you can embed Yammer conversation into a SharePoint page. While you could do this with classical Wiki pages by using Script Editor web part, if you are using modern pages (I hope you are), you have a special Yammer web part now!
DOES OUR ORGANIZATION NEED YAMMER?
Unlike Email, OneDrive and SharePoint which are more of a necessity and a backbone of company collaboration, Yammer is another layer of communication that exists out there. Unlike email, it is less “formal,” and more social/modern communication vehicle. In my opinion, it might be a valuable tool for many, especially larger organizations. Here are the uses cases for Yammer within the organization:
Senior Leadership – employee engagement
When I worked in the corporate world, I hated when some big wig exec would send email blasts with some company news or announcements. It was a one-way communication with no outlet for conversation. Yammer provides a nice alternative for execs to connect and gather feedback in an informal way from employees.
Human Resources communication vehicle
Human Resources might use Yammer for, say, benefits enrollment deadline messages or new hire announcements (the stuff that no one cares about when sent via email).
Alternative for company-wide Email Newsletter
Does your company have an email newsletter? The one that some admin or intern sends around 4 PM on Friday afternoon. The one that no one reads and automatically deletes. I bet it does! Yammer could be a great alternative by introducing an informal way to share the news that you would typically spend weeks to organize into an email newsletter.
Communication with External Stakeholders
Another great benefit of Yammer is that you can create external groups or complete external networks to collaborate with external stakeholders, like clients and vendors.