Yammer – Microsoft’s social networking trump card
Applying social networking techniques, technologies and facets in a business context can potentially accelerate business. This also paves a wave towards “consumerization of enterprise”.
Enterprise social networking (ESN) can indeed bring about a transformative change in an organization. It isn’t just about offering a platform to “chat” but a platform to empower employees to
- Get access to every Business decision and roadmap
- Express their progressive thoughts and ideas
- Create a knowledge base where documents and discussion can be shared
- Generate changes in CRM, BI et al
The key aspect however that is common in all organizations is “Public” angle of enterprise social networking. Though Business Leaders agree that ESN triggers a huge avenue, they desire
- privacy and security
- control to protect and reflect the brand- “social governance”
Microsoft bought enterprise social-networking vendor Yammer for $1.2 billion in June 2012. Yammer has five million corporate users, and the enterprise social media platform touches 85 percent of Fortune 500 companies.
With Yammer, Microsoft is offering what it takes for an organization to have enhanced innovation, higher collaboration & engagement and better decision making.
Yammer’s CTO , Adam Pisoni says “Yammer is not a product with a set of features, its rather a set of experiments at any given time”. Having said that, it is clearly evident that enterprise social networking is a different ballgame all-together. Today, it is significantly more about adapting to potential changes rather than resisting. Microsoft and Yammer together can certainly bring about powerful features to their respective visions thru each other’s expertise and technologies.
Power and Automation technology company ABB will deploy Microsoft Office 365 and Yammer to its employees worldwide.
The roadmap shared by Microsoft indicates a phased out approach for O365 and Yammer integration. But the interesting aspect is that Microsoft is bringing Yammer across Dynamics CRM, Outlook, Exchange, Skype and Lync too.
During the first phase, some specific milestones will be
- O365’s SharePoint Newsfeed will get replaced by Yammer’s newsfeed
- Newsfeed link will get replaced by Yammer link
- Yammer app will be also available thru SharePoint store
During the second phase, the below milestones are targeted
- Enable Single Sign On Experience with seamless navigation right inside of Office 365′s global navigation bar.
- Build identity and document management capabilities enabling editing and coediting of PowerPoint, Excel and Word documents.
Additionally, from a long run perspective they will be integrated from an Email, IM and video-conferencing capability. 2014 onwards, Microsoft will be adding “Social Enhancements ” every 90 days in O365.
Microsoft is planning to offer these services on Yammer as a standalone product and capabilities integrated with O365 in two versions,
- Free basic Yammer offering
Yammer Enterprise offering with $3/user/month
Additionally for Enterprise Licensing Agreement clients, Microsoft is offering Yammer in all versions of O365 (E1, E2, E3, E4) at no extra cost.
Some of the cool features that Yammer will be offering to all Office users are discussed below:
Yammer integrates with SharePoint and lets you fully maximize your SharePoint experience, adding a real time social layer to all your conversations (My Sites, Team Sites or O365).
Collaboration will indeed have no barriers to language/geographies too. Microsoft has embedded Microsoft Translator integration within Yammer, allowing users to instantly translate Yammer conversations into their native languages.
Microsoft is indeed working towards programs that are truly transformative in nature. With Yammer, this just sets one step more towards simplification and agility for users. Yammer with its truly social angle and Microsoft with it’s truly technology angle, can indeed open up new conversations for business.