What is Yammer?
Yammer is an Enterprise Social Network that was founded in 2008. Its main aim is to “bring together people, conversations, content, and business data in a single location”. Yammer was acquired by Microsoft Corporation in 2012 and is now part of the Microsoft Office Division.
How does Yammer work?
Anyone can go to www.yammer.com and start a Yammer network for their company. The first person to start a network using the company’s domain name (“company.com.au”) is the pseudo administrator and can then invite other people in the company to join the network.
For companies with a Microsoft Office 365 subscription, the Office 365 administrator enables Yammer as part of their Office 365 subscription. If a network already exists, it will be commandeered by Yammer on Office 365 and the administration of Yammer will become part of Office 365 admin.
Yammer is a private network. People can only become members of the internal network if they have a company email address. An external network can be established for allowing external user access, but this access is via invitation only. It’s not Facebook style social; Yammer means business.
Don’t people just fool around on social networks?
I’m not going to pretend we don’t use Yammer for fun. We’ve posted funny Friday afternoon photos of ourselves at “beer o’clock”, shared music videos and jokes or photos of things our staff see and might find amusing (such as a person having ‘selfie stick usage issues’). There are pictures of staff wearing funny Christmas hats and exchanging gifts.
These light hearted posts aren’t frivolous; with a distributed team, they help to bridge distance and culture and allow us to share our stories. They bring us closer together as a team.
Two of the more serious ways we use Yammer involve praise and information sharing.
The Praise Button
Yammer provides a brilliant mechanism for lavishing praise on deserving team members in a public forum. Praise is one of those small but often overlooked ways of making someone’s day. People deserve praise when they do great work and it’s extra meaningful to have the rest of the team know you’ve been acknowledged. The praise button on Yammer makes it easy to reward your achievers with the praise they deserve in front of the entire network.
External Links & Work in Progress Updates
Yammer is also an excellent platform for sharing information such as industry news articles, training links and other such items of interest from the web. It allows conversations to start and promotes knowledge sharing throughout the organisation. Colleagues can share updates on projects they are working on, deepening the team’s understand as a whole regarding the functions of various departments in the business.
We’ve not experienced any negative issues with Yammer, although there is of course the potential for concerns such as time wasting or inappropriate content sharing. These factors can both be managed by policy and our experience has been that people do the right thing when using the platform. These concerns shouldn’t deter businesses from implementing social in their organisation.
Yammer provisioned through Office 365 is the safest approach, as the administration or “ownership” of the network falls to the owner of the Office 365 tenant; ie the business. If you’d like to find out more about the potential benefits of Yammer in your workplace, sign up for our free Office 365 strategy session or call 1300 766 554.
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