Microsoft Continues Yammering it Out


Microsoft Continues Yammering it Out

It’s been a year since the acquisition of Yammer by Microsoft and there’s still a lot to be questioned and excited about. Since the acquisition, usage of Yammer has increased by 55% totaling 8MM users. With the powerful force of Microsoft behind it, that number will surely skyrocket once the integration plans are in place. But wait, let’s back up. What is Yammer?

Yammer is a social networking tool, similar to Twitter and Facebook, connecting individuals for the purpose of collaboration and knowledge sharing, but within a company. This unique collaboration tool enables associates to connect with their partners and peers, share files, receive instantaneous feedback and co-author documents. With the ability to access Yammer from any device (i.e. Tablet, PC, Mac, iOS, Android, Windows) these functions can essentially be performed while on-the-go, increasing productivity and response times. Using Yammer in a business environment bridges the gap of geographical barriers for communication. Depending on the size of your firm and number of offices, this could be a real game-changer. And of course, depending on the culture and nature of your firm, Yammer will be used in different ways. Is this something your firm has considered? How are you currently sharing documents and communicating with your peers?

You may be wondering how Yammer is different than every other collaboration tool, such as SharePoint. Valid point. The truth is, there’s a lot of overlap which is why such a thoughtful integration plan is taking place. The integration will create a single sign-on, furthering the integration and commitment between the two. Document sharing, versioning, editing and tagging are all functions that can be performed by both Yammer and SharePoint, but there are differences. Below is a helpful chart outlining functionality differences, also found here:


Yammer SharePoint 2013
Document Uploading
Via File Explorer Yes Yes
Via Drag and Drop No Yes
Document Versioning
Version History Yes – single version type Yes – major and minor versions
Check In / Check Out No Yes
Content Approval No Yes
Document Commenting
Commenting in Browser Yes Yes
Commenting in Office Client No Yes
Document Co-Authoring
Co-Authoring in Browser No Yes
Co-Authoring in Office Client No Yes
Document Rating
Trending Yes Yes
Liking No Yes
Star Rating No Yes
Document Pinning
Out-the-box Yes No
Custom No Yes
Document Sharing
Share with a group Yes Yes
Share with a user Yes Yes
Share via email Yes Yes
Document Following and Alerts
Following Yes Yes
Alerts No Yes
Related Content
Out-the-box Yes – files, notes and links No
Custom No Yes
Document Metadata
System Defined Yes Yes
User Defined No Yes – including Managed Metadata Service
Document Tagging
Tagging Yes – via Topics Yes – via Tags and Notes
Document Workflow
Approval Workflows No Yes – out-the-box and custom
Custom Workflows No Yes
Document Retention
End User No Yes – Recycle Bin
eDiscovery No Yes


Here is also a list of hot projects to connect both the Yammer and SharePoint experiences, found at SharePoint’s blog:

  • SharePoint search integration. We’re enabling SharePoint search to search Yammer conversations and setting the stage for deeper, more powerful apps that combine social and search.
  • Yammer groups in SharePoint sites. The Yammer app in the SharePoint store will allow you to manually replace a SharePoint site feed with a Yammer group feed, but we recognize that many customers will want to do this programmatically. We’re working on settings that will make Yammer feeds the default for all SharePoint sites. (See below for a mock-up of a Yammer group feed surfaced as an out-of-the-box component of a SharePoint team site.)
  • Yammer messaging enhancements. We’re redesigning the Yammer user experience to make it easier to use as a primary communication tool. We’ll also be improving directed messaging and adding the ability to message multiple groups at once.
  • Email interoperability. We’re making it easier than ever to use Yammer and email together. You’ll be able to follow an entire thread via email, respond to Yammer messages from email, and participate in conversations across Yammer and email.
  • External communication. Yammer works great inside an organization, but today you have to create an external network to collaborate with people outside your domain. We’re improving the messaging infrastructure so that you can easily include external parties in Yammer conversations.
  • Mobile appsWe’ll continue to invest in our iPad, iPhone, Android, Windows Phone 8, and Windows 8 apps as primary access points. The mobile apps are already a great way to use Yammer on the go, and we’ll continue to improve the user experience as we add new features to the service.
  • Localization. We’re localizing the Yammer interface into new languages to meet growing demand across the world.

Until it’s clear what the Yammer experience will look and feel like, it’s hard to say it’s a “must do.” There are a lot of real benefits to Yammer; I have successfully used it before. With the integration of SharePoint (which will be the first phase), Skype, Office365, Dynamics CRM, etc, there is a lot of real potential in Yammer’s longevity. We’re looking forward to it. Are you?



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