To Yammer or Not to Yammer? That is the SharePoint Question…

Yammer is a private social network that allows its users to connect with colleagues as well as external partners, clients, etc.  On Yammer, users can join groups, follow individuals to receive status updates, participate in conversations, send messages and more.  Since Microsoft purchased Yammer, they have been working on integrating it in to Office 365.

Organizations have the option of replacing the SharePoint Newsfeed with Yammer as well as adding Yammer feeds to SharePoint sites through the use of the Yammer app.  Yammer requires a separate account, however, there are integration tools available that can be used to sync with Active Directory to provision new accounts, configure Single Sign On and map existing Yammer accounts to Office 365 accounts.  Those integration tools make implementing Yammer into the organization much easier than it was before (previously required users to log in separately).

With the improvements Microsoft has made to SharePoint’s social collaboration features, I asked myself why should organizations use Yammer over SharePoint?

If you asked Jared Spataro, General Manager of Enterprise Social at Microsoft, he would tell you to go with Yammer as he mentions in his blog, “Work like a network! Enterprise social and the future of work”.

As we see in Jared’s blog, Microsoft is putting tons of energy into Yammer and their new social experiences like the Office Graph and Oslo.

The Office Graph uses signals from email, social conversations, documents, sites, instant messages, meetings and more to map the relationships between the people and things that make businesses go.

Oslo will be the first application to use the Office Graph.  It will provide a natural way for users to navigate, discover, and search people and information across an organization.  The Garage Series gives you a more in-depth look in to what’s coming with the Office Graph and Oslo.

Jared shares that Microsoft will not invest further in developing SharePoint’s social features.  For those organizations with on premise environments, he states that “Microsoft is investing to help their customers easily manage hybrid environments so they can connect their on premises farms to their in-the-cloud social network.”

So while I feel that the Yammer integration is not as mature yet with only the ability to add feeds to sites or switch out the SharePoint Newsfeed with Yammer, I do believe that it is the wave of the future with much more to come and the sooner we get on board, the easier the transition will be for us when the time comes.



Author: Shanelle Gibbons
Shanelle lives in the Tampa, FL area with her husband. She is ITIL Foundations 2011 Certified. Shanelle has a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration and a Master of Science in Management Information Systems.

Leave a Reply