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Microsoft Yammer Review: "Yammer to improve team collaboration across regions"
https://www.trustradius.com/collaborationMicrosoft YammerUnspecified6.9220101
Stefano Tempesta profile photo
Updated February 05, 2014

Microsoft Yammer Review: "Yammer to improve team collaboration across regions"

Score 8 out of 101
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Overall Satisfaction

We use Yammer for team collaboration and document sharing. Being an international company spread over 4 regions, communication in different time zones is always a challenge. Yammer helps us making teams be in contact, collaborate on writing and reviewing documents, inform team members about news and project progress. We use groups a lot, both public and private. Groups are typically project-based or product-based. Some groups live for the duration of the project and then are archived. Other product oriented groups are open all the time as the product develops. Very useful functionality is the possibility to notify people in other groups of changes to a project or product that may impact others.
  • Document reviewing: We use a lot the functionality of versioning documents and adding comments.
  • Notification: Notify only relevant people about news and project progress, this is critical to us and it reduces clutter in our own inbox but still keeps people informed.
  • Tagging: Files and posts can be tagged and categorized for a better searchability. Over time we have built a fully structure taxonomy of tags that allows us to find information very quickly in the system.
  • Document editing is still poor. The rich text editor is far from being rich, compared to other online editors in the market.
  • Import/export of data is limited. Often we are challenged with the need for importing a massive repository of documents, from file system or SharePoint for example. When closing a group, we also need to archive all posts and documents contained.
  • Layout personalization: Very little can be changed to the layout of a Yammer site. We'd like to introduce more advanced branding of the site and increase the portal identity.
  • Reduced waste of time and emails generated in communication among geographically disperse teams.
  • Improved searchability of information, files and discussions.
  • Feeling of being connected to the overall organization and across departments.
I wasn't involved in the selection of Yammer, but compared to Saba Social, Yammer offers overall best performance, deeper level of programmability and ease of searching information. On the converse, Yammer is less user-centric and more group-centric, so it is more challenging, compared to the Saba offering, to know what a specific person has been doing. However, the flow of posts and documents in a group feed is better structured in a Yammer group than it is in a Saba group.
Overall happy with our experience of Yammer, although integration with SharePoint is still not great, and document editing is far from being satisfactory. If document editing and versioning is a strong requirement, other tools in the market do it better. Yammer excels in the collaborative part of it, allowing quick comments and sharing of documents, tagging and notification.
1) Is Yammer a replacement of SharePoint for enterprise collaboration and document sharing, or can the two platforms work together, and how?
2) Can I do full editing, versioning and reviewing of documents directly on Yammer, or do I still need Office-like applications for editing?
3) How robust and complete is the mobile offering?

Evaluation and Selection

  • Product Features
  • Product Usability
I was not involved in the purchasing process, but the key factors that influenced the decision of my company to adopt Yammer for enterprise social networking were:
  1. Possibility to post news and status updates to individuals and groups
  2. Grouping of people in project teams that are close and limited in duration, or open and never-ending for conversation
  3. Reviewing and versioning of documents, with advanced taxonomy classification and search features
  4. Easy to implement and use, integrable with SharePoint (used for our intranet) and accessible from mobile devices not connected to the corporate VPN
No significant changes, the selection process was satisfactory. I would review better the mobility offering, as the current mobile apps still present limitations compared to the fully-fledged browser-based product, which we expected to be addressed by now.
Also, integration with SharePoint is still limited, despite both being Microsoft products. Expectation was to have the possibility to store documents on SharePoint, using Yammer as the collaboration interface, and to run SharePoint workflows that perform actions on Yammer. This level of integration is only achievable by using third-party tools, like our own Nintex Workflow and Nintex Live solutions.

Usability

Overall easy to use and intuitive, although limited in the possibility to personalize layout and look & feel of a site. Some functionalities are not easy to use, like document editing, but some others are quick and effective (posts and tagging above all). Performance and responsiveness of the Yammer site is typically acceptable, in my experience.
ProsCons
Like to use
Relatively simple
Easy to use
Technical support not required
Consistent
Quick to learn
Convenient
Feel confident using
Familiar
None
  • Posting news and status updates
  • Uploading files
  • Tagging contributions
  • Editing documents
  • Data import/export
  • Mobile use
Yes - Limited functionality, no document editing, very different functionality from platform to platform. The app for Windows 8 is strongly limited to the news feed only to make it practically useless. There is no integration with other apps to make the experience richer (for example Office apps, or Lync/Skype for contacting people directly).