WhYammer?
Updated November 26, 2014

WhYammer?

Joakim Berg | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Review Source

Overall Satisfaction with Microsoft Yammer

We currently use Yammer as the main platform for internal communication and collaboration in one country. The most common ways to use Yammer are to share information and ask for input from colleagues. Yammer has erased both geographical and departmental silos within some business units. However, not all business units has adopted Yammer yet, and there are still work to be done to break down the silos between business units.

Besides collaboration in, for example product development, we use Yammer to find sales leads, creating marketing material, e.g. social media content, and newsletters and to some extent also share best practices. Yammer enables us to collaborate better and faster, makes us more productive, unlocks more business opportunities, drives innovation and make employees more engaged and feel more involved and part of the company's longterm journey.

We aim to start unlocking more business value by starting the Social Journey, which is Yammer's way of working to convert vision and strategy to tactical Use Cases that focuses on solving or improving the company "pains". We have not appointed a Community Manager so far, but as Customer Success Manager (CSM), I am promoting that we do.

Yammer is a great way to change the way management communicate internally; from sending out long monthly corporate newsletters to more frequent bits of information that is both more personal and focusing more on creating a dialogue with the employees. However, to get both top and middle management to write themselves, be personal, to post more often, to be brief, and to participate in dialogues, are proven to be more difficult than I have anticipated. Management understands the value that Yammer can create, and they are committed to use it. However, they need to really understand that they lead the employees by setting the example (walk the talk), and thus must face their own fear of making themselves visible to other people via a digital medium that is not email. As CSM I see that the most important Use Case to focus on, will be to get inspire and teach management how to use Yammer the wight way. The second most important Use Case will be to focus on Yammer Champions, the evangelist in the organization that can help us nudge the laggards to adopt Yammer. When these Use Cases have reached enough effect, we can start looking at other Use Cases, such as driving innovation, breaking down silos between business units, making more people involved in our social media marketing work etc.
  • Yammer is user friendly and (to many of us) intuitive enough to get started using without training. There are many collaboration platforms out there, but the web interface is really great and the device apps are ok as well.
  • Yammer is multitenant and evolves constantly by making well-tested and small incremental changes. I feel assured that Yammer will be an even better solution in the future, thus a secure investment.
  • Yammer is the hub for creating a social intranet together with Sharepoint. Finally we can make the intranet worth the investment by making people wanting to use it on a daily basis. The integration today is somewhat slim, with the Web App, SSO etc,. However, it's one of Microsoft's highest priorities to make the integration deeper.
  • Yammer is a great platform to create Customer Networks that really drive customer engagement. The user experience is great and the way employees can connect with customers is creating much value.
  • Security. The data is stored in the USA, and with the current NSA debate, this makes our European customers a bit concerned. However, the European Commission, who overseas the data security within EU, uses Yammer.
  • Device app functionality. Many of us only use login to their social media accounts, e.g. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, on our smartphones or tablets. This is relevant for our work tools as well. However, you cannot yet edit Notes or see current #-tags in the apps.
  • Sharepoint integration. This is so important for our customers that the current level of integration must be considered as a weakness even though Microsoft has it as one of their top priorities.
  • Outlook integration. Many of us use Outlook for email, calendar and contacts. To break the habits of sending emails, Yammer and other ESN-tools face the challenge of having people switching from Outlook to Yammer to send a message. However, Yammer is working on an integration to Office and Outlook to bring the ESN-experience closer to the productivity tools.
  • Adoption. When an ESN is implemented the wrong way, e.g. you force it on the organization without explaining the benefits for the user and not providing enough instructions and training to get started, it may well backfire on you and build a wall of resistance from the organization. Thus, to create ROI you need to think before you launch Yammer, and take help from people who know how to do it, e.g. a CSM or a CM.
  • Belonging. Yammer makes people feel more involved and up to date on what's happening. This increase employee engagement and helps management to steer the organization in the right direction.
  • Find blind spots. Yammer enables people to share ideas and prototypes with many people both within the company and invited customers (via an external network). This is a great way to discover blind spots and other flaws, to give you time to adjust them before going to market with a new product or service.
  • Find expertise. Yammer makes it much faster for anyone to find answers. Thus, time spent on finding an answer to a customers questions is not only reduced enormously, but Yammer enables you to get answers to questions that earlier was left unanswered because you couldn't find information at all.
  • Collaboration. To work together to create a presentation, social media content, a newsletter, a report, is much easier and faster when using Yammer. And you can get valuable input from people you never thought of asking.
The fact that Yammer is a multitenant tool, owned by Microsoft, and the way they work to constantly improve the product, makes me assured that it will become an even better ESN-tool in the future. The integration to Office 365 and other Microsoft software will make it fit in nicely with the entire technology platform, since we use many of Microsoft's solutions. Others things that I consider is that I like the Yammer spirit and people, and how they work together. They are passionate about creating the best ESN-experience. And passion is extremely important!
Yammer is really great to drive productivity, engagement and innovation.

Yammer enables personal cross-communication on all levels within the company which is great to make the management more connected to the rest of the organization and it also gives everyone their own voice. Thus, by getting more in touch with what's going on within the company, and by being able to share your own thoughts, ideas and work, Yammer increases employee engagement. Additionally, by making the conversations and information visible and searchable to everyone, Yammer enables the possibility for serendipity, which outside of an ESN is almost impossible. And within an organization, serendipity is something that really drives innovation and business value.

Yammer is not well-suited for many things, for example project management, CRM or writing private notes. However, it can be integrated to such apps that it is therefore not necessary to be a Swiss Army Knife.

To create real and relevant business value of any ESN, including Yammer, you should hire a skilled Community Manager (CM) who can work with management and the organization to make sense of not only Yammer, but the whole Employee Work Life: People + Business Processes + Technology. All three aspects of the Employee Work Life are connected and employees need help to make sense of when to use the right tool and they need to understand what possibilities each tool or infrastructure (ESN) can create. The CM's role will also be keep the community healthy and growing, and to help driving the right leadership and to develop the corporate culture.