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Making the Most of SharePoint AND Yammer

Social Business, Social Collaboration, Making the Most of SharePoint AND YammerWith every announcement Microsoft make about their roadmap for SharePoint and Yammer integration, there comes a flurry of excitement and activity from customers and industry experts alike.

However, a year on from the acquisition, there remains little in the way of practical advice on how to run the two products side-by-side in the time between now and full integration. This article:

  • Outlines what I consider to be the five most viable options for running SharePoint Social and or Yammer at present
  • Evaluates advantages, disadvantages and hosting requirements for each option
  • Provides recommendations for organizations in this decision-making process

Options Overview

options_overview.png

Before we discuss each option in a little more detail, I should outline some assumptions made:

  • User familiarity with Yammer is an advantage. Jared Spataro has recommended “Go Yammer!” as it will ultimately “power the social experiences in SharePoint, Office 365, Dynamics, and more.”
  • Using Yammer for social is an advantage. Yammer’s micro-blogging capabilities (which include polling, praising and posting events) are better than SharePoint’s
  • Having a single tool for social is an advantage. Providing multiple tools could confuse users and compromise governance

Option 1 - Yammer for social, some integration with SharePoint

This option is available to SharePoint Server customers only

yammer feed.png

This option takes advantage of the only integration Microsoft currently offer between SharePoint on-premises and Yammer, in the form of the Yammer App for SharePoint. It allows organizations to “replace the social features in SharePoint Server 213 with equivalent Yammer features ….”

Although employees are able to use the Yammer website and mobile clients for full functionality, they will regularly use a stripped down version of the feed directly from the SharePoint interface instead.

Advantages:

  • Users become familiar with Yammer
  • Users can post to Yammer from the SharePoint interface
  • Users have a single tool for social

Disadvantages:

  • In order to use full Yammer functionality, users need to navigate between the SharePoint and Yammer interfaces

Tip: Microsoft’s Integrate Yammer with on-premises SharePoint 2013 environments whitepaper can be used as a technical guide on how to remove SharePoint social features and replace them with the Yammer App.

Option 2 - Yammer for social, no integration with SharePoint

This option is available to SharePoint Server customers only

yammer for social.png

This option is similar to Option 1 in that it removes social features in SharePoint.

However, only the Yammer website and mobile clients are used for social as the Yammer App for SharePoint is so limited in functionality. The SharePoint interface is used for traditional workloads but has no social features.

Some integration is sacrificed for more regular use of Yammer’s full functionality.

Advantages:

  • Users become familiar with Yammer
  • Users have a single tool for social

Disadvantages:

  • Users cannot post to Yammer from the SharePoint interface

Tip: Again, Microsoft’s Integrate Yammer with on-premises SharePoint 2013 environments whitepaper can be used as a technical guide on how to remove SharePoint social features.

Option 3 - SharePoint and Yammer for social with guidelines

This option is available to both SharePoint Server and SharePoint Online (Office 365) customers

 

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