Microsoft is pushing Yammer deeper into the enterprise with the addition of Yammer to the Office 365 K1 plan. It’s a small step forward, but gives users who don’t have desks access to it where they didn’t have access before.
Microsoft doesn’t say whether it has changed its mind and decided to offer Yammer to users who previously lacked access, except to say that it wants to give it to workers that have no fixed abode.
Sorting It Out
What's more likely is that Microsoft has tied up the desk workers and is now expanding across the enterprise by offering it to those that work offsite for an organization.
The ‘K’ plans were introduced by Microsoft with Office 365 to enterprises that didn’t need the full enterprise suite. They were also designed for enterprises that allowed a number of people shared the same computer.
The cheaper plan, called ‘Kiosk’, costs $2 per user per month and came with email, spam filtering, anti-malware protection and Exchange ActiveSync support for mobile devices.
However, it didn’t have access to SharePoint Online, nor did it have access to Office Online, although users that have a simple Outlook.com account could easily overcome that.
The Enterprise K1 plan, at twice the price ($4 per user per month) came with all the elements of the Kiosk plan, but also had access to SharePoint Online and Office Online.
With this announcement, enterprises on the K1 plan will also be able to provide Yammer to enterprise workers whether they have a desktop in the enterprise or not.
Yammer in the Enterprise
If you are work in an enterprise that uses Microsoft, it is likely that you use or have access to Yammer. This is particularly true of the last year during which Microsoft pumped up the Yammer volume as it sought to make it the de facto Microsoft social layer.
Yammer enables people to collaborate and share feedback with their team and across the company, and also keeps them connected to companywide announcements.
Using it on a mobile device, or an application that is not anchored to a particular desktop, makes workers far more flexible and enables them respond to customer needs with greater agility than has been possible in the past.
Even so, there is still no evidence to suggest that Yammer is being used widely across the enterprise. In fact in July of this year, David Lavenda of Harmon.ie told us that in his experience Yammer is still not being used by workers that have access to it.
There is no reason to think that that will change by offering more enterprise workers access to Yammer by offering it through an additional Office 365 plan.
In fairness to Microsoft, the problem lies not with the product itself but with the way people work. Email is still the collaboration tool of choice by most enterprise workers and despite overflowing inboxes and the rise of social networks, it doesn’t look like it’s going to change any time soon.
That said, Microsoft is adamant about Yammer and its role in the overall Microsoft schemed$ of things, just like it was about the role of Office 365 in this business strategy.
Microsoft has spent the last 30 months promoting Office 365 and offering price incentives to ensure it was picked up as widely as possible. Yammer has still still some way so expect a lot more offers around Yammer in the New Year.