SharePoint and Yammer are teaming up and social business will never be the same. But Yammer is still not fully integrated into SharePoint, and mobile continues to lag even in 2013, so we hosted a webinar on just what it all means.
Social Business in Yammer versus SharePoint Newsfeed
When should companies opt for Yammer instead of SharePoint's native social features must be one of the common questions Microsoft gets about the Yammer and SharePoint marriage, but it's just one we explored in our recent Yammer + SharePoint + Mobile - Oh My! webinar.
Workers spend 61% of their time collaborating, Keith Long, technical director at ICF Interactive, a systems integrator, said during the event. That includes looking for materials, working on it and sharing it with customers, for example. Companies like ICF Interactive help organizations put together technology systems that offer them a way to be more efficient and productive, and since SharePoint has over 100 million licensed seats, it's no wonder so many companies talk about it quite a bit.
Yammer indeed may be able to cure some of the pain around using SharePoint in a more social way, but it's not as customizable, and only partially available in an on premises deployment, Long said. For companies that require those use cases, the native SharePoint newsfeed or other third party products would be a better fit, he said.
Mobile + SharePoint Online
95% of workers are bringing their own devices to work with them, and that alone is driving social business. People are collaborating via multiple devices, and that flexibility is now being demanded in enterprise software tools. All of those workers on their own devices are using cloud services, a by product of popular Apple, Samsung and Google products.
That massive amount of cloud power is bypassing the 70% of IT budgets that is spent maintaining data center equipment, Long said. It's a total shift in resources when you have a majority of workers doing things on their own networks, instead of heavily invested in infrastructure. This is all part of the mobile wave, and SharePoint is not yet fully on that bandwagon.
For large organizations with many departments and an ordered, hierarchical structure, SharePoint is quite helpful becuase of its versatility, but it's less useful for smaller companies and on mobile devices.
Those in attendance at our webinar had questions about how to choose between Yammer and SharePoint's native social features, and Long said that Yammer was good for companies that needed to have an internal and external facing social component. For companies that had more of a need for document centric uses, SharePoint's newsfeed might be a better choice, he said.
As to when we might see a deeper integration with Yammer in on premises versions of SharePoint, Long pointed to the fact Microsoft has said it would be doing that this fall. It hasn't happened just yet, but that is one of the advantages of the cloud; more frequent updates.
There was also a question on gamification in SharePoint, a good point because one of the biggest problems company's have is in simply getting people to use it all. Long noted many of the staples of gamification are available in SharePoint like badges and earning the rank of expert in a given field, for example.
Besides onboarding people, gamification can help workers bond a bit more, Long said, something that can actually go a long way in retaining people. In a similar vein, a question came up about overall adoption trends, and Long pointed out that the companies who made the most effort in getting people to use SharePoint were the ones that were successful.
One example is a company held events at all of its regional offices to get people to use SharePoint, and there was a point person set up in each office to answer questions. This is actually pretty important in getting people to adopt the system, Long said.
We've made the entire webinar available below, so feel free to view it and leave us a comment on how your company is using Yammer, SharePoint and mobile devices to offer people positive social business experiences.