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Yammer Moves to Standardize Social Tools with Enterprise Graph #yamjam12

Yammer has announced a new comprehensive social layer called the Enterprise Graph, and it's a set of enterprise collaboration features that integrate into existing business workflows.

Social Network Sprawl

Tracking and following too many business social networks begins to devalue them like so many American cities sprawling out into the hinterlands. People become isolated because they are missing updates and bits of conversations they need to be in on for critical business processes. 

A unified conversation layer is needed in this case, and Yammer thinks it has the right mix of functions to help its customers navigate their enterprise social networks with embeddable Follow and Like buttons, Pages and the App Directory. 

Embeddable feeds are no longer limited to just groups or individuals, so any record, document or piece of data conversation can now be included in context. And, business apps can embed the Follow and Like buttons directly.

These features can help people and enterprises map out and maintain proper workflows and keep up with the fast moving, ever evolving world of the connected workplace. Follow and Like buttons are pretty straightforward, but the other features may not be as intuitive.

Pages are like profiles, but for business objects. A page can show followers and conversations, and with Yammer Embed, that info shows up on that object's Web page in the original application.

screenshot-yammerappdirectory-2012.jpg
The App Directory is broken down into New Apps, Featured Apps and Existing Apps. 

Yammer is calling the collected updates an Enterprise Graph, a reference to the Facebook Graph that maps out how everyone is connected to their friends and likes.

The Power of the Enterprise Graph

By combining the tool set that Yammer offers its users with Microsoft Dynamics CRM, users are able to engage and discuss records more thoroughly. Once someone takes an action on an opportunity, a page (and activity) is automatically created in Yammer. Colleagues are then notified about this new page and can visit the page where the topic can be discussed, followed and collaborated on. All activity is also maintained within Dynamics directly, as well the Follow and Like buttons in reference to particular CRM records.

“This new integration with Microsoft Dynamics CRM is just the first example of how you will see enhanced social experiences across Microsoft products and services,” said David Sacks, Yammer founder and corporate vice president, Microsoft Office Division. “Our platform seamlessly connects the relevant people, conversations and data across an entire organization, making Yammer the enterprise social standard and a way for companies to build a truly connected enterprise.”

App Directory

Third party applications that pass a security and privacy check will show up in the Yammer App Directory. This simplifies app discovery and makes it easier to integrate new apps. Some new apps include:

  • GoodData: GoodData pulls information apps, like Yammer and allows users to monetize it through an enterprise platform.
  • Salesforce.com: If a sale is linked to a user’s Yammer account, they can not only project a estimate of when a deal will close, but see how Yammer activity affects their sales over time. Users can also embed records that relate to their Yammer feed within the Salesforce.com app and view all conversations related to a certain topic in a single feed.
  • Kudos: This peer-to-peer recognition app allows Yammer to update users when a colleague sends another colleague a "kudos."
  • WorkSimple: Monitoring social performance, WorkSimple enables Yammer users to publish a story that updates their colleagues on projects and enables a a company to have more collaborative network by allowing others to provide feedback and support on one person’s project.

Yammer is already a social leader according to research firms Gartner and Forrester, and now that the company is owned by Microsoft, plenty of other integrations are sure to follow.

Yammer announced the new features at a conference it calls YamJam, and they are the second big update to the system since the Microsoft buy. All of the new features are available immediately.

 
 
 
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