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Yammer News & Analysis

Yammer: SharePoint's Social Collaboration Savior? #SPTechCon

BOSTON -- Microsoft believes Yammer is good for its SharePoint health. Yammer chats are now synced with OneDrive and SharePoint files.

Just how good? So good, it envisions it being basically part of its fabric versus just an enterprise collaboration software platform.

Yammer seems to be all the rage -- or at least a very good part of it -- at the SharePoint Technology Conference at the Boston Park Plaza hotel here this week.

"Yammer is going to be transformed," Jill Hannemann of Rockville, MD-based Portal Solutions predicted in her morning session on social and SharePoint Wednesday. "It may not even be called Yammer" and may just be the connectivity tool that will be the thread throughout all of the different products in Office 365.

Drive Social Adoption with SharePoint and Yammer Analytics

With the advent of SharePoint 2013 and Yammer integration, companies have struggled to monitor and manage the integration, adoption and usage of the collaboration platforms deployed across the enterprise. SharePoint Administrators are having a difficult time gathering meaningful metrics on SharePoint and Yammer usage and adoption. Community managers, IT managers and business leaders need metrics that show who is using the platform, how it’s being used, and how far the reach of social collaboration has extended into the enterprise. These measurements are key to ensuring that collaboration is being integrated into business processes.

Was Gartner's Social Software Smackdown a Lovefest?

Gartner hosted a “Social Software Smackdown” panel at its Catalyst Conference last month. After talking with its host, analyst Larry Cannell, it’s clear that the participants from Microsoft/Yammer, Salesforce/Chatter and Box don’t feel that they’re in a turf war, at least just yet.

That's true in spite of the fact that Gartner’s most recent Magic Quadrant for Social Software in the Workplace noted there’s little difference in the products these companies provide.

 “We are in the early stages of this market with a tremendous upside for enterprises and workers,” Cannell wrote in his takeaway notes.

Forget Community - 'Social' is Now a Commodity

Social Business, 2014-18-August-For-Sale.jpgRemember the glory days of Enterprise Social software? When startups were acquired and innovations were exciting? When we all believed that social technology could help us change the way we worked for good? Death to email!

The ESN crickets have been chirping for some time, because corporate social networking software is now a commodity, not a community. Disappearing are the days of hoping for ideation, serendipitous discovery, executive dialogue with worker-bees, and earning millions of dollars from new product ideas gleaned from conversations. The enterprise is tired of the hype; companies who have not seen success are ready to give up. With myriad ESN vendors, the proliferation of social features across productivity, storage and project management products, and an inability to prove that standalone enterprise social software has ROI, the commoditization will continue and eventually bury the industry as we know it. Think it’s not possible? I beg to differ for two reasons.

The Barriers to Working like a Network in Office 365

2014-07-August-Road-Block.jpgIt is frustrating to see the potential of technology and not have it realized. The solution is there but, as they say in New England, “you can’t get there from here.” Such is Office 365.

Facebook Thinks You'll 'Like' Enterprise Collaboration

social business, More Facebook Cloning Coming to Enterprise Collaboration?

Facebook at work. I've never done that. Have you?

But what if Facebooking at work was actually encouraged, maintained by your company itself and used for collaboration?

That could be what's happening in Zuckerberg Land, if you believe the anonymous source who told a reporter last month that the social network's working on a FB@Work platform in its London offices.

Microsoft Tightens the Reins on Office 365

Companies are still signing up for Yammer — despite the fact that user adoption remains a problem. 

In fact, according to Yammer co-founder David Sacks, the British grocery retailing giant Tesco has just inked a 250, 000 seat deal with Yammer. The information was contained in a memo from Sacks to Microsoft employees.

Sacks announced on Twitter late last week that he is leaving Microsoft, but did not specify why.

Startup Offers Free Collaboration Option for Any Web Page

Just as Microsoft blends Yammer into Office365, a startup is offering a free service to add a Facebook-like collaboration tool to any web page.

Lifestreams Technologies, a 2-year-old company based in New Haven, Conn., said the widget can be used on any intranet or public-facing website by adding a snippet of code to the html.

"Most websites today are relatively static," said Peter Prosol, business development director for the 10-person SaaS firm. "You'll find pictures and images and text, but it's more or less as it is. It doesn't change much. But adding a timeline to your site ... it lets you be more dynamic, add new content, refresh and be a little more interactive and engaging to the user."

The Problem With Yammer? People Don't Use It

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Yammer is being promoted as the new social layer of SharePoint. But Microsoft is also tying it tightly into Office 365. In the past two weeks, this has resulted in the packaging of Yammer with Office 365 small business plans, while the price of Office 365 is also about to be slashed.

There are problems with Yammer. But the problem lies not the product itself.

According to David Lavenda, vice president of product strategy at Harmon.ie, the real problem is that many people who have access to it just won’t use it — or any other social network for that matter.

Oslo and Office Graph: Welcome to the Enterprise of Things

2014-09-July-Spiderwebs.jpgIf Microsoft has its way, big data is coming to your Office 365 environment very soon.

In March of this year Jared Spataro, general manager of Enterprise Social at Microsoft, introduced Office Graph and challenged us to “work like a network.” Office Graph -- which derived from Yammer’s Enterprise Graph concept -- analyzes user metadata from the Office 365 environment (Yammer, SharePoint Online, Lync and Office Online) to identify signals, trends, relationships, social connections and content that relate to each other to form patterns that can be used to deliver a more relevant and rich contextual end user experience.

This rich set of metadata is meant to provide a more comprehensive picture of who you are connected to, who you interact with and how you interact within the enterprise. This is a new frontier for Microsoft and this technology will significantly change how you collaborate, work, connect and engage within the online enterprise going forward.

Microsoft Pushes Yammer into SMBs

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Microsoft is pushing Yammer ... again. The focus now is on small and midsize businesses (SMBs). 

Microsoft underlined its enterprise ambitions for Yammer in November by making it available with all Office 365 enterprise plans. Now it's also added Yammer to Office 365 Midsize Business and Office 365 Education plans.

Microsoft Fiddles With SharePoint Pricing

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It’s hard to see the justification, but Microsoft just announced it will cut back four of its payment plans for SharePoint Online and Office Online once the plans expire at the end of June.

While Microsoft certainly can cut back on plans whenever it wants, especially when those plans expire, the lack of an explanation could leave a bad taste in the mouths of enterprise customers facing higher prices in replacement plans.

In fairness to Microsoft, it does go into some detail about how the new plans are going to operate, and also says that it will be offering “one-time price discounts for EA [Enterprise Agreement] customers to cover the additional cost associated with transitioning to the higher priced plans." 

Why Social Implementations Fail

2014-13-June-Stalled.jpgIn early 2013 Gartner published a report indicating 80 percent of Social Business efforts will not achieve their intended benefits through 2015. That is a staggering number and a bold prediction to say the least. Gartner can back up  from the data unearthed during its extensive research into social business.

At the same time, the importance of social as an integrated business tool is mounting. In 2013 MIT Sloan Management Review released a report stating that 18 percent of respondents to their Social Business Survey in 2011 said social was “important today.” In 2012, that number increased to 36 percent and in 2016 this number is expected be 69 percent.

As social grows across industries and vertical markets, many companies are facing common implementation barriers. The interest in using the solution runs high at the start and then slowly drops off as organizations move to deploying it across the company, leaving many organizations wondering why this is happening and how it can be addressed.

Yammer Expands Support to 28 Languages

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Social business is only as good as the ability to communicate in the local language. 

To tackle that, Yammer is offering localized versions. The web client now supports 28 languages. In addition, its mobile apps come in 12 languages and both the iOS and Android apps have a message translator.

Yammer Chats Synced With OneDrive, SharePoint Files

Tossing around a Microsoft Word doc for review via email is a long-gone practice.

Microsoft hopes document collaboration is that much easier in the enterprise with its release today of document conversations, a new enterprise social experience feature applied across Office 365. Microsoft announced the news in a blog post authored by Christophe Fiessinger, a group product manager on the enterprise social team.

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