Yammer-Office-365Yammer is a product, bought by Microsoft in 2012, with an integration path aligned with Office 365. It is an enterprise social network service based on forum-like discussions.

Where Sharepoint is positioned as a project tool, Yammer is seen as a service discussing topical information across a user network. While Sharepoint is used by teams on separate project ‘silos’, Yammer users span an organisation and choose which discussions to engage with.

Users comment on ‘water cooler’ conversations. Topics aren’t always high profile but discussions often unearth important feedback. Yammer is also used to manage organisational change. Rolling out 365, for example, can be helped by Yammer forums, firstly with a pilot group and then a wider audience.

Yammer gives personality, depth and co-ordination to internal communications which an email model does not provide and where Sharepoint would be too formal.

Social engagement drives the principles behind Yammer deployment. LexisNexis polled its staff after a 10,000 staff Yammer implementation to gauge work satisfaction. It found regular Yammer users polled 20 points higher than non-Yammer users.

Microsoft’s objective is for Yammer to be fully integrated with Office 365. Currently, Yammer is launched as a separate platform from 365.

Yammer reflects the trend to fit technology around a business cultural model.

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