What is Yammer?
Yammer was launched by the Yammer, Inc. in 2008 as one of the first software-as-a-service (SaaS), for private social networkand has made a prominent mark in the IT industry making others follow its route. Yammer's App Integration was already focused before the Microsoft had placed their acquisition. Yammer was then ready with its strategic decisions to develop a high-end integrated social platform expanding the propensity of information flow. Yammer synchronizes every bit of information to the cloud service because of which there is no need of tracking down your internal network information and conversations from anywhere else any more.
If you aim for a total enterprise transparency, then let me assure that Yammer is the one you should choose. By creating several discoverable points of the Shareable content within the application, it will quicken up the process of group collaboration. So, for any organization, if one can create project milestones, Yammer is there to help standardize all the activities while facilitating the process of learning the work that your organization matrix is focused with.
Key Features of Yammer
For any enterprising organization what is most valuable is securing its data on its databases. Through this data integration, the entire volume of business data can be shared and kept searchable within their private social network. Yammer helps in driving new business opportunities through its social networking tools and integrate them with the renowned software enterprises like Microsoft Dynamics and SharePoint, SAP, Salesforce.com, and many more.
To make the this business data easily accessible, Yammer has developed a Universal Search, with a very effective search engine that looks only for the relevance of the data. Yammer used the open graph technology of Facebook, in which its searchable function will swiftly pull all the data records that is required for a group collaboration. The App will ensure Data security and policy restrictions by access rights that is set while installation.
Navigating the Network Conversations and Groups
In the Yammer homepage you get to see menus like Private or Group Messages, My Feed etc. The option "My Feed" stands as a microblogging tool that can even feed conversations into the default section of the "All Company" category. Thus Posting within your custom groups will keep those members updated, whereas private messages and IMs would be available for only non-public usage.
If you want to tag any topic in your conversations to popularize the Topics view or for better referencing in the future, you can use the Files attached to your conversations which are made accessible for future usage as well as it is in the Files view.
Yammer has an option of filtering conversations that appear with Ask, Share, Event, Praise or Poll prompting. It also track down the Responses by the maximum number of likes, replies, posts, badges, trophies and all that are being consolidated in the Leaderboard.
Whatsoever, the social intelligence needs to evolve with a more meaningful influential data, that can include the teamwork, probable questioning, and preferably traceable business profit that inevitably appear in the lifecycle of ESN's product.
My Home Network
The internal network of Yammer comprises of the 'All Company group' and other 'Internal Groups' which are open for customization.
Pages, Files and Calendar Events
In Yammer you can see Wiki-style pages which can be easily constructed, and there you can include group editing as well as publishing. In the Files section, there are options such as Documents, images, and video files which can be shared through the entire network. All the Files can be opened and you can also annotate them with markup tools which are almost similar to the whiteboard functionality. The Events are set up in Yammer as an option added to the other calendar tools like Google, Outlook, Yahoo, and iCal.
In Yammer the External networks are mostly designed with an aim to include people into any set of conversations or activities that take place outside your organization, even if these are from the customers, partners, contractors or any employee of your concern. The External members are also allowed to sign up and get access to the External Network, like, 'Our Valued Partners', 'Or Our Valued Members'. This is to keep a track on the conversation threads along with the associated files that get created within this network. One should also remember that the browser pages of Yammer often change color whenever you switch from the internal to external network and this works as a necessary reminder.
The Yammer Business Plan has an offer of a free basic network that comes as a pack of 1GB file storage helping organizations to get started instantly. The Premium Groups are available within a price range per group on a monthly basis which include up to 25GB of file storage along with a package of advanced content collaboration and administrative capabilities.
There is also an Enterprise Plan which is priced one of the two ways. For Business Network, the package contains file storage of 50GB, a set of customizing admin controls, and an analytics dashboard. The other option is a package offering up to 100 external users, advanced administrative and security functions, and an integration with third party apps, like Microsoft, SAP, and Salesforce, and more.
Desktop and Mobile Applications
The Desktop App of Yammer is free. The standalone Desktop application can be installed on your desktop to maintain the conversation ongoing. The only requirement to run it is the latest version of Adobe Air.
The Mobile App of Yammer is available on Android, Windows Phone, iPhone/iPad and Blackberry. The mobile apps of Yammer comes with a pack of connectivity to your private messages, feeds and notifications.
The Best of Yammer
Yammer does help in changing the overall corporate culture by bringing in more transparency and collaboration.
It builds up a friendly and helpful community across a wide range of physical locations. Employees from other branches of the same organization who have never met each or worked together can become friends and strong collaborators.
In the beginning it was very similar to the Twitter functionality with the only difference of working behind a corporate firewall. But after getting a successful stand as a company, they started rolling out one after another features and became more like an enterprise collaboration suite rather than sticking to a social networking platform. That I think is one of the biggest mistake they have committed as people like us have lost interest , which can be one of the biggest reasons for a downfall.
The Bottom Line
What can be summarized from observing Yammer working at institutions is that, implementing Yammer in an organization is not like installing just another IT tool. It would positively require an executive sponsor who can realize this is that it is time for changing the culture and behavior in his organization, and not merely the tools. And to bring those necessary changes in the management environment, the training and user adoption resources that are very much in conjunction with the tool will greatly influence and enhance the chances of success. Thus Yammer IS a must have tool for increasing productivity in an organization.
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