Yammer: The Big Implications of Small Changes

slide-in_wheelYammer is an industrial war horse. It is a spoke on a multi-spoked wheel. It is a connector, and it is connected. What happens in Yammer…what happens to Yammer, absolutely does not stay in Yammer.

Since the Yammer enterprise social network platform was bought by Microsoft in 2012, it has slowly become more and more a part of O365. When users and administrators complain that new developments do not come to Yammer quickly enough, it is important to remember that the seemingly minor, innocuous changes that do appear have greater implications, and reverberate throughout the O365 stack of tools far beyond the friendly confines of Yammer. The ability to edit a post, to include a GIF file, or to change a group page are all seemingly tiny changes that require a significant amount of coding, testing and more testing as they affect not only Yammer, but in many cases other tools such as Sharepoint, Teams, OneDrive and more. It is a big wheel, and Yammer is only one spoke.

So when Yammer users and administrators converged on Orlando, FL on September 25th as part of the Microsoft Ignite conference, we were all eagerly anticipating what Yammer would announce as their feature development road map for the next 12 months. We all knew that any change, no matter how small, was big news.

Group Insights: Through a new link that will be on the left side of the group page, any Yammer user, group or network administrator will be able to see how their group is performing at any given moment in time through a dashboard style analytical tool. By democratizing access to  analytics, Yammer reinforces the importance of transparency and collaboration. Everyone will have access to the information, because everyone can help with engagement and access.

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Move Posts: Users don’t always make their post in the appropriate group, and more often than not, they end up in the default “All Network” group. Soon we will be able to move those posts to a specific group so the network can be a well organized place, and information will be easy to find.

OneNoteThumbnailOneNote Integration: The excellent Microsoft collaborative note taking app was integrated into O365 groups this year, but Yammer is now taking it a step further and replacing Yammer notes with OneNote…a very welcome change.

Best Answer, Open Questions and Community Articles: A Yammer group is an online community space where information is shared, and group members become better at their work. Network and group administrators will soon be able to help users work smarter and more effectively by indicating questions that have not been answered yet, posts that represent the best, most complete answer to a question, and documents that will be of great interest to group members.

Topics: As I have indicated in a previous post, I am a big fan of topics in Yammer, and I believe they are Yammer’s best kept secret. Yammer will soon be improving on topicsc by rolling out the ability to merge topics, to delete topics and to auto complete topics. Through these improvements, an already robust information collection and sharing tool will become even stronger.

Announcements, Praise and Resources in Mobile: Yammer users have long been frustrated how limited Yammer becomes when using it through the mobile app. This, I am very happy to report, will soon change. Group admins will be able to make announcements from mobile. Any user will be able to make a “praise” post from Yammer. Most importantly, perhaps, users will now have full access to resources in group file libraries. Yammer is truly becoming a connected, mobile service.

But wait, there’s more!

  • Yammer newsfeeds in Sharepoint sites and Teams groups.
  • Live video broadcasting, the ability to schedule a post and improvements in polls and status updates.
  • Rich text in posts, improved search functionality and new ways to welcome new members and new ways to make sure they are in the right groups.

Even the smallest change in Yammer can mean a lot, and all of the changes discussed at Microsoft Ignite 2017 reverberate throughout the O365 stack and will provide new connectivity and impact in the work our teams do every day.

 

 

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