Stop, Yammer Time!

New applications technology has often struggled to find its real use (particularly business technology).  Usually, there has to be a need/benefit combination to justify the purchase of a licence or subscription so that someone in the IT team can go and make the necessary purchase.

However in business, apps, like so many of their consumer counterparts, are starting to find their way into organisations via the back door.

Take Yammer, recently acquired by Microsoft and who placed it within the Office department.  Yammer now features in the latest service release of Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online, Microsoft SharePoint and Microsoft Office 365.

But what is Yammer?  And more importantly how do businesses use Yammer to their benefit?

I was fortunate enough to attend ‘Yammer on Tour’ in London last week to find out more.

Yammer is Microsoft’s enterprise social offering.  It’s tempting to say that Yammer is Facebook for the workplace, but as many organisations dislike Facebook in the workplace, this description would do Yammer a disservice.

Think more about collaboration between colleagues inside and outside of departments.  Let’s say Helen in Sales creates an opportunity for a new prospect but needs more background information on the company.  She posts automatically from CRM when she creates the opportunity, and this appears in your Yammer feed.

Tony in Support sees this from the Yammer feed embedded in his Intranet, built on Microsoft SharePoint.  He knows about the prospect and shares some information that turns out to be the killer point in the subsequent winning pitch.  It took thirty seconds to submit the comment – a valuable thirty seconds.  Ask yourself how long that would have taken on email…….

Let’s face it, we all get too much email and it’s hard work filtering the important information from the ‘who left their pen on reception?’ work-spam.  Does Yammer aim to replace email?  No, it’s more about finding another avenue for communication.

It was glaringly obvious from the event that Yammer can help people overcome geography, but what about smaller businesses?

Well, this email issue is experienced by companies of all sizes and the collaboration options of Yammer, particularly as part of Microsoft’s suite of applications really could be the glue that holds them together and deliver fast results.

Uptake is swift – within TSG Yammer went viral within days, without any notification – and there are free and enterprise editions (which, depending on your agreement with Microsoft may be included).

Young people who enter the workplace have been using social tools for years so tools like Yammer feel natural and are here to stay.  Why not take a look at and ask your Account Manager to talk to you about Social within business?