Do I need Yammer? Is it still relevant at all? What has changed with the “new Yammer”? What is it used for? Isn’t Teams better? All of these questions are still quite common in Mid-2020, so has Microsoft failed with their new Yammer? I would say: No! Why? keep on reading and find out.

When to use Yammer?

A common question for many and I struggled answering that for quite some time as well, but I found my perfect “use-case”. Bridging the gap.

So what does that mean? To me, it means to create a relationship. A relationship which is too often overlooked. One of the most important ones. A relationship between “good” and “evil”. Not really though. The end user & the IT department. You decide, who is who.

But seriously, without IT, we can’t sign-in into our services. Without the end user, there is no IT-department, so those two parties have to work together. I am an “IT-guy”, but I always appreciated my end users. I also don’t like to call them “user”. They should be our friends, colleagues and for some, they are close to family. That’s the gap Yammer can be the bridge.

“Yammer can be your bridge between employees, topics, regions, generations and even more, when done right!”

How to create this bridge?

Yammer - bridging the gap animation GIF
Little design / 3d / motion graphic project with Cinema 4D & Octane Render

To start with the easy part, you need a license for everybody. If you are not using Microsoft services at all, it comes with a price tag. Depending on the services you want to use, it can become quite expensive. In case you do already use services like your Office Suite (now called Microsoft 365 Apps for Enterprise for some) or you are using SharePoint, OneDrive or Microsoft Teams, you most likely have those licenses. So just activate them and all is good? You guessed it, it’s not that simple, but it is also not absurd crazy difficult.

The new approach with the latest “new Yammer” is called Community.

For people being active in forums like I’ve been in the past such as SharePoint Stackexchange or SharePointCommunity, it’s a no-brainer. Also people who have used Reddit or any kind of service where you discussed about something specific gets the idea.

Having a community allows people to talk about the same topic in a digital room / house. The benefit is clear and there are more than just one. Here some popping up as I’m writing this

What are the benefits of such a community?

  • Talking with like-minded people
  • Talking with people, you would have never talked to
  • The usual company hierarchy is not that important. Community members are on the same level (except moderators & owners of that community)
  • Open discussions are useful for you and your business
  • Giving people a voice

I could write a bunch more and you would agree or disagree with them, which is fine. As I am writing this, these are my two-cents about the benefits. Live with it.

What do you need to make this work?

As mentioned above, without owners and moderators, a community has no real future and certainly no structure. You also know that, if you’ve been part of such. These are the people who are responsible for keeping the discussions and communities in check. No racism, No “I WANT IT NOW” uppercase screaming, no useless stuff in a focused community, and much more. You got those? Noice! And you can be proud, as there is a long list out there. Here are also some other examples:

Encouraging members to engage by posting and commenting on each other’s posts, keeping discussions focused on business objectives, verifying questions and answers written, editing status of questions, answers, and comments if required, acting as an example for the community members.

Obviously you need the right scope for your community. My go-to community is part of the adoption program if you’re implementing services from the Microsoft stack. It is a community for all your employees / audience who has trouble working with those new services. It’s the place people can ask stupid questions (at least some maybe stupid to you), but it’s important that those get asked. It shows the things you missed! And yeah, you will miss some things and that’s okay. Any kind of engagement in a community is at the start a good engagement.

The new Yammer look

So Microsoft calls 2020, the year of Yammer. You can think of that the way you want. (I certainly still feel like every year is now a Microsoft Teams year for Microsoft) Not too happy about that + if you make such a buzz about the new Yammer and even call it year of Yammer, I would have expected more. Sorry Microsoft.

Meet-the-new-Yammer
Meet the new Yammer – Welcome

Don’t get me wrong, the new Yammer is great looking. All the people involved in this new experience made an outstanding job, but I still miss too many things and yeah some are announced, but are essential to me like “upvote answers to Yammer questions” (planned for Q4 2020) and to me most important Improved Notifications Settings which is on Yammer’s User Voice since 2017 and the Yammer teams “is considering this” since March 22, 2017. Well, at least it’s not canceled, right? Anyway, the overall look is as mentioned good and yet I would have liked to get more. Probably an expected behavior in comparison to all the changes Microsoft Teams got and still get’s these days.

The past, present and the future

To clarify, I haven’t written anything about Yammer since I started writing about tech. Why? Well, I never really enjoyed the look and feel of the old one. That in the past and has definitely changed with the new Yammer look!

The present is “alright”. As mentioned above, I would have expected more, but it is also on it’s way to become better and the features they already announced are looking promising.

And the future? Well, if Microsoft keeps more attention to their user voice and they actually do the things requested for years or on the other side let us know, that feature X is not coming because of Y, we would also have a clear picture. Let’s keep our fingers crossed

If you want to keep up-to-date with the new features added to Microsoft’s roadmap, you can listen to my new idea called Microsoft Roadmap Roundup in more or less 90 seconds. Only audio, only facts, only fans.

Nooo, just kidding, obviously no only fans. But it’s available in German and English and get’s a new episode every Sunday. For how long? Well, first as long as I want and as long as you guys support my ideas. Pretty simple, isn’t it?

Closing / Summary

So first, long time no new article here on LinkedIn. Why? To be honest, I don’t know. Sorry. I still have a feeling the way of writing articles on LinkedIn and the way they get promoted to your network is something they could do better but that’s another topic.

Lastly, thank you for scrolling or even reading parts of this article. Yammer is again a good service and has it’s valid use cases in the Microsoft 365 universe and in your modern workplace. Even if you don’t end up using it, I highly recommend you check on this service when you plan using Microsoft 365.

With all of that, I hope you also like my new baby steps into Cinema 4D, 3D and motion graphics. If you want to use the still image or the animation, please reach out. I’m happy to share the full files with you. Hope to see you again on this site and until then don’t be afraIT!

Yammer - bridging the gap still image 3720x2000
Still image from my work with Cinema 4D & Octane Render

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