===update 27th May 2016===
With the demise of Yammer Conversations –what looked like quite a cool initiative to bring Yammer comments into Office Docs and vice versa– you might be forgiven for thinking that there’s not been much progress in integrating Yammer into the wider Office 365 suite.
I just returned from a Future of SharePoint session held at Microsoft’s London office for SharePoint consultancies. The talk was hosted by Jeff Teper, VP of SharePoint and One Drive. He’s the man with the vision when it comes to SharePoint. In the last month we’ve seen some really quite exciting announcements about SharePoint – it seems Microsoft is starting to really invest in this tool. However, what was surprising about this talk is that there was zero mention of Yammer. I went and spoke to the host at the end and asked him what are the plans for integrating SharePoint with Yammer.
First, I was assured by the SharePoint team that Microsoft is not going to kill Yammer and that they are actively investing in it. Before any serious out-of-the-box Yammer integration can go ahead the team are rebuilding the back end of the application. This is so that it can be hosted in Microsoft’s various Office 365 data centres around the world. Once this is done they are going to look at hooking the two tools together. For example, we can expect to see a ‘share on Yammer’ button next to files in SharePoint and OneDrive. In the meantime, we are going to have to continue working with custom integrations and the Yammer app all mentioned in our original post from August 2014 below.
Microsoft is working tirelessly to integrate Yammer with SharePoint 2013. We take a look at the features you can expect very soon that will make your intranet more social.
Yammer enhances your SharePoint intranet by replacing or complementing the basic social features of SharePoint 2013. The two systems are not quite integrated yet, but much progress is planned and has been made for Yammer and Office 365 integration.
It’s not possible to talk about SharePoint 2013 without mentioning Office 365; while SharePoint makes a great intranet platform for comms and engagement, it is also very much about collaboration and document management, hence the integration with Office 365.
Office 365 is itself a departure from the ol’ Office suite we’ve all known for so many years, as Office 365 works as both a desktop app and directly in the browser. It’s in the browser where you’ll eventually see the tightest integration with Yammer, as comments and conversations will be right alongside the document you’re working on, helping you collaborate and react to reviews. Similarly, your Yammer activity feed will show whenever someone you follow comments on an Office 365 document – this means you don’t need to open a document to see if there are new comments or updates.
Yammer + SharePoint + Office 365
Right now, you can get the Yammer App for SharePoint and add a Yammer feed or Yammer Group to any SharePoint page. Your Yammer username and password may be different to your SharePoint / Office 365 log-on details. This is a pain, but in the ‘near future’, Yammer and Office 365 will have ‘Single Sign-On’, and so once you’re in Office 365 or SharePoint, Yammer will be right there for you too – in the main navigation.
Sometime in the future, you can expect Yammer to integrate seamlessly with Office 365, meaning that you review comments and document-related conversations will be managed by Yammer, rather than (as now) the individual Office document.
The Office 365 Roadmap clearly shows that documents uploaded to Yammer (instead of SharePoint) will become editable in Office 365 and all comments and conversations will be right there in the browser, helping you to collaborate and improve your document. Near the end of the list, Microsoft show they plan for Single Sign-On, allowing you to toggle between Office 365 and Yammer right from the navigation bar.
Integration is all about making your intranet more collaborative – a place for people, not just documentation. Remember though that Yammer has always been available on your smartphone and tablet, so when it comes to one-to-one messaging and group conversations (in real-time and over days and weeks), Yammer is a great way to keep in touch with colleagues when out of the office or commuting.
Video – 30 countries, 120,000 employees – ‘The connected worker’.
Microsoft bought Yammer in June 2012, but Yammer has kept its identity; for instance, the Microsoft Office website doesn’t really cover Yammer functionality, it sends you to the Yammer website instead.
Yammer is free, and any one of your employees can start using it, without permission, guidance, or management. This is why Yammer Enterprise (paid version) could be important, to help you administrate and manage the network and individuals. If you are already using Office 365 Enterprise / Mid-Size Business (or Education) you may be able to get Yammer Enterprise at no extra cost.
SlideShare – Yammer step-by-step.
The way you roll-out Yammer, and the way your governance supports and manages its use, is crucial to the social success of your intranet.
There’s even more to the modern intranet landscape than SharePoint and Yammer; take a look at the nine components that make up the Microsoft intranet environment.